This is something that turns up quite frequently in reader comments. It implies that because I'm writing about how awful ad advert is, this is somehow a win for the advertiser.
This is, if you think about it, a silly thing to say and a kissing cousin to that old chestnut about bad publicity. Try telling Toyota that there's no such thing as bad publicity following its 'stuck accelerator' trials of last year; or Domino's that there's no such thing as bad publicity after footage of employees putting snot on food hit the web; or Amazon that there's no such thing as bad publicity for delisting gay and lesbian books on its site; or Apple that there's no such thing as bad publicity for a homphobic app available on the iPhone.
It is a silly claim. A-ha, I can hear you say, they weren't adverts though. I don't really think that's the point, but I'll address that one as well. For obvious reasons it's hard to find any hard and fast evidence that advertising negatively impacts on a brand – because only that brand and the people who handle their advertising are likely to have access to it. Don't expect to see any 'advertising fails to sell stuff' papers anytime soon.
However, Yahoo! well and truly shot themselves in the foot with their badly-received Yahoo! - It's You adverts that saw Yahoo! brand recognition go down quicker than a leaden sexual metaphor.
A-ha, you say, the likes of Confused.com and Go Compare and Halifax are deliberately courting bad publicity to etch their brand names on the brains of viewers like grease on a carpet. To some extent this is true and there are a couple of great examples of this on the telly at the moment. The Meerkat and Gio, to my mind.
Subconscious familiarity of a brand is, on balance, probably better than unfamiliarity, especially where these companies - whose offerings are largely indistinguishable - are concerned. But when that perception is overwhelmingly negative, because it's so stupendously, deliberately, irritating, then it's a different matter.
Adopting a similar 'memorable through irritation' approach but failing are, to my mind, the Halifax ads with their cast of radio-bank-wanker characters; and Confused.com with its frightening, bizarre, muddled Cara Confused thing that looks like a crazy tramp who hears voices telling it to set fire to houses and has a magical vagina.
The agency that had the account for Halifax has just been relieved of it; this suggests to me that the bank-as-radio-station series of ads were not deemed a success.
On the Confused.com score I have no evidence. Simply a belief that – as the latest in a long line of bizarre adverts with no overall aim apparent – the Caraoke adverts are flailing around desperately in search of a reason to exist. Thousands of readers on this site think Confused.com has launched a dating site – how can confusing your customers possibly be good for your brand? And how can it good for your brand if you constantly read or hear people loudly, violently decrying it?
Oh, there are stats. Stats about how people wouldn't buy from a brand if they didn't like their spokesman, or about how one third of people wouldn't deal with a brand if they featured an ad that was distasteful. But it's a matter of common sense in the end.
Some ads don't work. We know this because agencies get fired all the time. Why would you fire an agency if your ads were hunky-dory and sales were up as a result?
Some ads don't work in terms of ROI. Sure, sales and awareness might go up if you carpet-bomb TV viewers with your latest appalling meme, spunking cash all over the web and TV and radio. But will they go up in relation to the cash you're spending? There's a stat floating about on the web that says that only 18 per cent of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive return on investment. Less than one in five. That's not a great strike rate.
Some ads are just shit. There are lots of them on this site. Are they a success simply because I'm writing about them? No. Do they offer the advertiser a return on their investment? There's no way we'll ever know. Do people largely hate their adverts and by extension, arguably, their brand? Probably.
People talk about the Halifax adverts. They talk about how shit they are. And the agency that created that campaign is on the way out of the door.
People seem actively angry about Go Compare and Confused.com, but while Gio seems to be quite a marmite character, people seem annoyed and bemused by Cara Confused.
Is there anything worse than being publicly disparaged? Perhaps not being talked about at all, but advertising goes both ways - it can't possibly all be good. If people think your brand is annoying, stupid and confusing the chances are they might simply avoid it. Which is why Confused.com keeps changing its advertising - and why it will probably change it again.
It might sometimes pay to be be annoying.com - it doesn't pay to be confusing.com.
Some ads are so disgustingly awful that there's nothing really to add to them. It seems unlikely that there's much that can be added to this to make it more truly awful, hideously annoying and fundamentally shit.
One of the more obvious elements of it is just how blackboard-scratchingly bad the little girl's voice in the ad is, like Bonnie Langford after inhaling a Goodyear blimp. And then, just how awful does the music on Songsmith sound? It's like the 20 years since the early Bontempi drum loops and 16-bar blues, swing and jazz chord progressions never happened. And "Microsoft huh? So it's pretty easy to use?" Fuck off!
Adam and Joe did a very fun skit on this one of their shows a couple of years and the two things they picked up were as follows. Firstly, what father has never heard his tween daughter sing? EVER?
Secondly, why isn't the man who decides to use a terrible children's toy to soundtrack his appalling jingle for glow-in-the-dark towels immediately fired? That is, assuming he has a job. Or a family for that matter. It's easier to just assume the whole thing takes place in the mind of a raving lunatic, bound and gagged in a padded cell somewhere.
