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A Brief History of Ad Campaigns That Overstayed Their Welcome

Well, friends, our long national ordeal is over. According to Advertising Age, Old Navy has decided to retire the “supermodelquins,” those terrifying, soulless plastic spokespeople who have dominated their TV spots (and your nightmares) for the past two years. The company’s new senior VP of marketing, Amy Curtis-McIntyre, insists that the campaign put the them “back on the map,” and “clearly re-established Old Navy as a value player with a sense of humor.” Which is true, if you substitute “a sense of humor” with “an understanding that terrible ads don’t really effect people’s desire for a $20 pair of jeans.”

Still, two years? They stuck with this campaign for that long? Then again, plenty of advertising campaigns have proven both inexplicably popular and indescribably durable. Join us after the jump for a look at a few that stuck around well past their expiration date.

The Energizer Bunny

STILL GOING — and going, and going, and going. The Energizer Bunny dates clear back to 1989, its first spot a shot at Duracell campaign in which their copper-top battery outlasts all others, as demonstrated by a group of drum-playing Duracell bunny toys. Energizer’s ad introduced the unstoppable Energizer Bunny, clad in his sunglasses (that’s how you could tell he was cool!), drumming right off the soundstage. The gimmick then became creating faux ads for fake products (like Nasotine Sinus Relief and Chateau Marmoset wine, above) that would then be interrupted by that insuppressible rabbit. The joke, it could charitably be said, wore a tad thin. Twenty-plus years and over 100 ads later, he’s still in their commercials; if you’re a real masochist, you can even go to their website and download an Energizer Bunny screensaver. Try to contain your excitement.