Abusive Advertising

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Wilkins: Care for a cup of Wilkins Coffee?
Wontkins: No, I don't like coffee.
(a hand holding a gun reaches into the frame and shoots Wontkins dead at point-blank range)
Wilkins: This has been a public service!
Wilkins Coffee commercial

Most commercials try to sell their product by making it look appealing, desirable, a must-have even if customers didn't think before that they needed it. Commercials like such try to be friendly and informative, appearing to have your best interests at heart.

Then there's these. With Abusive Advertising, there's no question whether you'll buy this product. You will, and if you don't there will be dire consequences before you end up buying it anyway. Whether a mascot coming to beat you up or divine misfortune to wreck one's day, the customer is promised a nasty end if they don't haul their butt to a store right now.

Oftentimes though, this type of advertising is done tongue-in-cheek, as obviously companies can't legally attack people to make them buy their product. So to show it's all just a joke, such ads are usually deliberately over the top so that they won't be taken seriously. The real aim is for the commercials to stick in the customers' minds, even if it depicts them getting beaten to a pulp alive.

Compare Appeal to Force, Disproportionate Retribution, Public Service Announcement. Inverted Trope of Our Product Sucks.


Examples:

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     Comic Books 

     Food 
  • "Never Say No to Panda", an... odd series for Panda Cheese by Arab Dairy. The theme in each is that some person doesn't want to have any cheese, when a panda appears out of nowhere, looking at them mournfully while Buddy Holly plays... then proceeds to rampage and break to pieces anything the person is using. Whether overturning their grocery cart, smashing a birthday cake, throwing a guy's computer monitor, beating through a car windshield with a wrench, or ripping out a patient's IV, this panda will not stand anyone not eating their cheese. One guy even ends up having to buy two packs just to keep that bear away from him.
  • The Wilkins Coffee ads made by Jim Henson, in which a Muppet named Wilkins offers Wilkins Coffee to another Muppet, Wontkins. Wontkins typically refuses and gets hurt for it - often fatally. One ad has Wilkins shooting Wontkins with a cannon and then turning it towards the camera, essentially threatening the audience into buying their coffee.
  • In the Red's Apple Ale commercials, people who hesitate on their drink orders are suddenly pelted with apples, which inspires them to ask for Red's Apple Ale.
  • A downplayed example is the "Should've had a V-8" campaign for V-8 vegetable juice. People who didn't get their vegetables regularly get a Dope Slap on the forehead, complete with a hollow sound on the head.
  • In a 2007 ad for Burger King tying in with the release of The Simpsons Movie, Krusty the Clown literally begs the viewer to eat at Krusty Burger rather than Burger King.
    Krusty: Please! I'm behind on seven alimonies! I'm wearing paper bags for shoes!
  • There once was an advertisement for coffee that threatened housewives with being beaten up by their husbands if they bought a cheaper brand instead of the advertised one. This was played for laughs.
  • Among the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company's catalogue of woes in the 1970s was a failed advertising campaign in which a burly outdoorsman threatens an off-screen speaker, visually identified with the viewer, who wants him to switch to a rival beer brand, followed by the slogan "If you don't have Schlitz, you don't have gusto." The campaign was pulled after only ten weeks due to negative reaction from consumers.

     Magazines 
  • There's the classic "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog." cover run by National Lampoon, which showed an appealing dog with a large hand-gun pointing at it.
  • Mizz, a UK magazine aimed at teenage girls, once ran a Halloween issue that began with an an ad where a witch threatens a girl that, if she doesn't buy the magazine, the witch will take Mizz away and the girl will "Have to read something crappy instead"
  • One Spirou cover shows someone holding a pair of scissors open around the paw of a Billy the Cat plushie, with a Cut-and-Paste Note stating "Buy this magazine or we cut Billy the Cat".

     Other 

     Radio 
  • Many guests on Caged Heat Radio make jokes at the listener's expense but Kevin Sullivan and Steve Corino in particular threatened bodily harm on those who did not tune in.