Or if he wasn't at the time he suffered this psychotic episode, he obviously was shortly thereafter.
Anyway, beyond this shocking advert, there has been some good to come out of Songsmith, namely a raft of amusing take-offs of popular songs using the benighted software.
This one, using Motorhead's Ace of Spaces is our favourite.
I quite like these adverts for Cadbury's Creme Eggs that go under the Goo Dares Wins banner. And I quite like Cadbury's Creme Eggs (I'm always banging on about Cadbury's adverts - what do I have to do to get some freebies here?).
I think they're cheeky and funny and different. The adverts that is. Creme Eggs themselves are the most sickly foodstuff imaginable. They're like little sugar bombs wrapped in chocolate and, I dunno, filth.
But, y'know what, there's a bit of a problem with them really. Because there's a bit of a naughty meme at work here. The eggs work themselves up into frenzies of excitement upon seeing things on screen that excite them, such as men having their chests roughly waxed.
And then, and there's no delicate way of putting this, they ejaculate. All over the place. They jizz absolutely everywhere, like a pornstar after lent. All over themselves, all over each other, all over the camera. They spunk all over the shop. At the end of this advert there's Cadbury's Creme Egg cum dripping everywhere.
This has been, um, coming for a while. For years Creme Eggs have taken an orgasmic pleasure in splattering themselves all over the screen in suicidal money shots.
Go back a few years and Creme Egg advertising was a tad more innocent. There's still a definite frisson to "How do you eat yours?" but it's hardly the same as spraying semen everywhere is it?
Back to the current campaign, somehow connected to the London 2012 Olympics, and the Creme Eggs can even be encouraged to perform their climactic self-immolation by your unlikely dares, to which the eggs will duly commit spermy seppuku on their latest advert. The Youtube channel is called GooTube.
Here's ad director Michael Patrick Jann explaining - possibly without a straight face - the thinking behind the Goo Dares Wins campaign:
“These Creme Eggs are great comic characters. They’re anarchic, adorable little morsels of yummy goo; chocolaty rascals sporting no self-preservation instincts whatsoever. In my mind, they feed off watching these dares they commission. It’s borders on mania for them. It fuels them like some weird narcotic, and deep down in their candied yolks they know it will ultimately lead to their destruction. Yet still, they seek it out. They simply can’t help themselves. Theirs is a hilarious adventure of ecstatic pleasure leading to the ultimate act of . . . Gooing themselves “
You could sum up this campaign with three words: creme egg bukkake.
Goo Dares Wins adverts
Loving slow-motion cremeshot
Need I say more?
As we've already discovered, people think that Confused.com is now some sort of dating site thanks to its latest weird-ass ads featuring a swivel-eyed mentalist thrashing around on the screen.
After the swivel-eyed loonie warbled and wailed its way through Somebody To Love and Chain Reaction, making everybody believe that the price-comparison outfit had ventured into some sort of lonely hearts website for crazy cult members, there's now an advert out trying to reiterate the point that it's actually a website about comparing insurance quotes - something about ten billion miles away from a strange karaoke with a load of weird squiggles bouncing their tits around.
Too little too late? However annoying the meerkat, Go Compare and Moneysupermarket ads are, there's an undoubted clarity of purpose to them. The new Gio-in-space and John Prescott Money Supermarket ads suggest that these memes have a lot further to run, so I thought I'd do a poll to see which are peoples' favourites of the price comparison ad wars.
Vote for your favourite at the bottom. Before you get there, here's a reminder.
Cara Confused thing
See more Confused.com adverts
See more ComparetheMarket adverts
Omid Djalili thing
See more Moneysupermarket adverts
Fat tenor thing
See more Go Compare adverts
Are there really any people like Keith, Ian and Andy out there? Three Everyblokes? The FooterBlokes? Three inoffensive, unremarkable, unfunny SleeperBlokes who can't possibly be a duo in case people think they're gay?
I find this brand of pretend Footy Banter utterly tedious, lazy, vaguely patronising and so far away from reality that they may as well be talking chickens.
See them take the piss out of one another – great banter!. See them perform inept footy tricks – top banter! Look at them over-celebrating football results – amazing banter! See them argue about football – hilarious banter! See them make up meaningless formations – legendary banter!
Needless to say it's crushingly unfunny, like any advert featuring the 'lads going to the footy' meme, but by deciding to make Keith, Ian and Andy recognisable characters we're somehow supposed to empathise with and find amusing.
But there's absolutely no reason to. They're annoying and a faintly insulting shit-sitcom archetype of 'normal blokes' who bear no relation to real lives – or real car-buyers – whatsoever.
And creating characters that a re named after the letters that make up the manufacturer's name? Really? Why was this deemed a good idea? And can we see something similar with Jaguar Land Rover?
Apparently we can follow updates from the trio on Facebook– top banter! – and no doubt hear about the imaginary content of their pies and how they got lost but the Sportage's satnav got them back on track and maybe how Keith had to stop by the side of the road to have a wee but fell over.
