The Five Dumbest “Mayan Apocalypse” Ad Campaigns

Dec 19, 2012
2:07 AM


This December 21 we plan to just not be online, because it is getting ridiculous already. Before we continue with this post, we just need to say the following, and say it kind of loudly: the world is not coming to an end this Friday. But that isn’t stopping brands from contaminating this message and pretty much making a mockery of ancient Mayan traditions. Because in the age of Honey Boo Boo, TMZ, La Comay, and Jersey Shore, let’s just keep dumbing down the intellect, right, all for a quick buck?

So, even though we should be CELEBRATING what could in essence be the “a next great world that is possible,” we are being inundated with stupidity. We will say it again: the Maya never predicted the end of the world this Friday, and any brand that is exploiting this for the sake of getting attention gets a major #NoMames.

Here are five brands that just should keep it quiet and move on, because there is nothing light-hearted or silly about it. This is just pure exploitation just because it is the thing you should be doing right now. Hey, it’s hip, and the kids will really like it. We are here to tell you that this is amateur hour 101.

So here they are, the Five Dumbest “Mayan Apocalypse” Campaigns:


Jell-O Pudding: Yup, we are not messing with you. Jell-O Pudding has gone all Mayan Apocalypse on us. Because in the end, that is such a great a natural connection, right? The brand has basically bombarded the Internet with the following campaign: JELL-O to Save the World From Mayan Apocalypse.

As the release reads: ” JELL-O®, one of America’s most beloved and iconic brands, will try to save the world from the Mayan-predicted apocalypse by appeasing the gods with an unexpected and fun offering of delicious JELL-O Pudding. In lieu of traditional, boring vegetable offerings to the Mayan gods, JELL-O is offering a fun sacrifice of pudding in an attempt to save the world from the impending apocalypse. Today, JELL-O will share their big plans with 60- and 30-second TV spots called “Fun to the Rescue,” created by CP+B. JELL-O will also sponsor apocalypse-themed programming on cable networks throughout the week, all part of the goal to “fun things up.” WTF. WTF. WTF. Wait, can we say WTF like 10 more times?

Kraft Dinner: Kraft in Canada has already created a hashtag called #kdapocalypse, which, by the way, no one is actually using and resonating with. Just another forced idea that should never have been executed.

T.G.I. Friday’s: What better way to mock it all on Friday than going to an “Apocalypse Party? Why wouldn’t you when you read amazing things such as the following: “T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in a half-dozen U.S. cities (Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Los Angeles, Chicago, and D.C.) are throwing “Last Friday” parties featuring Mayan decor, photo booths, music, and a Mayan Margarita. Also they’ll be raffling off an ‘End of the World Survival Kit,’ which is just like a cocktail shaker, bottle opener, and an energy drink.”

Old Spice and Dikembe Mutombo: We don’t even have words for this one. Let’s just say #NoMames and play the video. Talk about a forced campaign that is trying REALLY HARD to be hip and “viral.”

National Geographic Mundo: What perplexes us about this one is that it is a Spanish-language brand and it uses actual Latino pages to promote it. In this campaign, there was a Twitter chat that discussed how people are getting “preparados” for the end of the world. We really wonder if the following image got people excited about going on Twitter and “engaging” a brand about the end of the world because hey, the Mayans say it would be happening! Fail. And the brand also gets a double #NoMames for actually reaching out to Latino pages, who thought this was a great idea. Psst, it wasn’t. You are just perpetuating the ignorance and disrespecting traditions.

We can understand brands like Jell-O and Kraft mocking Mayan traditions because they have no clue, but when you have Latino pages doing the same thing, it is even sadder. But wait, we shouldn’t be so critical, since there were actual prizes being handed out. Our bad.


Here is the problem with all these ads and campaigns—they just mock culture and history. And they lower the bar to a place we don’t want to be at. You know what would have gotten our attention? A brand that actually made people aware of what the Maya really said about December 21. But we guess that might have been too hard for agencies and brands. Too much thinking.