As it goes this ad, which played during the 2002 World Cup, isn't that bad.
Francesco Totti finds himself playing footie, alone, in his back garden – rounding imaginary opponents before slotting the ball into what appears to be a child's goal.
Now, depending on where in Europe you lived at the time Totti in his live commentary references Christian Vieri or Michael Ballack on his way to scoring. This becomes important later. What will also become apparent is who Il Capitano tackles in the UK version.
His imaginary game of footie over, Totti leaps into his Fiat Stilo – an appalling car light years away from Fiat's current small-car range – and zooms off down the road.
Stopping at some lights, Totti notices a message on the Stilo's multimedia screen. Why, it's Vieri (or Ballack) taunting Totti by revealing that he was offside all along in his fictitious soccer match.
All of which is quite smart and fairly well-executed, if you ignore the obvious absurdities inherent in it.
What tipped this over the edge was the UK version. Who had Fiat signed up for this amusing battle of Europe? David Beckham perhaps? Or Michael Owen? Moving down the food chain a little, but still a big name, perhaps it was Big David Seaman?
Nope. Not even close. Not even Paul Scholes. The man lined up by Fiat to represent Engand in this ad – against Totti, Vieri and Ballack – was Emile Heskey.
Now, the much-maligned Heskey has his strengths in my book. His unselfish style, physical attributes and hold-up play to name three.
But did Totti even know who Emile Heskey was? Is it that likely that the two would swap matey footballing banter via text message? Is that why Heskey felt the need to sign off with a cheery 'Emile Heskey' – an unlikely way to end a text to a mate I'd have thought.
There are more questions than answers, as anyone who watched A Question of Sport in the early 1990s will know.
Perhaps the biggest question of all is whether, even years later, Totti has ever heard of Emile Heskey.
• Sadly history does not record the Heskey version. I couldn't find it anywhere
I love gaming, and wish I could devote more time to it, but no matter how much I leave a game, or console, behind I know it will always be there waiting for me, ready to take me out of myself for a few hours, or even back to a past life where I was able to while away days on end tackling bad guys.
Inevitably only the true blockbusters get much ad time devoted to them, so choices are naturally limited, but when they do the results are often spectacular.
I've little time for people who thumb their noses at gaming, and a selection of the following ads shows what a unique art form video games can sometimes be, as well as a fantastic, generally ultraviolent, retreat from reality.
I offer the following without much in the way of commentary. I just think they're cool. And often, particularly in gaming, that's just enough.
Gears of War
Underneath every tough gear's exterior is a sorrowful soul. Beautiful, melancholy nonsense.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA's own sense of how absurd it is rescues it from simple shock value. Vice City is the best game, but this ad for San Andreas is spot on.
Far Cry 2
Impeccable choice of music (Barra Barra - Rachid Taha*) makes this ad for weirdy mercenary effort Far Cry 2.
*Spotify link for track here
Just a beautifully conceived and executed 90 seconds for one of the best games series ever
Silent Hill 3
No experience has unsettled me more than playing any of the Silent Hill games alone in the dark. This ad captures that terror best of the SH ads.
The following is a selection of the searched-for keywords that are directing to the blog for the Duffy Coke advert.
I was moved to peruse them again following the write-up I did for it in the ten worst ads of 09 article. I think the keyword queries say far more than I ever could.<
Read 'em and weep.
duffy is shit
awful duffy coke advert
ads we hate duffy diet coke
duffy coke advert awful
duffy advert shit
duffy coke advert shit
shit duffy advert
what does the duffy coke add mean?
duffy coke ad awful
duffy coke advert terrible
duffy coke shit
duffy shit advert
duffy sounds like a sheep
hate duffy coke advert
horrible duffy ad
i hate the duffy coke advert
awful duffy ad
awful duffy advert
bad duffy coke advert
ban the duffy advert
diet coke duffy awful
diet coke duffy shit
duffy advert shit?
duffy awful coca cola ad
duffy awful coke advert
duffy coca cola advert stupid
duffy coke ad is awful
duffy coke ad is shit
duffy coke advert annoying
duffy coke advert awful singing
duffy coke advert awful.
duffy coke advert horrible
duffy coke advert horrible?
duffy coke advert stupid
duffy coke advert what?
duffy coke advert why?
duffy coke advert worst ever
duffy coke annoying
duffy coke singing shit
duffy coke sold out
duffy coke worst advert
duffy diet coke ad stupid
duffy is a shit singer
duffy shit coke ad
duffy terrible coke advert
duffy's advert is shit
duffy's awful coke ad
duffy's stupid advert
fucking stupid duffy coke advert
hate duffy coke ad
i hate duffy coke ad
It's been a tough year for TV viewers, assailed by telecommunications or financial services adverts at every turn. And to think people still want the licence fee scrapped.
