Bad Ads: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux

Can bad advertising turn into good advertising? Let’s turn the clock back about 25 years ago and present a story…

Electrolux, the Scandinavian electronics company, ran into a little trouble trying to persuade the American consumer with an advertising campaign in the early 1970s.

Electolux took its rhyming phrase “nothing sucks like an Electrolux” and brought it to America from English-speaking markets overseas. They didn’t know that the word “sucks” had become a derogatory word in the States. Here is a copy of the outdoor advertising:


The language barrier persuaded the firm to turn to a U.S.-based PR firm for future ad campaigns.

Well, it didn’t work out so well for them in the 70’s. But if Electrolux had the cajones to reuse this, I think it actually might work great in 2008.


Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.



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