I was in a chip shop recently and saw these two wonders of print advertising. They are undeniably terrible, but I like them. They're not trying to be anything other than what they are.
Namely, that means a pair of sausages being all lovey-dovey while sitting on a plate of chips; and three girls in the back of a taxi, happily sharing a dirty kebab.
In the case of the latter it's a bit silly. I doubt these girls would see a 'great night' ending with a load of reconstituted, mechanically-recovered meat - but who am I to argue?
In the case of the second there's something very old-fashioned and gauche about this. It features two anthropomorphic sausages, very much in love because, well, because they're sausages. And people love sausages.
"Love is... McWhinneys Sausages," it tells us. These sausages represent, we're told, "love at first bite". Love seems to be a common theme with McWhinneys' marketing materials. Take a look at this:
This is an advert by McWhinneys about sausages, riffing off Robert Palmer's Addicted To Love. It's called Addicted to Love - Sausage Parody. Its killer line is "Gonna have to face it; it's McWhinneys I love".
At the end of the advert a giant sausage joins the sausage-loving band. I find it hard to believe that - at the end of it all - the entire cast and crew didn't simply get down on their hands and knees and weep.
But, hey. These are a bit inept and a bit silly. But at least they're honest. At least they're not trying to annoy us. At least they're not up their own backsides. At least they're not trying to drum some crapulous mantra into our heads. At least they're simple, good, honest shit adverts.
Final thought. Sausages having sex. How does that work? Happy New Year.
ITV's Ad of the Year really is a quite remarkable conceit – a programme on a channel funded by advertising telling you how great advertising is. Interspersed with adverts.
It's fiendishly clever, in a way that the people responsible can only be baddies and must be machine-gunned to death by a 'double O' agent to make things right. That's probably unlikely to happen, so you'll have to settle for my efforts.
Ben Shepherd sells it like he's narrating a royal wedding; Lorraine Kelly does her level best to look like the stupidest person who ever existed; a parade of ad bods prove to be various shades of annoying.
The most interesting thing about all this is wondering how ITV comes up with these ads. Going through them I realised I've literally never seen about one in five of them.
I don't watch vast amounts of television, but you'd think if there were going to be adverts featured in a 'best adverts of the year' TV show, someone who blogs on adverts might have seen them.
Anyway, until we see ITV's working I think it's best if we all assume that there's some sort of financial bribery involved.
These are the top 20 best ads for 2011, according to a panel of ITV viewers. I'm with Sid Vicious when it comes to the man on the street.
The Sun - Football brought to life
Rotoscoping was invented by The Sun, apparently. Terry Venables dribbles a load of cliched footy waffle out.
"It was like an explosion but with the beauty of a dance," says Vegetables. What a load of shit.
It looks nice, but it's for vile hate-mongering filth-sheet The Sun, so it must be absolutely horrible. Go away.
Walls sausages dog thing
The dog who sounds like The Streets who apologises for useless men. Hated this from the outset.
'Behind the scenes' stuff in the ad included all sort of hideously banal details that would make you want to go out and nut a heron.
Dior - J'adore
Charlize Theron meets Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe etc. I have literally never seen this on television, so how did ITV viewers decide it was the 18th best ad of the year?
Bafflingly, the ad creators refuse to divulge how they shot the ad. Something involving time travel, presumably. I literally cannot think of any other way.
Like the concept; hate the execution. Horrible whiny-voiced band.
Love these ads; don't care what anyone says. Music is great, ambiance wonderful; oddness intact, everyone love Suggs.
Kid dances with teddies. Another ad I've literally never seen before. What gives? Arlene Philips talks about the dancing teddies on the programme. Jesus.
Corgis search for television. Literally never seen this. Lorraine Kelly think this ad 'very very good'. We get to listen to the owners of the dogs. For crying out loud.
Clothes dance. Literally never seen it. Arlene Philips lends vital – and I do mean vital – insight into what it's like to dance while dressed as a pair of trousers. The hair transplant man from a talent show was 'bowled over'.
This is a genuine classic. Razor-sharp lines that are totally on the button. Brilliant. Wonderfully pulled off. Mel Sykes basically reveals that she gets wet when this ad comes on.
The JR Hartley ad updated. Don't think this works. Not especially charming, though well done.
Heineken - the entrance
Despise this music, so can't like this advert. Yes, yes, well done.
People on the programme express amazement over the choreography. Pathetic.
Lynx - Sexy boy
Angels fall to Earth, remove halos in search of man who smells of gas. It's kinda the sort of thing that Lynx does. Whether you think that makes it brilliant probably depends on whether you read Nuts, or work in advertising. Smell is important, says Mel Sykes.
