Staff Reporters
Dec 21, 2017

The top 5 WTF items of 2017

Our listicle-based look back at the year in APAC marketing and communications continues, with our favourite 'Wait, what?' moments.

The top 5 WTF items of 2017

In the last couple weeks before the holidays, we've been taking a look back at 2017—listicle style. Today, we look back at our favourite WTF moments.

As editors, we see a lot of strange marketing-related things, both in our inboxes and in the real world. Early in 2017, we noticed that we were letting a lot of those WTF moments pass without comment. So in an effort to share the horror/joy, we started publishing them. Here, our top five head-desk moments from the year. For details on these, as well as more what-were-they-thinking treasures, visit Stranger things: A reporters' notebook of WTF items.

1. This party was so hot people (allegedly) got burned

Hypebeast, a publication devoted to telling its audience what's hot, is feeling the heat itself after some people who went to an October 20 event celebrating a Japanese artist ended up with eye irritation and skin damage resembling sunburn, as first reported by Hong Kong Free Press. The HKFP's story quoted a DJ who said he worked the event and later suffered "the worst eye pain I've ever had". The DJ said he returned to the venue and found that a type of ultraviolet lightbulb intended for air- and water-purification machines had been employed as part of the party's mood lighting.

2. The Colonel gets creepy

We left an April press conference puzzled as to why the beloved, friendly KFC Colonel had been laughing in supervillain fashion and making ominous threats about hacking, such as:

Hong Kong citizens beware, we will hack into KFC’s system and Facebook page whenever we like. We can be anybody, speaking in any voice...our people are everywhere...it could be anyone right beside you.

Oh, he also orchestrated a harrowing, albeit brief, kidnapping of the brand's Hong Kong CEO, Alan Chan.

3. Is an "extivation" covered in my dental plan?

Sorry, Mediacorp, you cannot just make up a word. At least not one this bad.

4. An historic robot-guided meditation

In March, McCann hosted the "world’s first mindfulness meditation led by a robot" at SXSW. The picture kind of says everything you need to know about this momentous moment.

5. Marketer nose best?

More than anything else, this storefront poster of a model going 'all in' with...we don't know what, really...convinced us that a WTF file was a necessity.

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