They are as interesting as a photocopy of a picture of Jeffrey Archer and as believable as a Premiership footballer reading Anna Karenina.
I hope their Sportage takes them to a remote part of Northumberland in seach of St James' Park. I hope they pitch up at a remote farm, where they are rendered unconscious by a psychotic hermit. And then I hope that hermit welds Keith's anus to Ian's lips and stick Andy on the end so they can inflict their own dribbling shit on each other rather than the TV-watching population.
Here's some keyword queries for AdTurds I dredged out of the Google Analytics account for last month.
They make fairly amusing - and often hair-raising - reading and , I think, a fascinating insight into what people are thinking while they're watching TV.
As an anonymous method of sharing what's on your mind - and far more anonymous than even Twitter or the like and therefore more interesting - its value to advertisers, marketers, publishers and broadcasters could be pretty significant.
However, I've just pulled out the ones that amused me or caught my attention. Sex and loathing seem to feature highly. What does that say about me?
what is the concept behind kia's new advert?
make me into a cartoon confused.com
womensucking shitted cock
go compare spotify lyrics cat getting bummed
bt adam and jane fuck off
adam and jane can fuck off
who is morgan freeman's agent
morgan freeman to sue more than
sick of autoglass adverts
whats the point of confused.com ad
dildos shaped like vegetables for sale
confused.com pulling microphone out of her vagina
jamie oliver sausages?
"larry lamb" wives
sexual violence adverts
butlins is shit
butlins is racist
fuck off rbs
what does chain reaction have to do with car insurance?
davina in rubber
davina mccall needed a poo
who is the fair haired girl in the natwest advert
canesten duo ad feeling yourself gag
redknapp hanging out the back of it
aviva dead dad
fucking halifax adverts
cheryl baker fat
boots anoying fucking here come the girls
average profile of maltesers consumers
advert where woman puts her shit in her handbag
advert with 2 fat women playing a drum
"advert * * * * her shattering"
wish kris marshall would fuck off
we buy any car for fuck all
dirty doorstep shane ritchie
direct line annoying advert walnut
confused.com advert vulgar
can a smoke sasuage be used as a dildo
can i have a cadbury's finger please brian
cadbury brown bunny racist
i hate the redknapps
i get the strangest feeling you shag turds
godfather 3 is not an old movie twee ad match.com
fucking wifes feet slipper
facts that are bad things about cadburys 'eyebrow'
ethical implication of narwhal
fat twat from envirofone ads
craig doyles cock
overrated geordie celebs
nothing's more annoying than smug bastards who say that that cheering up is easy
martine mccutcheon looks so fat in this ads
masturbatiom men and girls hen nights
last year we shaved peter the meerkat
kris marshall show your penis
jacobs creek ad cunts
jack davenport stiffy
what would david cameron look like with rubies for eyes
what does miss shit duffy mean
what car does emile heskey drive?
shane richie hair transplant wig
retarded child betty crocker adverts
richard branson is a turd
here come the sodding girls - again
you want to squeeze my buttocks together to make one juicy giant peach
why is there no oriental people in the confused.com advert?
where is the video of davina mccall and the acrobat with shit on his arse?
If you made children speak pure evil it could barely be any more hateful than this.
Even Youtube's dullard community has given this one - apparently made by someone who thought Nathan Barley an aspirational film - the thumbs down, and in spades.
Simpering brats, spoilt wretches, precocious twats, sullen teens, behatted twerps, helmet-fucking-heads. Virtually every one of these kids is made to look truly vile with the hideous words spilling out of their Benetton-via-Village-of-the-Damned global village visages.
"You'd better embed everything," growls one of them as if it's some sort of sexual threat.
"With intent!," scowls another. As if describing the way by which he's about to shove a milk bottle in an old lady's face.
Still, I much prefer them to the ones who are smiling cutely at me. They look like the Devil.
But there's more.
"We expect a double tap... on anything!"
Who. The Fuck. Wrote this drivel? I mean, really. Just try listening to it without realising that we're doomed as a race.
I challenge you to watch all the way to the end. But should you get to bit of the video at 1.03 then make sure there is someone familiar and comforting nearby, waiting with a cup of warm cocoa and the family cat. Because what you see will chill you to your smallest quark.
"There are more of us... than there are of you."
Suddenly it's not so, well, hateful. It's something else. Remember those other threats? "With intent!" "You'd better embed!"
"Don't overstep the mark... otherwise we'll block you!," intone the evil twins in surround sound. Those two are probably telekinetic.
"Mass blocks kill brands overnight."
Replace 'brands' with 'grown-ups' and it all falls into place; it all swims into terrifying, crystal clarity.
Our children are going to kill us. With ringtones and Bebo. This is the proof. They've got special skills!.
We must strike first. With fists and shovels and baseball bats.
Because the alternative is these small monsters smiling as they take a picture of your expiring corpse on their iPhone. And you just know there's going to be synergies. And the leveraging.
Dear God, the leveraging...
Hat-tip: Media 1986