Hovis - Farmer's Race
Literally never seen this. Farmers run. Quite nice. 'Real farmers' were actually involved. Fuck me.
John Lewis - Through the ages
I genuinely don't get John Lewis adverts. They seem to work, but why? All they do is borrow good stuff from other people. Certainly there's a skill involved in picking music, but it's all such a shamelessly obvious tactic.
We're supposed to believe that everyone cries when they see these ads. Let's not overstate the case here – these are well-made ads but there's nothing novel about them.
"Brilliantly uses music," says Arlene Phillips. For the love of Christ.
Also, the ad ends with The Kooks, who are obviously fucking shit.
British Airways - The Aviators
Fuck right off. This is an absolute fucking disgrace. It's insulting. It's disingenuous. It's totally shameless. Despicable, awful, hideous. Dreadful. I'm not kidding. (Read my original post on this - the biggest wank ever wanked ).
Cancer Research UK
A powerful advert, no doubt. I like ads like this for charities that show you real lives – and show you the upside to charitable works.
Aldi Xmas adverts
Like these. Real people. In and out fast. Not too twee. Well done.
VW Darth Vader ads
Brilliant fun, really well done though I still struggle to connect the product with the ad. See if you can name the car. Bet you can't.
T-Mobile - Parking Ticket
Fake traffic wardens befriend motorists. The sort of thing that might raise a flicker of interest for four seconds during your lunch break. No doubt people in advertising will tell us how astonishingly clever this is.
I do like the actors in it though.
Cravendale - Cats with thumbs
Walking cats. Meh.
Last year I described this as drowning in warm bovril while Lorraine Kelly and Ben Shepherd coo in your ear. This year, more like a load of boardroom suits patting your fevered brow while relieving you of your wallet.
Haribo then. It had to be really, even with the incredibly strong late challenge put up by Littlewoods (undoubtedly the worst Christmas ad of the year), who couldn't really have done any more to win the title of Worst Advert of 2011 if it had executed an old man in a Santa outfit live on air.
Haribo. It sounds like it stands for something. Ha-teful Ri-talin Bo-llocks? Ha-ve R-ubberI-sed Bo-ogers? Thinking on, that seems unlikely but it may as well as far as I'm concerned, it may as well. I hate Haribo, I think the sweets are horrible. But I hate their 2011 Supermix advert more for all the same reasons. Gooey, overly sweet, artificial and indigestible.
The Drum asked Haribo exactly what they were playing at with the Supermix advert, to which they replied with the following:
“The new advert is certainly attracting a great deal of attention. We intended that it would be a fun, memorable and catchy karaoke style sing-along, which is exactly what it is.
Let's examine this statement. The advert, Haribo concedes, is attracting "a great deal of attention".
That's a fairly coy statement in relation to the torrent of hate the ad generated, including a staggering 1,849 dislikes on Youtube, dwarfing 'likes' by around six-to-one. The average ratio of likes to dislikes is around 20-to-one on video channels.
There's at least three Facebook groups set up to disparage the advert. A forum called Britain's Biggest Cunts has a section on the ad called Haribo Chewing Cunts. It certainly seems reasonable to suggest that the advert is attracting a great deal of attention.
What next? Well, agency TBC Inc says it's a "fun, memorable and catchy karaoke style sing-along". Memorable and catchy? Yup - in the same way that a particularly unpleasant dose of dysentery is memorable and easy to catch.
Karaoke-style singalong? Well, if it was a particularly hellish karaoke in a David Lynch nightmare, perhaps.
"Haribo is a family brand and we have a mass market audience and appeal, at the heart of everything we do is fun, whether that’s tongue in cheek or playful.”
At this point I could mention the allegations, levelled at Haribo, of using forced Jewish slave labour during the Second World War but that would be a bit crass, albeit quite amusing.
Does this have mass-market appeal? It's certainly on the radar of a lot of people, but whether putting out an advert that's universally despised is good marketing is a moot point (and one I've mused on before here).
What's more interesting is whether this is supposed to be "playful or tongue-in-cheek". Which is it? The former, an earnest attempt to make something 'playful'? Or the latter, a deliberate attempt to make something awful? I'm plumping for the latter as I don't believe even the most simple-minded savant could feasibly come up with something as artless as this.
What is more interesting than the ad itself is what happened to it. All of a sudden it was missing from the schedules and the previous ad – Interrogation – was back on the telly.
