Most commercials will tell you to buy their product. However, there's a small subset of commercials that implore you not
to buy the product advertised, because it's harming the person or thing making the plea. Won't you please think of us and don't buy this wonderful product?
An attempt by ad executives at Reverse Psychology
. Call it one of the "perks" of living in a post-modern world, and try not to follow the chocolate bunnies' example over it. See also Talking Pest
Food and Drink
- The "Boycott Spyro..." campaign for the first game in the series, led (more like single-handedly run) by a grouchy anthropomorphic sheep (who also turns out to be the first boss). Like the probable response towards this entry, no one really cares.
- Earthbound. It stinks.
- A Wartime Cartoon features Hitler being killed and ending up in hell. He throws a tantrum (translated by Satan) about how unfair it is that the Allies get the BFG being shown off by the cartoon.
Furniture and Housewares
- Extra Polar Ice chewing gum had a series of ads where several young men claimed chewing Extra would... mutate you into a polar bear. Seriously.
- The ice cream franchise Gelazzi advertises its chocolate with the tagline "makes all other chocolate feel hopelessly inadequate", and photos depicting chocolate bunnies attempting suicide in various ways.
- Jim Henson was responsible for an early example of this in his pre-Muppet Show days. He produced a series of commercials for Wilkins Coffee, featuring two characters: Wilkins, who loves the coffee, and Won'tkins, who hates it and tells the audience not to buy it. Which usually ends in Won'tkins getting maimed in a highly amusing fashion.
- During the '90s, Marmite had an "I Hate Marmite" version of its "My Mate Marmite" adverts. (Their current "You either love it or hate it" adverts continue to admit that some people hate the stuff).
- One mayonnaise commercial features turkeys seeing a turkey's presentation and panicking over how the brand makes a better... turkey sandwich.
- Budweiser ran a series of radio ads featuring a fictional competitor called Bimbelman's. The owners of the Bimbelman's brewery admitted that Bud Light was much better than their beer, but begged you to occasionally buy some Bimbelman's anyway, because "we really need the money."
- One of the earliest examples features a forlorn Maytag repair man, who never has anything to do, as Maytag equipment never breaks down.
- This series has gone on so long they're on their third Lonely Maytag repairman (Jesse White played the original repairman in 1967, followed by Gordon Jump from 1989-2003. White died in 1997; Jump died in 2003), and a young apprentice repairman with a neurotic dedication to makework was introduced.
- The workless Maytag repair men commercials were harshly parodied in Robot Chicken, where the out-of-work repair man goes home to a screaming wife and they have a huge argument.
- Many of Sit 'n Sleep's ads feature the boss Larry and his "accountant Irwin", whose reaction to their various offers is invariably "You're killing me, Larry!"
- Serta run ads featuring a flock of disgruntled sheep, upset that Serta mattresses are so comfortable that users don't need to count sheep anymore.
- Ads for Windex window cleaner feature birds talking about how dangerous it is because it makes windows too clean for them to see the glass. The birds eventually ran ads imploring people not to buy Windex (along with ads disclaiming those ads) and even promoting their own product, Schmindex, which makes windows dirtier.
- Another early example was Mr Whipple, the Charmin salesman, who once became infuriated whenever potential customers squeezed the Charmin to test its softness. ("PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN!") Eventually he saw the light.
- Inversion: Chick-fil-A, a fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in chicken products has ads with normal cows imploring people to eat chicken, not burgers or other beef products, complete with crudely-painted signs with bad spelling (because cows are dumb and can't type/write/paint well with hooves).
- Burger King had a Chicken Run promotion that used a similar tactic, with the movie chickens telling people driving by the farm to eat more beef to save them.
- McDonald's tried this in 1996 with their "Arch Deluxe" sandwich (basically it was their Quarter Pounder sandwiches made "fancier" with bacon and a new bun) as a way to appeal to the more mature crowd, as opposed to their long-standing "appeal to kids" philosophy. They had a huge advertising campaign showing how repulsed children were at the new sandwiches. It didn't work out so well, and other fast-food restaurants started to make fun of them in their commercials.
- Callaway Golf had a series of commercials where an old-school golfer played by John Cleese implores you not to buy their golf balls because they make the game of golf too easy.
- The internet provider Comcast runs a series of commercials based on the Slowskys, a couple of turtles who are disgruntled by Comcast's speed. They end with the tagline, "Fast: It's Not For Everyone."