On certain satellite channels this year I've been convinced the amount of advertising may have outweighed the amount of actual time devoted to showing programming, so ubiquitous were the adverts in questions.
And what a load of utter shit those adverts have been. Smugness and attempts to annoy brands into the minds of viewers are the two things that really get me.
In those instances you can almost picture the guilty creatives, gurgling beatifically as they masturbate onto a digestive biscuit before writing 'Impatience is a Virtue' onto an oversized whiteboard.
I find it all quite hateful, but that's the world we live in. I like to think that the people involved are every bit aware of how utterly depressing it all is. But, while they are all going to hell, they earn more money than I do – so who's the real chump?
It's been a bad year for banks, Stephen Fry and the unlikely triumvirate of Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Thierry Henry. But it's been worse for Duffy, a singer potentially destroyed by a particularly catastrophic commercial.
My only hope is that the money was worth it for those celebs taking the shilling, especially if the ads they patronise appear is this list of 2009's worst.
You may disagree with my choices, but I think this was about as bad as it got this year in advertising.
Peter Jones and his godawful Money Supermarket ads escaped the pits of despair on a turbocharged shopping trolley.
If you think I've missed any obvious others feel free to suggest them – and vote at the bottom - and remember that the people responsible will be lined up against a Shoreditch wall the second the revolution comes.
Ten worst adverts of 2009
Kebab pot noodle adverts
An ad that has the sheer effrontery to start with the words 'We know you find us annoying' goes straight to the top of my personal list through its sheer hatefulness.
My personal rejoinder to whoever was responsible for this will always be 'I know you'll find this agonising'.
The first, a Flight of the Conchords rip-off, was bad enough. The High School Musical One was actively evil.
The fact that it will be enjoyed by those low on gorm via their mobile phones and Bebo accounts makes it all the worse.
T-Mobile's Life's For Sharing advert
Flashmob advertising really seemed to hit its stride this year, with advertisers realising that a unique, joyous and spontaneous event could be harnessed by the forces of evil.
T-Mobile did an ad at Liverpool Street station that I actually thought was quite good – the reaction of people watching is what makes these. They all looked amused and cheered up; a brief chink of sunshine in their miserable trudge to work.
However, as flashmob ads have become more prevalent, the public has become more jaded. Nowadays its possible to see 'making of' and handheld footage of such events where people actively ignore flashmobs and similar stunts.
So, what was once something rather glorious and heart-warming has been transformed into someone trying to sell you a monthly telecommunications plan.
While this one for T-Mobile isn't really a flashmob I've lumped it into the same mass public stunt genre.
This karaoke one is the worst of the lot. It's just so utterly fucking awful.
Red driving school
Anyone who thinks that becoming a driving instructor is their way out of a badly-paid boring job into a new world of opportunity, hard cash and self-determination is sadly mistaken.
It's a one-way ticket towards mind-shattering boredom interspersed with moments of extreme danger shared with endless, faceless, 18-year-old twunts who already have a brand new 3 Series (that you'll never be able to afford) on a promise from their Dad.
Miraculously, even though this advert doesn't reference any of these things it still communicates the extreme desperation involved in deciding to become a driving instructor.
Direct Line ads
2009 was the year Stephen Fry went massive, as if he wasn't already there. Poor Stephen comes in for a lot of stick, mostly ill-deserved by my reckoning, but he hasn't done himself any favours by agreeing to these terrible ads for Direct Line.
Paired with Paul Merton, perfectly cast as a sneering cockney shit, Fry exudes all the characteristics his critics level at him.
They're unfunny, smug, aggravating and seemingly ubiquitous – which is exactly the sort of press Fry doesn't need, as his detractors would paint him as all of the above.
Duffy coke ad
It's just possible that this coke ad, featuring Duffy riding to the shops on a bike, could have finished off the ordinary Welsh songstrel, so debilitating has its effect been.
AdTurds' Google Analytics accounts reveals thousands of combinations of keyword phrases all revolving around the words 'Duffy', 'coke', 'advert' 'shit' 'terrible' 'awful' and lots of other unfortunate adjectives in a similar vein.
There are adverts that irritate me far more than this one, but the exceedingly low quality of the concept and its execution make it easily the worst.
It almost feels me feel sorry for Duffy. One minute the new Carole King; the next a poor man's Joss Stone.