Did Haribo decide, all of a sudden, that their karaoke-style singalong was not just annoying the very tits off people, those tits were orbiting the Earth at a very high level of the atmosphere, as far distant from their owners as Haribo sweets are from being delicious sugary treats? Surely not something so fun and playful? Who's to say.
Suffice to say I thought it hideous - adverts that set out to put me in a bad mood frequently make me feel that way. It's nauseating, bizarre, shrill and - worst of all -affected.
Yes, I think it's the fact that this is all so arch and post-modern and deliberately inane that makes it so terrible. I thought some of this year's worst ads were more egregious on an aesthetic level - and others more misguided - but certainly this is the most purely annoying.
Don't take my word for it though - Haribo was streets ahead of its nearest competitor, in numerical terms, by the end of the vote despite duking it out with Littlewoods for a while.
AdTurds readers have spoken - and they have spoken of their displeasure at "Oh so smooth, love them soft" (an I didn't even get around to those vile pornographic subtexts).
Internet justice - the most useless, fulminating, empty, unreasoning and fleetingly-satisfying justice of all - has been delivered. Fuck you, Haribo. Fuck you all the way to Hades.
Now let us never speak of it again.
Read the original Haribo AdTurd
The rest of 2011
Littlewoods gave Haribo a great run for its money, as did Gillette, which kept falling away then regaining lost ground. I suspect that little man's voice from the latter, reverberating around living rooms, became something of a Pavlovian stimulus to many over the year.
Further down were Wonga.com - a particular dislike of mine - perennial overachievers Halifax and Marks and Spencer for its X-Factor ad. I didn't dislike the latter that much, but I thought it a terrible idea. I'm still surprised that it registered so highly though.
Confused.com's horrible adverts were next up - and then the BMW Lund one, which were probably the genuine worst adverts of the year for money, in terms of what I reckon they did for the brand.
All the others got a good few votes each, apart from Eurostar with a single vote.
'Others' - for there was the opportunity to vote for one's own bete noir - did pretty well too, with quite a few suggestions. Go Compare fared well here, as did a late run for the Argos alien sperms - along with a couple of others such as Pepsi Max that has somehow escaped me over the year.
Still, a new year and all that. I can barely wait to be irritated by an all-new crop in 2012. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Compare the Market
Head and Shoulders / Jenson Button
Cadbury Dairy Milk - The Final Countdown
Pepsi Max Office Men
Mazuma Mobile advert from March/April
Game - Babies
j20 glitter berry camp lock-in
Boots "Here Comes The Girls"
Heineken "Bassanova" Utter turd
That PlusNet fat bastard
Not a list I've compiled, this is something Campaign has done - so don't shoot the messenger and all that.
I've reproduced them below as they bear some analysis. None of the worst Xmas adverts of 2011, many of which feature celebs, made it but there's some degree of crossover with my worst ads of the year list.
1. Head & Shoulders, Jenson Button
Campaign says: "Cheesy monstrosity"
AdTurds says: Don't blame Button; blame the freeform poetry about Dandruff shampoo written by a non-English speaker.
2. BritBingo, Gavin Henson
Campaign says: "...the only way Henson could demean himself even further is if he starred in a dodgy Channel 5 reality show in which he embarked on an embarrassing search for a new girlfriend."
AdTurds says: He's the next Matt Dawson
3. Eurostar, Jarvis Cocker
Campaign says: "...a mess... random."
AdTurds says: Utter Euroballs
4. Just for Men, Luis Figo
Campaign says: "new low... cheesy spot"
AdTurds says: Love a Figo role
5. Bernard Matthews, Marco Pierre White
Campaign says: "centred on turkey"
AdTurds says: If MPW can do this for cash, he'll bum a turkey for cash
6. Flora, Vernon Kay
Campaign says: "awful"
AdTurds says: Invites the reading that Kay is now living with his mum after Tess kicked him out over TextGate. Ad should have ended with him rubbing one out to a woman's bra on his mobile.
7. Venky's, Blackburn Rovers
Campaign says:bad performances this year, but this one was the worst of the lot.
AdTurds says: Think Blackburn Rovers: Think machine-recovered chicken bits
8. Schweppes, Uma Thurman
Campaign says: "uncomfortable"
AdTurds says: Hard to believe that bending over, spreading her buttocks and saying "I love Schweppes... in al the wrong places!" would have been much more embarrassing for Thurman.
9. Very.co.uk, Diana Vickers
Campaign says: "cringe... patronising... very long time."
AdTurds says: Who?
10. Isme, Lynda Bellingham
Campaign says: "Could Bellingham stoop any lower?"
AdTurds says: Could stoop any lower? If Campaign means 'could she stoop any lower than making an inoffensive advert?' I'd say the answer is yes.