     Video Games 
  • Segata Sanshiro, a Japanese martial arts mascot for the Sega Saturn. Many of his commercials depicted him breaking into random houses and beating up anybody who wasn't playing a Saturn. He could be anywhere, whether out of an alley, or at a dance club, or even disguised as Santa Claus. Thankfully he wasn't all mean; he gave some terrified kids a free Saturn for Christmas, coached a soccer team, is sweet to his girlfriend, and in his last commercial made a Heroic Sacrifice for Sega by catching a missile and flying it into space. In fact, only two of his commercials have him act in tune of the trope, but they still kinda stand out, considering his own Bragging Theme Tune imply that he's still doing that off screen.
    • This was strangely inverted in the American commercials for the Saturn, which implied that playing the console would cause sensory overload, nervous breakdowns, and involuntary bowel movements. Guess which country it was more successful in?
  • The infamous Daikatana ad campaign, which simply promised in large, bold letters: "John Romero is about to make you his bitch."

     Webcomics 
  • One banner ad for Luci Phurrs Imps shows an imp holding up a cat with the caption "Read Luci Phurr's Imps or we eat the cat!"

     Web Original 
  • This is another aspect of bad advertising - a sort of odious moral blackmail - held up for derisive deconstruction on name-and-shame-those-crap-adverts website Ad Turds.
  • Harry Partridge: One video had him proclaim "Follow me on Twitter, or I'll do terrible things to this cockney orphan!" Oh, he may be animated, but the pain will be more than real...

In-universe examples:

     Comic Books 
  • In Transmetropolitan the Mafia has apparently become a legitimate company selling cheap Makers. Their ads say "Buy Godti Makers. Or you'll be sleeping with the fishes... And I'll be sleeping with your wife." Spider was given a Godti maker as part of his first staff apartment, the AI wasted a lot of resources making drug simulators for itself and he tried to throw it away. But someone left a severed horse head in his bed.

     Film 
  • From UHF:
    Crazy Ernie: If no one comes down and buys a car from me in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'll club this seal to make a better deal! And you know I'd do it too... because I'm crazy!

     Live Action Television 
  • TV pranksters The Goodies divided the show with parodies of British TV advertising; a classic was their send-up of processed fish manufacturers Bird's Eye, who at the time were advertising via a child-friendly clown character, an avuncular sailor called Captain Birdseye used to harness pester power. The spoof advert followed the same lines of a genial fatherly ship's captain with a crew of clearly happy children who loved being on board ship. But the sinister last lines were:
    Captain Fishface has got your children. To get them back undamaged, write to this address enclosing three thousand box tokens from Captain Fishface products...

     Video Games 
  • Around election time in Tropico 4, the in-game radio station Tropico News Today sometimes runs the advertisement "People are demanding elections, and El Presidente demands your vote! Vote El Presidente—or else."

     Web Original 
  • One skit by Funny or Die that parodies the campaign ads of Dale Peterson during his 2010 run for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner uses this trope. The unhinged parody Peterson proclaims near the end "I'll kill a man! I'll put a gun right in someone's mouth and say 'You need more lead in your diet!' right before I pull the trigger! So give me the Republican nomination for Ag Commissioner or I'll shoot you in the goddamn head."

     Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In "Road to Rupert", Brian looks at a gorilla doll and says that if you buy one, they save a real gorilla in the wild...and if you don't, they'll kill one ("Boy, these guys are really playing hardball").
  • On Muppet Babies, the babies play at running for president. Piggy made an election ad about why they should vote for her, ending with "and if you don't... You'll be sorry!"
  • In-Universe on South Park In "Douche and Turd", P. Diddy's "Vote or Die" campaign is taken to its literal extreme—if you don't vote, P. Diddy will hunt you down and kill you. This was based on a real campaign during the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election, although obviously P. Diddy is not known to have pursued anyone with a 9mm.
  • On The Simpsons bully Nelson Muntz runs for Class President on the platform of "Vote for me or else."
    • Also in "The Haw-Hawed Couple", Nelson gives his fellow students invitations to his birthday party while saying "Come to my party or die."
  • Similar to the above, an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey has Bull Sharkowski doing this when he runs for student body president.
    Bull Sharkowski: If you vote for me, all your dreams will come true... BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T, YOU'LL NEVER DREAM AGAIN!
  • Robot Chicken

     Other 
  • One Dave Barry column was accompanied by a cartoon of Dave opening his mailbox and finding an offer for snake attack insurance... that was impaled on the fangs of an extremely large snake.

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