Just what on Earth are these adverts about? They look like a modern-day demographic box-ticking homo-erotic Three Stooges played out with at least two people seemingly incapable of adopting facial expressions.
And now Federer and Woods are replaced by cartoons, with only Henry of the original trio remaining to mug around in their ongoing contest of hitting each other with their respective balls.
118 118 adverts
The original standard-bearer for deliberately annoying adverts, this absurd telephone information service certainly needs memorable ads to convince people to pay upwards of a quid to find information they could easily access through a Google search in seconds.
Like a load of advertisers have sat locked in a room with ten kilos of coke for a weekend, everything in these adverts smacks of a brainstorm spiralled horribly out of control.
Beefeaters, Ghostbusters, Dave Bedford, The Stig, Elvis impersonators – every post-modern crapulous ironic reference imaginable.
I hope Ray Parker Junior got a fucking packet.
Go Compare advert
An undisputed nadir of the annoying advert genre, sewn up earlier this year by the amusing Compare The Meerkat ads.
So it's a case of diminishing returns for these ads, which are competing furiously for your attention.
Peter Jones ran this one close but it's the fact that you can almost see the working behind this - maximum possible annoyance - running through it like a stick of rock that makes this one so deleterious.
Natwest help adverts
I'm writing this on a day when the supreme court has ruled that banks are allowed to make unfair charges – an issue the banks have spent the last decade fighting - on no moral basis whatsoever.
So any suggestion that banks really give a flying one about the general public is automatically exposed as the height of hypocrisy.
These adverts for Natwest, a bank which has charged me a few hundred quid over the years for occasionally straying a few pounds over my overdraft limit, are the worst.
And lest we mention the bonuses? Everyone hates banks now, but they don't care – they don't have to.
They have a carte blanche to screw you every which way, and no amount of touchy-feely adverts (which are inevitably awful) will change that.
Samsung Jet advert
The motherload. The most hateful pile of cack ever committed in the name of advertising.
A message so vacuous, yet simultaneously horrible, that it transcends the medium. This isn't just one of the worst adverts ever, it's one of the worst anything ever.
Its foretelling of a Britain where the only ideology is the satisfaction of appetites is the most chilling portent of a nihilistic future ever seen. It would have terrified Ballard and Burgess.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a bloke taking a picture of his cock on his mobile phone - forever.
Vote for the absolute worst advert of 2009:
OK, I changed this due to an outcry over the non-appearance of Go Compare
It might be just me, but I noticed a variation on this advert tonight, at the end of a week that has seen serious flooding across large parts of the country.
The ad below has been playing on and off for most of 2009, and appears to be suggesting that AXA won't dick you, like most insurance companies seem to, when it comes to them actually having to pay out.
The advert I noticed tonight was much more focussed towards flooding, and featured the words 'when your home is under two feet of water'.
Call me an old cynic, but I wonder how long this ad has been in the book for. I'm willing to bet that it's less than a few days.
So, assuming that's the case, is this canny marketing or vulgar attempt to cash in on the misery of unfortunate people, albeit by playing on the fears of those yet to experience the delights of sewage water wrecking their houses and belongings?
I suppose it depends on your point of view, but given how much Axa is staking on it being playing fair by its customers, there do seem to be a lot of stories on Google that suggest the very opposite.
Anyway, I find this all very dispiriting, whatever the answer to exactly when this was booked.
And I wonder how long it is before one of those poor people in Cumbria finds themselves screwed by an insurance company over a technicality.
Eight people have complained about this ad, which features Philip Glenister channelling DCI Gene Hunt, because he makes a reference to a 'girl prancing around in her underwear'.
It may have escaped the attention of these viewers, but approximately 80 per cent of all adverts feature girls prancing around in their underwear – particularly Marks & Spencer's adverts.
It's one of the overriding features of M&S adverts of late – a coterie of skinny models swanning around in M&S wear.
It's also a feature of Life on Mars, clearly referenced, which regularly features Hunt making references to tarts, slags and birds and the tits and arses thereon.
I'm a bit baffled as to exactly what people think is offensive about this one. I don't even think it's that bad – like I said the other day about the Iceland Xmas advert I can't really find it in my heart to loathe things that at least reference a pleasant time.
Anyway, here it is. Mind you don't have a heart attack.
Although this, by any stretch of the imagination, an utterly terrible advert I can't find it in my heart to loathe it in the same way I loathe most adverts for banks, telecommunications, make-up, cleaning products or financial services.
Because there's no malice in it. It's like hating the class dunce: he's probably trying his heart out and he'd never be cruel or unkind to anyone. Simply, it's not his fault he's thick as pigshit.