I don't think these ads were ever intended as a serious to encourage students to go to the university of Lincoln, but that doesn't stop them being very amusing.
They do riff nicely on the cheesy, corporate, shit-eating wankiness of university adverts and while the bulk of the ads themselves may not be particularly novel, the sudden jump-cuts to the dull calls-to-action - order a prospectus - are very well done. As is the sudden "they're here".
I might even have considered going to Lincoln.
For the last time this year I've trawled the AdTurds keywords from Google Analytics, which is increasingly like panning for gold in liquid shit.
For the uninitiated these are search terms used by people who ended coming to the site, so they provide a valuable insight into what people are looking for and, to an extent, what their views are.
Their views, it's safe to say, are generally negative. Obviously there's a chicken-and-egg nature to the kind of people who navigate to AdTurds, but there's devil in the longtail - those long, unwieldy, unlikely searches that reveal a lot about what people think of bad adverts.
I've jotted down the ones that caught my eye - for whatever reason - from November.
"go compare" "fuck off" - 32 instances
fuck off halifax you cunts! - 10 instances
are gay people offended by the maltesers ad?
women stalking towards the camera en masse like post-feminist zombies lusting after a scarf - my take on last year's M+S advert, appropriated by Janet Street-Porter
frankie cocozza crabs - this does not strike me as unlikely
freddie flintoff morrisons fucking idiot
is the little boy stacey solomabs real son iceland advert - several people seem to be under the impression that Stacey Solomon is called Stacey Solomabs or Shobalob
littlewoods christmas advert 2011 makes me cringe - you're not alone; at the time of writing this ad is duking it out with Haribo to be named worst ad of the year
racist littlewoods advert
sick advert advertising gravy with dancing cow
wow its bracing cunt
adverts with les ferdinand
andrew castle is a warty cunt who promotes accidents - allegedly
argos christmas advert walking sperm
argos paedophilic bieber advert - quite a few people picked up on this - an advert where the 51-year-old Caroline Quentin (as an alien sperm) openly lusts after the 17-year-old Justin Bieber (not far off a sperm himself
at homebase we've everything you need to have a wank - I find this hard to believe
awful ad version of wouldn't it be nice
barclays advert where are the man shoes from - a tough ask
big nose iceland adverts - one of several variations commenting on Stacy Solomon's appearance
boots here come the girls adverts are fucking annoying
cadburys final countdown ad bizarre sinister
can someone stop the halifax adverts - no, I've been trying for years
carey mulligan covered in jizz - no joy here either
People are disgusted by the Colman's gravy advert with a dancing gravy cow
coleman's gravy advert disgusting
colemans beef gravu advert puts you off
colemans gravy advert controversy
colemans gravy advert disturbing
colemans gravy advert horrible
colemans gravy advert terrible
colman's beef gravy advert animal rights
colmans beef gravy advert complaint
colmans beef gravy advert distasteful
colmans real meat juice gravy disgusting
complaint about new colemans advert
complaint gravy advert dancing
corsodyl advert does woman really have false tooth
direct line wank humour adverts
dishwasher with talking vagina tv commercial - I refuse to believe etc.
do you need id to buy the baileys dome gateau from iceland
does anyone else find robin brown annoying - hmm
does anyone else find the condensation outside on planitherm windows annoying - I find the Planitherm advert annoying
does anyone else hate the nandos noise?
double glazing cunts
Not sure what these are about as yet - taking a leaf out of Confused.com's book?
edf energy advert actress bouncing breasts
edf energy advert bouncy
edf energy advert tits
frankie cocozza staring into space m and s ad
A frequent entry in keywords data for this site
fuck off and die morrisons advert
fuck off halifax
fuck off i'm not talking to rice uncle ben
fuck off jamie oliver
fuck off lloyds bank
fuck off nat west
fuck off wonga app on words
fuck the boots advert
fuck the fucking x factor
fuck two bitches a day advert - I refuse to believe etc.
fuck you i'm terry wogan - I really hope Terry Wogan says this to people
fuck your adverts you cunts
fucking meerkat cunts fuck off you little twats - a sentence that might once have killed Mary Whitehouse stone dead
gravy boat craig colton - a bemusing and amusing juxtaposition
Halifax inspires dreadful anger
halifax advert choir man punch fist
halifax advert choir shit go and fuck with a cactus
halifax choir advert what utter shit
halifax choir adverts are such bollocks
halifax choir adverts terrible
halifax choir adverts the cunts
halifax choir annoying
halifax choir complaints
has your childs credit history been fucked up by wonga.com
here come the fucking cunting girls
how come stacey solomon sings driving home for christmas she's jewish
how does one complain to itv about littlewoods advert
how scary does bruce look in the morrisons advert
iceland advert she never eats anything
icelands shit on a stick
is the kid in the john lewis advert darth vader?
