Heather, in her comment on the snake mortgage ad post, mentioned seeing a scary pickle clown ad. We have found that ad. Here it is:
Art geek rant follows, read and be prepared to be bored.
Okay... WHY?! WhywhyWHYwhywhy?! It's ugly, stupid looking, badly designed, the eyes look like they were added on as an afterthought since they aren't in the same style as the rest of the thing... I swear, this looks like someone, an "artist" of some sort (bullshit artist, probably), found any clipart that was vertical to fit his space – damn the subject, as long as it FITS! – tossed on google eyes to be "cute", then squeezed in buttons for each of the states to suit the client's needs.
I looks to me like there was a surface that the "artist" cleared away because right above Alaska there is a thin break of light green through the dark green. It doesn't belong. There were probably a few more large white spots in the original clipart like the one that "Bad Credit OK" resides in and on the arms. Obviously the surface was cleared away to allow for the state buttons. That makes sense. This is what doesn't make sense. The spot left for "credit" is in a stupid position. It looks like a sloppy afterthought rather than an actual design choice. Honestly, WHY HAVE IT IN THE SPOT AT ALL?! It stands out in an ugly way! Dumb! I'm in a business where we use "Bad Credit OK" all the time and I know what it really means: "Your credit is ass? No problem! We'll just load you up with a higher interest rate!"
And WHY color code the buttons like that? This might be something that runs through all of their banner ads, but for certain designs it makes more sense to do away with it. I, as a potential customer, have no idea why Colorado is a red button and Texas is purple. It appears to have been decided alphabetically. Or perhaps the "designer" thought it added a pretty rainbow effect. A BETTER idea would have been to mix the colors up a bit, you know, kinda like the spots on an actual clown's clothing would be. And don't use red or green on a green background. Instead use yellow, orange and blue. Or purple. Keep it to three colors though. No reason for four.
And this bit is particularly offensive to my design sense. See that "Click Your State & Refi"? Yes, that's how it ACTUALLY was. The "designer" left off the rest of the sentence! Kind of a big deal, I would imagine. And the stupid clown was trimmed on the right edge as well. His pinkie's in some guy's custard pie!
Making him fit all the way would have caused him to shrink in height about the same amount as the height of the footer (the bit I've blurred at the bottom) which would have been a HORRIBLE setback to the overall design unless the person doing it was actually a designer. Or at least somewhat spatially aware.
Here are some solutions that wouldn't involve disfiguring Bozo by trimming off his sticking out bits. First, he could have filled in the extra blank space by fixing the header. Add in all the missing text and, if you need to, make "Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows!" all the same font size. The footer could have been expanded as well. The firm's logo could have been edge to edge with the extra text that was on the side beneath it instead. Another less acceptable fix would have been to stretch him to fill up the space. He's a drawing of a clown, not an actual photograph nor another familiar object where it would be noticeable to alter the dimensions unevenly.
Time allowing I just may recreate this stupid ad and post the result. It'll still be ugly because, face it, it's a dumb idea, but I should be able to manage to make it somewhat less ugly and more cohesive a design than it is now.
That sure ran long. Sorry. In case I don't post again today, have a great weekend!