AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

10Nov/171

2017 John Lewis Christmas Advert: Moz The Monster

So Elbow have graduated to John Lewis Christmas advert levels of fame, loveableness and National Treasure status. They're doing a cover of The Beatles' Golden Slumbers in the latest version of John Lewis' festiva Agent Orange assault on Britain's airwaves, involving a blue monster called Moz who oh who gives a flying fuck.

I'll be honest with you, I'm losing this battle. Every year I come up with a new mode of attack on the John Lewis Christmas advert and every year they remain impassive - and then go ahead with another multi-million-spunking, heartstring-tugging bottom-lip trembler of an advert whose rough notation goes SAD-SAD-HAPPY-BUY AN EXPENSIVE BAR OF SOAP FOR SOMEONE YOU DON'T REALLY LIKE.

John Lewis Christmas Advert: Moz The Monster

It's like someone smiling as you insult them, someone impervious to your irritation who keeps doing something irritating, a zombie that doesn't know it's dead. Every year John Lewis rises, yawning from its annual January - November dormancy and farts another 120 seconds of vastly expensive guff into the Twittersphere.

"Oh it's just a bit of fun," you say. No it isn't. It's a wholly predictable photocopy of last year's effort that only garners attention because the concept of John Lewis Christmas advert has generated a momentum of its own, giving lazy journos, hapless vloggers and doomed bloggers something to write about when they should be doing something more fruitful, exciting, life-affirming. Hell, just something.

None of this could happen without social media because, frankly, adverts just aren't that exciting, interesting or noteworthy. But Twitter and Facebook are full of people sharing the new John Lewis ad. Why? It's a genuine question. Just ruminate on that for a second. Habit, tradition or - more likely - obedience.

Share this stuff, some massive brand says. And we share it. I find that sinister and the full ramifications of this have become clear in the last two years when it's become very clear that it's extremely easy to motivate people to share your messages for lots of different reasons.

Give someone a message, a short video or a meme to share that gives them feels and you're laughing, whether your ultimate goal is to encourage them to buy an expensive pepper grinder or, say, propagate racial hatred.

So I blame John Lewis for its small part in demonstrating to lunatics, fascists and racists how easy people are on social media to manipulate.

Here's a tweet from Kate Lawler, someone who is most famous to me for being on Big brother in 1973, where she dutifully hashtags and @s the living shit of the new ad.

Is she being paid for this. And if not, why is she sharing this crap?

And newspapers. Newspaper promoting free advertising that ensures they won't get a cut of any of that advertising cash in the hope that the clicks and bumper ads they stick in front of the John Lewis ad somehow makes up for the fact they're slitting their own throats. Thank God we have the newspapers and their desperate, breathless cheerleading for a company that has learned to bypass them completely.

The whole thing has become almost cultish. A refusal to join in with the Christmas Spirit - now indicated by John Lewis firing a starting pistol (probably costing £199) - reminds me a little of the fury directed at those who choose not to wear a poppy, for wholly legitimate reasons.

For me the arrival of the John Lewis Christmas Advert is a totem for easily led people are - and how willing to submit themselves to groupthink they are. But let's not worry about that, there's a John Lewis advert to be shared.

Tagged as: 1 Comment
9Nov/1712

TUI Ain’t Nobody Advert

tui advert ain't nobody

Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? I mean no-one ever liked Thomson that much - holiday companies aren't fundamentally loveable things - but this TUI advert heralds a rebrand gone so hideously and immediately wrong it's not so much a shot in the foot but detonating a small thermonuclear device in your own face.

That name eh? TUI, a piece of meaningless pan-European blah that seems designed simply to irk people (compare with Opal Fruits / Starburst) and has no resonance with anyone in Britain - apart from the intense hatred it has instantaneously generated.

I'm not generally a fan of rebrands - instigated in neatly every case by some arsehole who wants to put his or her stamp on a company and demonstrate to their superiors that they can Get Things Done to the annoyance of virtually everyone. And for every success story such as Dave (previously a mishmash of meaningless alphanumericals) there's a Consignia: a pointless Latin-ish retitling for no reason that seems hellbent on shedding any positive associations and replacing them with apathy or outright hostility.

Consignia was, of course, previously Royal Mail and spent a few years labouring under the quite hideous name before another expensive rebrand was probably commissioned so that someone could earn a million quid by suggesting a return to Royal Mail.

Little chance of a return to Thomson I expect as multinationals seem determined to believe members of the general public are completely unable to comprehend one company being owned by another. So we have to have a rebrand. And what an utter turd it is.

First of the very sound of TUI is just smug. And the whole thing of making an abbreviation into a noise just seems so pleased with itself. Not to mention the caps. In fact, I'm never going to cap up the brand ever again. It's either tui or T.U.I. Also tui rhymes with pooey, gooey - nothing you'd want to be associated with, which is exactly what will happen when disgruntled customers start cropping up on your social media feeds.

As for the advert itself, dear Lord. Let me count the ways I hate it:

• A tui production. Fuck off.

• That humming. Fuck RIGHT off.

• That piano. You're taking the fucking piss now.

• The winsome average-unthreatening-voice-with-little-vibrato-trill that always sounds like it's going to break into a laugh so beloved of people who create adverts. It must be the smuggest noise ever invented and it's more unwelcome in my home than Andrea Leadsom.

• Ain't Nobody. Chaka Khan is amazing. The LL Cool J version is amazing. This stinks like shit.

• No we can't get you there any quicker you fucking weirdo, you're on an aeroplane.

• CGI dancing crabs. May be small beer to you but mass tourism is one of the greatest enemies of plant and animal life going right now. "Ain't nobody - destroys ecosystems like you," more like.

• The mass dance at the end like it's a sodding musical. Just stop.

• We dot the Is, cross the Ts and put U in the middle. Right, you're for it now...

• Discover my smile? I've become very well acquainted with my frown as a result of your horrible advert.

• How about another two weeks? Is that all you've got after that 90 seconds of 'will this do' boilerplate crap?

tui, there certainly ain't nobody who can fuck up a rebrand like you. I'm going out a limb given there are several weeks to go but I'm fairly sure you've just sewn up 2017's worst advert of the year gong. Some going for a company that's about two weeks old.

Tagged as: , 12 Comments

Hate adverts?

This is the one chance you’ll ever get to fight back against terrible adverts. For once, the boot can be on the other foot. Deliver it to the knackers of evil – and hit the buttons below.

Still here?

You should definitely sign up below. Every extra follower makes Gladstone Brookes unhappy.