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By on June 5, 2013, with 19 Comments

It seems that social medias users aren’t prone to pareidolia neither, as they recently “discovered” J.C. Penney tea kettle that apparently resembles Hitler! The kettle has sold out in record time, after social media users marveled at its likeness to the Führer. On top of that, after receiving some heated, unwanted media attention focused on the pot in question, the store chain removed references to the kettle on its website and removed the billboards in Los Angeles that advertised it! The kettle has also been pulled from retailers (where it had not already completely sold out).

I don’t know what to think of the story myself, whether I should see it as bizarre and funny, or plain sad. The kettle includes curvy handle which could represent recognisable haircut, a black knob could be seen as moustache and a spout to the side should represent “Heil Hitler” outstretched arm?! The stainless-steel teapot was designed by architect Michael Graves, who has also fashioned high-style products for Target and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It’s unclear whether it was a marketing mishap or an overactive imagination of certain individuals. So what do you think? I still preferrer them old-fashioned happy kettles we blogged about earlier ;)

  • Renee

    Such Nonsense!

  • Hauke

    I guess this will find its way into marketing books as a successful campaign and not in OI books of classics.

  • No One

    I say some people are looking way too hard. Until you put the comparison picture beside it, I couldn’t for the life of me see what it had to do with Hitler.

  • z2d4th

    people are weird they give meaning to everything..

  • Dave

    Rediculous! In the advertizing, shift the kettle’s position a little (spout coming out a little forward and on the right rather than left) and the resemblence to Hitler goes away. Perhaps even putting out the news release that there was/is no attempt to create the resemblence was appropriate, but pulling the product from the stores was crazy.

  • Lynnel

    Personally, I think it was a huge marketing ploy, and just look how well it worked! People will buy anything, especially if they see it being talked about online.

  • MMM

    Kettle Hitler > Kettler?

    • http://the-great-teen-blog.webs.com Prettyprincess123

      I prefer Hittle to Kettler. Hitlle sounds more evil and Hitler-like

  • eric

    i dont understand why it would boost sales – who wants a hitler kettle? do that many skin heads like tea?

  • http://www.yahoo.com Edgardo Olaes

    There is a great resemblance for a helmet used by Bismarck in WW1.

  • Annie

    I think that they did the right thing. It does look like Hitler & there’s nothing funny about someone who was responsible for the deaths of 10,000,000 people-6,000,000 of them Jews. Better that this be removed from shops.

    • Ko


  • C. Blue

    Pulling the product made absolute sense from a PR point of view. Leaving it on the shelves would create a negative impact in the minds of a LOT of people, given that the resemblance (intentional or not) is clear. The store would rather lose one tiny little product than lose the customers who would be hacked off at their inaction.

  • Sue

    That’s really reaching to see Hitler in a kettle! Why the minority (someone boasting such a thing) gets recognized and responded to amazes me constantly.

  • Rob

    If anything, it looks like a South Park version of Hitler, but it could also be Charlie Chaplin dressed as a butler, ringing a little bell. People see what they want (which is why optical illusions are fun).

    What I don’t get is why JC Penney didn’t just turn the image. Problem solved. It only bears a resemblance to Hitler from one angle in a 2D photo.

  • Zenbot

    LOL. This is along the lines of trying to sell Novas in Mexico (sounds like Chevy No Gos in Spanish). It is just one of those unfortunate incidents of marketing that provides so much entertainment for the rest of us, but unfortunately probably just cost someone their job.

  • Al Loehndorf


  • Gayle

    This is ridiculous!

  • Akire

    What the media thinks it is: A representation of Hitler
    What the designer thinks it is: It’s just a f*ckin’ kettle