jenson button head and shoulders masturbating
louis walsh sperm - a disturbing search query
new argos christmas ad with pervert alien
new toys r us advert subliminal messages - it's the liminal ones that concern me
prius pussy subliminal
stacey solomon gammon? - brilliant. Three words; one question mark.
the redknapps wont be so smug now - quite chilling
the ugliest child in the world haribo advert
wanking with canesten - New BBC series?
what are fucking the women like on eharmony uk
Muller's cluster-toon-fuck is appalling readers
i don't get the muller advert - is there anything to get?
i'll fucking wowcher you you cunts - This has been rising up the charts recently
what the fuck is that muller advert about
what the fuck is that new muller ad?
what the fuck is up with the muller advert
who is the guy walking with the flowers on the halifax savers account advert 2011
who shit john lennon
who would be stupid enough to use wonga
wouldn't it be nice volkswagen commercial horrible
fusion pro glide vagina - I'm guessing the answer is 'yes if you're careful'
Confusion reigns over the M+S / X-Factor ads
why do they keep changing the m&s christmas advert
why is craig not in the m&s xfactor advert
why is frankie not on the m & s advert anymore
why is misha b last on m&s advert
why isn't johnny on the m and s advert?
Cheryl has some dubious fans
cheryl baker big tits
cheryl baker milf
cheryl baker panties
cheryl baker tits
cheryl bakers breasts
cheryl bakers fanny
cheryl tits milk
I hope it's bubonic plague.
There's a very easy - and wholly unbelievable - get-out that advertisers can use in these cases; if you find something naughty about the image then that's your look-out. Not only that, but you're a filthy pervert to boot.
I suppose, put that way, there's really nothing at all that's odd about having Nigella 'I'm shoving a banana down my throat and spraying cream over my tits' Lawson looking beatific while 'salted caramel' drips down her face at all - and the fact that it appears as if La Lawson is on the receiving end of a popular pornographic shot that's increasingly referenced in popular culture is pure coincidence.
This isn't new - look at the longstanding 'Got Milk' (Make Mine Milk in the UK) adverts. Shots of famous and beautiful women with what looks like milk smeared across their lips.
You could just about get away with claiming that there's no innuendo there, but that's rather blown out of the water by these images featuring Josie Maran squeezing a teat and spraying mile all over her smiling, open-mouthed, tongue-out face.
Not convinced? Try these Russian milk adverts from a couple of years that at least have the nerve to be honest about what's being referenced here: milk = jizz.
Enjoy your cornflakes.
NB. An incoming link to this post from a French post described Nigell thusly: Nigella, c’est la superwoman brit’ sexy, très fameuse pour ses émissions télé pleines de slurp slurp sensualité -diffusées sur CuisineTV dans notre contrée. Certains l’ont même surnommée Queen of food porn.
Sounds filthy eh?
In Roger Corman's portmanteau of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories, Masque of the Red Death, Vincent Price - as Prince Prospero - explains that his father once locked a man in a yellow room for a year to see what would happen. When Prospero was done with him the man was half-mad and unable to look at the colour yellow for the rest of his life.
Having watched eleven months of adverts that could drive the calmest man to knuckle-biting angst I know how he felt. What would happen, I wonder, if a man were made to watch price-comparison website adverts non-stop for a year? My bet would be a fate from another Poe story, namely being reduced to a puddle of foul, stinking, steaming pustulation in a matter of minutes.
2011 continued where 2010 left off, with a number of big names - chiefly price-comparison sites, financial sectors and high-street names - doing their level best to put you in a bad mood. In a marketplace where brand recognition is paramount, an advert equivalent of a hair-pull is good work.
Let's consider, for a second, the utter absurdity of price-comparison adverts. Short, aggressive messages that cost tens of millions of quid to create and distribute; designed to make us use a website that shows aggregated prices for financial services. And to make us use them they try their damnedest to make us feel angry - it's utterly barking mad by any rational standpoint. Welcome to advertising.
So it should come as no surprise that price-comparison site adverts usually constitute a significant degree of 'worst of' lists. Go Compare and Confused.com anyway. In my wholly scientific price-comparison site advert survey earlier this year readers disliked them the most. CompareTheMarket continues to show that price-comparison sites can be tolerable, enjoyable even, but the majority of ads in this pester-power genre have all the subtlety of a South London racist tram rant.
