Contextual advertising has been a big hit over the past half a decade or so, though I wonder whether it suffers from a kind of shotgun approach, whereby you can simply choose a bunch of keywords, pull a lever, and then put your feet on the desk. 

Sure, this is typically better than blasting out your message without any concerns about targeting, but it’s almost too easy to reach the masses, and you can end up with egg on your face. Context isn’t always a positive thing.

As with all advertising, the creative elements of a campaign are meant to stand out for the right reasons, yet every year we see amusing new examples of contextual advertising that’s gone wrong in some way. 

Here are 16 of the more ironic ad placements I’ve seen over the past year or so (most of which are contextual). They are often funny, ridiculous and horrendous all at the same time.

Perhaps we’ll see less of them in the years ahead as targeted advertising tools evolve, but for now we should understand the importance of choosing a few negative keywords when you programme your next campaign.

Strap in!

AOL Autos

Always

Jesus

Families Worldwide

Alaska.com

Intel

Xerox

Trojan

Dominos

VacationsToGo.com

Groupon

Medal Of Honour

American Express

Civant Skincare

Bad Idea T-Shirts

Have you seen any other examples of unfortunate ad placements recently? Let us know in the comments area below.

[Image via Tyson Stole’s marvellous slo-mo self-egging video]