"Why is Marmite so expensive?," I found myself wondering
Brands can learn a lot form social media about Johnny Public sees them. And I have no doubt that most of them have someone dedicated to trawling Twitter, Facebook and Google Analytics for a steer on their public profile. But there's another fascinating and accessible source if information on your brand - or anyone else's for that matter.
It's Google's Autocomplete functionality that suggests searches based on what you're typing into the search field. It's very simple. If it looks like you're going to type 'why is the sky blue' Google will start suggesting possibilities based on what it looks like you're going to write - and other people's popular searches, perhaps with an added dash of my search history.
For instance, if I type in 'why is the sky blue' on Google I get the following suggestions - note how it adapts to each new letter.
There's an algorithm powering these results that's probably different for every user in every location - but fundamentally it's populated by what people are usually searching for when they type those first few letter. Google seems to have a little fun, however, there's always at least one weird result in there when you start typing. I can't begin to fathom 'why is the rum gone', for example.
Things can also get weird at early stages of other searches. Typing in the words 'why is my' always seems to result in some sort of variation of a query asking why shit or piss is a certain colour. Presumably someone types this stuff into a Google search bar somewhere. Who knew that so many people were so concerned about the colour of their bodily waste? Maybe there's a future spot for Andrex to investigate.
Anyway, I've long mulled the possibilities this insight into searches lends. As I've said elsewhere, people don't lie to search engines in ways they do lie to themselves or other people - so it's the closest to reading other people's minds you'll ever get. But it's also valuable in ascertaining what people think of other people, places, things - and brands.
Mrs AdTurds came back from her daily toil with news of a recent purchase - one of those massive jars of Marmite. She's a massive fan of Marmite - as am I - I even bought her a personalised jar for Christmas - but I found myself pondering why Marmite is so expensive. It is, after all, essentially the stuff that's scraped out of fermentation vessels - a salty byproduct of making beer. Is appears I'm not alone in wondering this, given Google's automatic suggestions.
It might have some uses if you're one of those people who works in brand perception. Fundamentally though there's some fun to be had with stuff like this, as an insight into what makes people tick. I've discerned, for example, that some people believe Marmite will go well with prawns, chicken or even porridge, though 'marmite with ulcers' is a worrying one.
Apparently Nigella Lawson suggests you make a dish called Spaghetti with Marmite - and Marmite Butter. Heston has his Marmite Consomme; Jamie has Marmite Popcorn; the Hairy Bikers cheese and marmite tarts. Oh, all of them are easily findable on the web if you know what you're looking for, but simply by typing 'Marmite' and whatever variation of keywords you're interested in can unearth some gems. My suggestion? Use with some leftover pastry and cheese to make some supercharged cheese straws.
Needless to say lots of people are confused by Marmite, many hate it and even more love it. And apparently you can buy knickers with Marmite on them - imagine wrestling the trousers off a beau to find them staring at you.
Anyway, here's some Marmite adverts from times gone by. I've always been a mark for Marmite but even if I weren't you've got to hand it to a company that acknowledges and even plays up the fact that a lot of people loathe it. Bit like George Osborne really.
People lie about how they feel about things - the things they love and hate. The things they don't know or simply don't understand. The things they'd like to do with with their genitals - and to whom they'd like to do things. And, by and large, it's impossible to know what people really think. People lie to other humans, to themselves. But they don't lie to search engines.
That's why the search queries that I can cull from Google Analytics amount to a treasure trove of fascinating, if ultimately useless, information. They are the purest form of what people are thinking about: about celebrities, brands and the things with which they're bombarded every day. About Tesco, GoCompare, Andrex, Toyota, Virgin -and Cheryl Baker. No-one else has access to this information and - quite probably - no-one else would scan through tens of thousands of the phrases people typed into their search engines before arriving on AdTurds.
Oh it's self-selecting to a point - it should come as little surprise that most of the people arriving on this site also dislike adverts. It's very chicken-and-egg. But there's a definite value to this stuff. It's like finding the most intimate confessions of someone I'll never meet - some of the confessions here are worrying, startling or simply sad (why do all adverts make me feel sick inside?) - and it's a crowd-source on a massive scale.
Dip into the queries below and gain a snapshot of the minds of the people you see in the street every day. The man on the tube; that woman in the shop; everyone in the pub. There are tens of thousands of people powering this list. Angry people, frustrated people, confused people, randy people. You and me. Or, if you're Gladstone Brookes, you and I.
Who the hell are these people? They're us, that's all.
Brands, adverts and reactions
The queries pertaining to brands that I thought were significant in some way follow below. It goes without saying there are many thousands of queries along the lines of 'X is shit' and 'I hate Y'. For one of many reasons, these are the ones I thought were meaningful, interesting or just funny.