I've left Go Compare off this year - I think we can all take it as read that we hate it - and the Patrick Stewart MoneySupermarket ones haven't quite piqued my anger yet. Confused.com is, of course, because I absolutely despise it.
Alas, there's nothing we can do about any of this. You want your Corrie, your I'm A Celebrity, your X-Factor, your E4, your More 4; you pay for it. By buying Corn Flakes, Anusol, Mattesons smoked pork sausages, Muller yoghurt, KFC and Volkswagen Crafters. By submitting your details to MoneySupermarket and Go Compare; by banking with Barclays and Santander and Halifax. By doing your Xmas shop at M&S, Tesco, Iceland and Littlewoods.
You pay for these adverts to be created. You have created your very own monster. Stacey Solomon's gangbang of cheap food and families. Jamie's Oliver increasingly piggy face smirking over some brussel sprouts. Freddie Flintoff headbutting pork pies. And, lest we forget, Cara Confused pulling unfeasibly large items out of her vagina.
The only, tiny, infinitesimal thing you can do is to boycott the products of the ads you despise; an act so futile it's up there with shouting at the telly and blogging about adverts you hate.
But you can strike a blow for humanity. You can, in your own way, blow Gio Compario's brains out; throw an anvil at the Halifax choir or kick that "Wooh! Hello buddy, how's your shave?" twat up the arse forever by delivering swift internet justice.
Vote for your worst advert of the year here - and send a metaphorical horse's head to these people. It's the one chance you'll ever get to fight back. The war was lost long ago but, briefly, the boot is on the other foot. And it's a foot of righteous anger.
Deliver it to the knackers of evil - and rejoice.
The worst adverts of 2011 - shortlist
Marks and Spencer Xmas ad
An advert that is so brazen in the lie that it is telling even Tony Blair would baulk at delivering it. Honey-voiced cannon fodder line up to tell us that your dreams can comes true even as they're being edited out of the ad, week by week, as theirs die in the pages of tabloid and shopping centre ribbon-slicing Hell.
And let's not even mention Frankie...
• Read the original Marks and Spencer Adturd
VW Think Blue ad
I've never included an advert on these lists before simply because the soundtrack is so irredeemably awful. The visual concept is quite nice - albeit not exactly original - but this rendition of Wouldn't It Be Nice - a truly beautiful and lovely song - is so stomach-knottingly awful with its whiney delivery that this may be my most despised advert of the year.
• Read the original Volkswagen Adturd
British Airways' massive wank
It's possible that this advert opens up a small rip in the space/time continuum every time it's played, so up its own backside is it; like an Ouroboros serpent burrowing into its own rectum, rather than swallowing its tail.
Several people have already been sucked into some sort of existential Mobius strip, as reality struggles to orientate itself with this new level of awfulness.
An elbow to the nose of anyone who's attended Heathrow; to anyone who's been through a body scanner; to anyone who's looked forlornly at a notice board to see a row of red where their flight details should be.
• Read the original British Airways Adturd
Wonga got into trouble last year for making adverts deemed too flippant to sell an eye-wateringly high money-lending service, so what did it come back with? Three grotesque hyperannuated puppets, gurning and twitching around, explaining various 'payday loan' scenarios.
Adverts to give you nightmares, if not for the crippling APR, then the disturbing mannequins - like marionette corpses given life once more in the pursuit of selling ill-advised loans.
Would you buy money form reanimated cadavers, twitching around in their ghastly parody of their former lives? Did you know that Wonga.com actually uses reanimated corpses to staff its call centres? Of course you didn't. But you do now.
• Read the original Wonga.com Adturd
I have no inherent objection to ads that try something else; cock a snoop at received wisdom. I like Jarvis and Gondry; some of my favourite adverts are utterly batshit crazy, but this is simply idiotic. No-one knows who these three people are; two-thirds of them are hard to understand; the concept is confusing and unengaging.
The most ridiculous thing of all is that this is an advert for Eurostar that's using London 2012 as a hook. It is quite conceivable that Europeans might be lured to Eurostar by the promise of Olympic sports to the other side of the channel.
But it has exactly zero relevance to anyone in the UK - unless they're planning to fly to Paris and then get the train back to London in order to get to a lake in Slough. Just a bad, bad idea.
• Read the original Eurostar Adturd
BMW tracked to two brothers and interviewed them about their empty lives: cue instant hatred.
How could it ever have been otherwise? Everything about this advert is dripping with a smugness so cloying it's a relief when the television doesn't dissolve in a warm, self-satisfied fart and start oozing into the carpet.