When you get Coleen Nolan and Jason Donovan - two people who haven't been famous for 50 years between them - representing your brand singing "What a swell party" very badly you can hardly be accused of any side.
Donovan sounds like he's never actually held a note in his life and Nolan has surely only been selected as the jolly, big-bosomed, yo-yoing replacement for the hapless Kerry Katona.
Iceland seems to have made a virtue out of being cheap and cheerful - or cheap and nasty if you take into account their inexpensive frozen fodder - and that's exactly what this advert is: The thick kid in the class.
The Samsung Jet advert would sneer at it; the American Airlines advert would look down its nose at it; and Peter Jones would kick it as he skated past on his stupid shopping trolly.
But it's so hopeless I can't find it in my heart to hate it.
• It's so crap no-one's even uploaded it.
The rise of the internet has seen an accompanying rise in a bizarre kind of paranoid distrust of any kind of authority, especially those that might threaten people's notions of individual liberty or rapacious appetites.
Fanned by the right-wing press and lunatic bloggers, there are now significant swathes of otherwise intelligent people who don't believe in anthropological climate change, evolution, or any case for abortion.
All share an almost anti-Enlightenment rejection of scientific fact, based, as they are, on ideological principles rather than scientific ones.
The internet is largely to blame for this, and it has been adopted by right-wing groups as the principal method of dissemination of propaganda, smear tactics and outright lies - often slyly funded by vested interests.
These groups stoke up fires of ignorance and prejudice, which play straight into the hands of climate change sceptics, evolution deniers and the vast swathes of people who think governments are out to get/cheat/eat them.
We though the internet would become a tool for change, education and progression. Instead it's become just the opposite - possibly the best tool for controlling the masses there has ever been.
It's in this climate - no pun intended - that the government is attempting to encourage people to scale back their personal CO2 emissions, primarily by using the car and central heating less.
The ActonCO2 campaign is, to my mind, an effort to inspire a kind of blitz spirit among Britons - trying to get people to 'do their bit' in lowering emissions and fuel use.
But I don't think it will work. The adverts are too negative, too gloomy and even vaguely threatening.
I think there is a rump of people in the UK who are willing to be persuaded on climate change but are subject to a constant drip-drip of denial and scepticism from media and a bizarre rogues gallery of people like Clarkson, Nigel Havers and David Bellamy.
But these ads won't convince them. Even worse, they may scare them into a kind of sceptical defiance. How to do you get someone to buy into a product when they don't think there's any reason to buy it?
That's the issue these adverts should be addressing. This Bedtime Stories advert is the first to make explicit the connection between human activity and climate change – it should be focussed on getting people to buy into that fact.
Because, as any advertiser will tell you, consumers need a reason to buy. These ActonCO2 ads are pushing a product before providing a reason to buy.
I think it can only end badly. Already this ad has attracted hundreds of complaints. And the forces of ignorance will seize on the ad as more grist to their anti-government, anti-science mill.
Is there a happy ending? Nope. Let's hope someone learns some lessons.
Drive five miles less
Because the internet is a place infested by people hell-bent of opposing virtually every view they come across - see the Guardian's Comment Is Free - or displaying 'aggression and unkindness' at every turn, it sometimes behoves a blogger to justify his various thoughts.
This is, generally, absurd, and it should be a given these days that anything clearly presented as a subjective opinion comes with an imaginary 'in my opinion...' prefix.
Getting into an argument on your own blog is rarely constructive, and generally reductive - eventually descending into nothing more than another 'swirling online guff storm' as Charlie Brooker has it.
'Who are you to say whether this advert is shit?' is a common question on AdTurds. I'm someone who has worked in the media for ten years and often writes about adverts, which is plenty qualification as far as I'm concerned - as if anyone actually needs any kind of qualification for voicing an opinion an a blog.
But there are actually all kinds of metrics out there to gauge the efficacy of an advert: sales, tracking, focus groups, polls. They'll all be out there somewhere, hidden in the draws of some marketing agency.
More obviously Youtube and other social media are a good way to crowd source opinion, though I'd caution against placing too much stock in them, unless they're wildly negative.
Luckily, every now and then, a bit of research from a marketing or PR outfit finds its way onto the net. I happened to stumble across a poll on Yahoo's brand penetration following its recent Anthem advert.
Unfortunately for the big Y! it revealed that awareness of Yahoo as a brand fell of a cliff following the debut of their new series of adverts and expensive relaunch.
So, if you ever wanted proof that an ad was shit, check this out.