Inject Something Absurd or Nonsensical

Absurd advertisements capture attention because they disrupt expectations.

Nick Kolenda
Updated on
An orange in the sky as a cloud

Absurd advertisements are effective (Arias-Bolzmann, Chakraborty, & Mowen, 2000).

Selling oranges? Examples:

  • Surrealism. Use products unconventionally (e.g., an orange for the sun)
  • Anthropomorphism. Give human traits (e.g., an orange with a face)
  • Metaphor. Convey benefits indirectly (e.g., dancing oranges to convey liveliness)
  • Non-sequitur. Use unrelated images (e.g., a giraffe selling oranges)
  • Irony. Use unexpected or opposite meaning (e.g.,crowd of people who are jealous of someone eating orange).

  • Arias-Bolzmann, L., Chakraborty, G., & Mowen, J. C. (2000). Effects of absurdity in advertising: The moderating role of product category attitude and the mediating role of cognitive responses. Journal of Advertising, 29(1), 35-49.