The Lunds themselves may be nice people, but if BMW had made it their target to make themselves, and the brothers, look like the biggest cunts in the world they couldn't have done a better job.
• Read the original BMW / Lunds Adturd
I'm still not exactly sure what happened here? Is this the confused result of an ad simply gone very wrong? Or, more likely, an attempt at a deliberately bad advert. A bad advert so bad that it made Halifax and Go Compare look like an indoor firework compared to Haribo's Tunguska?
Are there any vile pornographic subtexts here? Almost certainly not - but that doesn't mean I'm not going to imply that there are. And it's really hideous stuff. I mean it. Sick, just sick.
Can you image if you actually, in real life, saw the events in this ad take place? The utter horror of that - your world turned totally upside down. Either you had lost your mind or, or...
The alternative is too hideous to contemplate. But I feel sure the Haribo family would start moving towards you. No smiles, dancing or singing now. Just pure, unfettered blood lust. The horrifyingly blank eyes, the hungry mouths, the chittering noise as they gnash their teeth...
• Read the original Haribo Adturd
This, on the other hand, is rather more straightforward. It's utterly hideous on a much more prosaic level; the result of a creative brief just going more and more wrong with each successive iteration.
There's a decent idea behind all of this; it looks glossy enough. But it's annoying. And it's utterly inept. Why the heck was a rap about salad included here? And why crowbar it into the ad is such an unwieldy way? "Help yourself to salad [three second pause]... all the salad that you want." Dear Christ.
I refuse to believe anyone associated with the ad was happy with this. No-one put this to bed with that sense of satisfaction of a job well done; just a weary shrug. The problems, the lack of direction, vague brief, 'the best we could do'.
I imagine the director, driving away from the shoot at a Harvester on an industrial estate near Daventry; Five Live is on but he's not listening. He misses his turning but just lights a cigarette and just drives and drives and drives...
• Read the original Harvester Adturd
Stephen Merchant always seemed like the nice one when set against Ricky Gervais, didn't he? You could imagine Ricky Gervais actually physically abusing Warwick Davies - but not Merchant.
He may not actually step in but would linger in the background, distaste writ large on his face as Gervais' high-pitched hyena-ish laugh rang out, another blow raining down on the dwarf's back.
"Come on Ricky," he'd offer, a weak smile on his lips. "That's enough now. He's had enough for one day."
Gervais would stop; his fun forgotten, for now.
"What did you say? 'Stop'? Stop what?". His voice is calm and sounds reasonable, but there's a dread stillness to him now.
Suddenly Warwick shrieks in pain as the riding crop connects; another withering blow on his lacerated buttocks.
A nervous rejoinder: "The, er, the whipping. Stop. You've gone too far." Merchant swallows hard.
"Too far? I've gone too far?" A high-pitched giggle, baring those oddly pointy teeth. "And who are you to tell me I've gone too far, you gangly Milky Bar... Cunt."
Gervais approaches, flicking the riding crop absent-mindedly, unblinking.
Merchant spots a squirrel dashing across the set and point it out, hoping it will lighten the mood.
"Squirrel there, oops, he's off," pointing at the squirrel disappearing through a door; another nervous smile.
It's not working - and he can tell Ricky is getting tumescent with the thrill of the violence that is to come.
"No, come on, you've had your fun Ricky. Let's write some more lines, eh?"
"'Write more lines'? Oh, I see. You want some of this too. Is that what you want?"
Spittle flecks the lips and Gervais is clearly nursing something that isn't vertically challenged in his pants.
"You want to talk to Mr Whippy too? I'll write some lines - across your back!"
Ricky is now pointing at Stephen's face with the fun-size whip. Stephen backs away, but Shaun Williamson grabs him from behind and holds him steady.
Gervais raises the whip above his head, Merchant knows that to struggle will only make it worse. Warwick Davies is sobbing across the room - still wearing the leather chaps and waistcoat Gervais insists on - a look on his face that says 'thankyou'.
At that second Johnny Depp enters the room, and it's as if a light has been switched on. Gervais drops the riding crop, Barry wanders off in search of cream cakes and Merchant relaxes, slightly.
He fingers the scars on his face and neck; flinching at Ricky's high-pitched whinnying. At least Warwick survived.
Once upon a time you might have looked at Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and imagined a dynamic between them a bit like that. But no more. This set of Barclays adverts are so awful I find it impossible to look at him in anything approaching a positive light any more.
I'm sure Ricky Gervais does not whip dwarves with riding crops, just as I'm sure neither man is actually evil. But whenever one of these ads comes on I think of Merchant brandishing an Ewok figurine and throwing it at Warwick Davies. Really hard. And laughing.
