AdTurds was three recently, so I thought I’d better mark the occasion. I thought about mocking up an award of an actual turd – yer genuine Dirty Fido – and sticking it on a plinth, then going to the headquarters of not just the creative agencies, but the companies in question and presenting them there with a gong for making the worst TV adverts ever.
Then I realised I didn’t have the time, money, inclination or Channel 4 camera crew – to follow me around filming me failing to gain access to even the lift of those outfits before being ejected by security – to make such an endeavour worthwhile.
So I created an overview of the worst tv adverts that have been on the television since AdTurds hit the web. The ones that infuriate me; the ones I think are kinda despicable; the ones I simply think are total shit.
These are they. Feel free to add any you think I’ve missed. But they must be the absolute nadir. The ones that have you reaching for the remote, for ear plugs, for that loaded Smith and Wesson you just know is in your desk upstairs, next to the half-empty bottle of scotch…
The worst tv adverts ever
The motherload. A series of adverts pulling every trick out of the bag – including what appears to be sexual molestation in its most recent ad – to make you sad, angry or possibly even dead.
The CIA used to blast horrible noises – rabbits being tortured and the like – at South American socialists; understanding that hideous, repetitive noises can be useful in driving people legitimately out of their minds.
It revived that trick when torturing Guantanamo detainees, using a mindless nursery rhyme to send prisoners round the bend until they started babbling a load of made-up nonsense just to make it stop.
That’s what Confused.com does with its adverts. Only there is no end to it. If you use their service the adverts do not stop. Imagine being tortured. Imagine that, in an effort to make the torture stop you complied with the wishes of those inflicting pain on you. And then imagine that they keep torturing you anyway.
That’s what Confused.com does with its adverts. They may be non-lethal weapons. But have you ever taken a Taser hit? They’re non-lethal too.
Read the collected Confused.com AdTurds
Worst TV adverts ever
The original in the mind-drilling adverts that have exploded over the last ten years. Barry Scott. What a cunt.
Read the original Cillit Bang AdTurds
We Buy Any Car
Needless to say, this is an advert on a parallel with a binbag full of festering food remains and cat litter tray content bursting all over your freshly hoovered and washed kitchen floor. Then you fall over in the shit, get some in your eyes and mouth; stand up; slip on it again; bash your head on the corner of a work surface and die.
It’s all of that. But I think it’s how awful WeBuyAnyCar is in other respects that elevates it so:
Read the original WeBuyAnyCar AdTurd
Duffy Coke ad
An advert so ill-conceived, so smug, so meaningless and so utterly dire that it killed Duffy’s career stone dead.
In fact it was so bad that the fallout also killed Keith Duffy’s career stone dead – and he had nothing to do with it.
Read the original Duffy Coke AdTurd
Try-hard stupidity tooth-rot misadventure.
BMW has a little bit of a brand problem – the public think they’re cars bought by dicks. And while that may not be true it’s not something you want to court. Why, then, show off two people who seem photo-fit descriptions of the word ‘dick’, smugging on about their brilliant lives?
A quite astonishing brand misfire.
Read the original BMW Lunds AdTurd
Bad for a long, long time now – but who was your least favourite front person? Katona? Biggins? Donovan? Or Stacey Solomabs (as she’s know by several AdTurds readers)?
For me Donovan was the front-man for the most offensive of the lot – an insane trip-fuelled odyssey through a nightmarish Lynchian world that provided an insight into what it might be like to experience a particularly vicious acid-induced mania. Genuinely hellish.
Read the original Iceland / Donovan AdTurd
Kris Marshall never seemed a particularly charming feller to me – before the BT adverts he was chiefly known as a man who played an absolute bell-end in vile sitcom My Family. So, what better person to front your new, decades-long TV ad campaign?
Not only is the unlovely Marshall fronting these ads – he’s pitched into a baffling, awkward step-family situation that someone at an ad agency obviously thought would be a neat reaction to the decline of the nuclear family. The end result is an advert that even nuns despise.
Read the original BT AdTurd
This is another company that I have a beef with, for what it does as well as how awful its adverts are. Hyper superannuated LOL! puppets playing techno and saying stupid things go some way to highlighting Wonga’s target demographic.
Depressing all round.
Read the original Wonga.com AdTurd
Fuck off you knob-ends.
Read the original British Airways AdTurds
Has anyone, anywhere ever welcomed someone noisily and aggressively interrupting a quiet moment that requires some level of concentration? The shock itself of a sudden loud noise, coupled with a group of people rushing towards you is enough to drive one to unthinking violence. But then it gets far worse – a little turd starts patronising you about your grooming rituals.
I’d like to see other private moments interrupted in this way in adverts. Perhaps someone on the bog, cracking one out in a shower – or balls deep in the missus perhaps?
“Woo! Hello buddy – how’s your sex? Have you heard of Yorkshire Tea?”
Read the original Gillette Proglide AdTurd
It might be because Barclays spends so much time on making its rich clients even richer by locating arcane and unlikely tax loopholes that mean these people – people who have so much cash they literally shit it – can avoid paying taxes. Taxes spent on things like, oh, the NHS, schools and Portcullis House fig trees.
But it could also be these adverts, voiced by Stephen Merchant, that have been making people groan with the sort of nausea one associates with a migraine. The unwelcome, undeserved smugness of someone who doesn’t know everyone hates them – precisely for being smug.
Read the original Barclays / Merchant AdTurd
The mullet, the shouting, the grin. Someone is going to Hell for this – with any luck the bloke in the adverts. Truly one of the worst tv adverts ever.
Read the original Safestyle AdTurd
Cut almost from the same cloth is VanCompare’s pitiful effort from a couple of years ago – the original write-up of which resulted in a torrent of hilarious abuse from idiot Sweet fans.
I made it up with VanCompare’s CEO in the end – but this effort featuring The Sweet’s Andy Scott remains possibly the most inept advert to grace TV screens for some decades.
Read the original VanCompare AdTurd
Halifax has been annoying you for at least ten years now, first with its idiotic staff karaoke, then with its quite hideous radio station series.
Halifax has dialled it back to a mere ten from that high point, but its choir adverts remain a thorn in the side of any sane TV viewers.
NB. This advert – of all the adverts on this site – is the one most frequently associated with the word ‘kill’ in comments and search queries.
Read the original Halifax Isa Isa Baby AdTurd
In the same way that air-raid sirens once signalled imminent disaster, the rat-a-tat-tat beat of Here Come The Girls now heralds one of the most debilitating series of adverts to ever grace television. Stick on a tin hat, head down to the Anderson shelter and await faceless death from above.
Watch the original Boots AdTurd
Killing Santa and replacing him with a credit card. Genuinely nasty.
Now give me your worst tv adverts ever
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