I can haz rain slicker?

As a digital marketer, I spend a fair amount of time on stock photo sites.  And this is how I regularly find photos that have, somehow, gone terribly wrong.

The most interesting thing about stock photography going terribly wrong is that it’s not the execution of such photography that’s in question, but rather the creative conception.  These babies were ugly long before birth.

This will be the first in our Questionable Stock Photos series, put out there so that the rest of you digital marketers may rest assured that no, it’s not just you, there is really an alarming amount of stock photography questionable not only for any useful marketing application, but for any conceivable application.  This includes the highly questionable stock photo at left, which wins extra questionability merit after one examines the tags, the first of which reads “Adult Content.”  ???

And yet we are marketers.  And darnit, no stock photo is too obscure or poorly-conceived to thwart the perfect marketing use case!


1.  These new kevlar ponchos will repel rain, bullets and the assault of an angry feline being clutched by someone who doesn’t have enough sense to keep a cat away from the first two projectiles!

2.  We don’t test on animals, unless it’s the test of love.

3.  Please adopt this cat.  PLEASE.

4.  Is your mental health a see-through slicker and a cat shy of normal?  Call us.  We can help.

5.   Yes, you can potty-train your cat!  (Training manual interior photo)

If you’ve run across a questionable stock photo and would like us to think of marketing use cases, or would like to share your own, please tweet a link to the pic @meltwater with the hashtag #stockpic and we’ll be sure to give it a gander.  If its questionability isn’t in question, we’ll enthusiastically feature it here on the blog.


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