• Read the original Barclays Adturd
This is a genuine search query, typed into a search engine today, resulting in a visit to AdTurds:
Is there a bigger cunt on tv than the twat in the gillette pro-glide ad?
The answer to the question is 'no'.
• Read the original Gillette Adturd
...and still they come. Confused.com adverts are certainly memorable - for featuring a weird cult with massive bouncing breasts and a multi-dimensional muffed leader singing about what is understood to be a dating service.
If Brian Blessed were to shout FAIL from the moon for eight years it wouldn't be sufficient to describe this deleterious misfire.
• Read the original Confused.com Adturd
Paul Whitehouse / Aviva
Can Paul Whitehouse tapdance? Is Paul Whitehouse dead? Has Paul Whitehouse bought a house in Tuscany? These ads seem to really confuse people, who don't seem to be able to tell fiction from reality.
They confuse me too, mainly because they're so strange. They're just like Fast Show vignettes, but somehow there's a message for insurance in there too. I never really receive that message because I'm too busy writing WTF? all over my skin in felt tip.
A very unlovely, aggravating, baffling and truly weird series. In't Aviva brulliant? No, no it's not.
• Read the original Paul Whitehouse / Aviva Adturd
Quite probably taking victory at the last minute, for my money, this Christmas advert for Littlewoods is not content with simply being an entirely new shade of awful, it's killed off Santa too.
I'm not really sure why Littlewoods felt the need to dispossess children of their youthful innocence quite so abruptly and violently, but there you are. Perhaps because Santa Claus is now deemed an obstacle to accessing the true meaning of Christmas - children's pester power - to be tolerated any longer.
Perhaps they should have gone further; explaining that their parents will die one day, anything they truly love will be taken away from them and there is no God.
Start firing off Littlewoods credit cards emblazoned with 'THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT TRULY LOVES YOU' once they get to 12 months, I say.
• Read the original Littlewoods Adturd
Idiotic - if nicely shot - drivel that made 53,000 people come to this site over the course of the year to try and find what the hell was going on.
I don't have the energy to talk about it again. Suffice to say that the guy doing the voice was NOT Morgan Freeman.
• Read the original MoreThan Adturd
I always hated this song, but imagine how much more I hate it now that it's being used to advertise cow paste, using a reanimated cow skidding around on a dinner table.
I mean, at least Wonga waits until people die to use their corpses to run their UK operations, but Colmans relies on cow's being killed to make its beef gravy. That's right - a creature loses its life for this to be made possible.
That's all well and good, but there's no need to shout about it - or make a hideous, distasteful advert about it. It would be like Wonga using their bodysnatching teams on their adverts.
• Read the original Colmans AdTurd
Halifax won last year's worst advert poll with its bank-employees-as-idiotic-regional-radio-disc-jockey ads.
Having dispensed with the services of DLKW, who were responsible for the radio station adverts, it's now up to Adam & Eve to rescue Halifax's reputation; battered by poor performance as part of Lloyds and its hated ad campaigns.
This one is noticeably less egregious; it's not actually trying to cause you mental distress, which is always a bonus. The people in the choir are actual Halifax employees and they're trying to convey messages such as Halifax's Saturday opening and so on.
But still it's horribly annoying. It may be the misappropriation of the songs - I don't want my bank telling me they'll 'be there' or that I've had a 'hard days night', but it's OK 'cos the bank's open in the morning.
What next? 'It's OK not to be OK'? 'You are beautiful in ever single way way'? 'What I got you gotta get and put it in ya'?
To try and bolt such garbled messages about savings accounts and the like to these twee little ditties is simply rather grisly. It's like a door-to-door salesman spending hours cooing over your family snaps and lovely crockery, only to open his briefcase in the last ten minutes and try to sell you a 'little piece of paradise'.
You kinda wonder if all the preceding stuff is just a big pile of bullshit, don't you? And, you know what, you'd be absolutely right. Banks exist to make money from you - don't forget it.
Also, bonus hatred for the guy who does a little first pump in the bottom left-hand corner at the climax of one of the ads - for some reason not present in any of the ads on Youtube. I bet the people who made the ad would make out that it was "just something he did on the day" and that they "decided to leave it in".
Lucky that he was positioned in one of the two places that would be really noticeable, then, eh?
Now vote for your most hated ad of 2011
You've seen the candidates - now you have to pick one. And only one, mind. None of this multiple voting shit. I know it's hard. You may have to think long and hard and about - agonise over whether your vote goes to Wonga, Littlewoods, Barclays or one of the others.
Either that or clear your cookies and vote again.