Christmas 2015's most annoying noise.
-who is singing on that fucking irritating aldi christmas ad?
-annoying voice on girl in aldi ad
More plaintive appeals for Andrex to just stop making adverts.
-andrex clean awful stop
-andrex clean as adverts awful
-annoying andrex advert fake laughing
-the terrible andrex toilet advert how clean etc awful advert
People appear to be discovering the hard way that Andrex Washlets are not flushable.
-Andrex washlets do not flush
-andrex washlets do not flush
-andrex wet wipes block drains
-andrex washlets safe for plumbing?
'Chav' can hardly be an association to aspire to if you're a brand.
-asda chav adverts hey hey hey
-asda chavvy christmas advert
A rather surprisingly strong reaction to the Barclays life skills adverts. More proof for me that people increasingly distrust their banks - and with good reason.
-barclays life skills patronising
-barclays life skills annoying
-barclays life skills offensive
-barclays new digital eagle adverts are dangerous
-bt bastard wanker cunt fucking shit streaks
Unsure how or why, but Cheryl Baker is extremely popular among AdTurds readers.
-cheryl bakers tits
-chery baker pussy
-cheryl baker boob slip
-cheryl baker nipples
-cheryl baker nips
-cheryl baker nude pictures
-cheryl baker still so sexy
-who is the horrible little man in cillit bang adverts?
Clean Bandit, astonishingly, did not win the worst advert of the year gong. But they may as well have.
clean bandit annoying advert
clean bandit are annoying
clean bandit are shit
clean bandit bad advert
clean bandit cortana ad worst ad ever
clean bandit cortana embarrassing
clean bandit cringe
clean bandit embarrassing advert
clean bandit hate
clean bandit lurpak kitchen
clean bandit microsoft fail
clean bandit posh cunts
clean bandit posh tossers
clean bandit shit advert
clean bandit worst advert
cortana is a shit
Brian from Confused.com is a little less popular
-kill brian confused. please kill brian he’s a twat
-i fucking hate brian from confused.com ad
There seems to be an alternative life to Creme Eggs, of which I’m not aware.
-creme egg bum
-creme egg in bum
-creme egg up bum
I don't suppose Ed Sheeran considers himself mediocre, but it's clear I'm not the only one.
-ed sheeran happy with being mediocre
Safe to say there’s not a lot of love for First4Lawyers
People really despise Gladstone Brookes. But they hate the ‘you and I’ grammatical faux-pas even more.
-gladstone brookes ad patronising bullying insulting
-gladstone brookes advert ppi robbery
-gladstone brookes are rubbish
-gladstone brookes insulting advert
-gladstone brookes poor grammar
-gladstone brookes shameless actor
-gladstone brooks sold to people like you and i
-gladstone brookes advert grammar
I stopped writing about stuff like GoCompare ages ago. Frankly there's nothing left to say about them. But it didn't stop readers being angry that Gio Compario has made his presence felt again, with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.
-why the fuck have gocompare.com brought back the annoying opera singer
-why have they brought back fat cunt gocompare
That banks are sinister and patronising is not news to me. 2015 seemed to be the year when most people realised this.
-hsbc pink ladies advert sinister
-hsbc advert pink ladies patronising
-janet street porter is a twat
People really fell out of love with John Lewis, judging by this year’s batch of search engine queries. Among hundreds of ‘i hate’ and ‘terrible’ queries, these caught my eye.
-john lewis advert psychology
-john lewis advert rubbish
-john lewis advert shit
-john lewis christmas 2015 ad annoying
-john lewis christmas advert 2015 creepy
-why is the john lewis advert so depressing?
-why does the woman in the maltesers advert get stuck to the chair
-why does he not blow his nose at the end of meerkat advert
-who is the snooker playing actor in mcdonalds parallel lives advert
Muller is that bloke at a party doing stupid voices and being a bit of a twat.
-muller advert trying too hard to be funny
-why does nicole scherzinger always get yogurt on her nose in the ads
-why does nicole scherzinger end up with yogurt on her nose
-why does nicole sherzinger keep falling over in muller adverts
Bafflement greets the arrival of a new Oak Furniture Land advert if these queries are anything to go by.
-oak furniture land is it the same as world of furniture
-oak furniture land advert who's the girl with those legs in the tangerine dress
-oak furniture land advert adds up to what
-who are those two wankers on that oak furniture advert
The amount of searches to do with the Redknapps indicates what a remarkable advertising franchise they've become.
-louise rednap looks horrible on tha wilkinson sword advert
-louise thick and stupid
-is louise redknapp in the gillette advert
-are the redknapps in the latest secret escapes advert
-is louise redknapp in the seven seas advert
-is louise redknapp on wilkinson sword advert
-jamie redknapp thomas cook
-louise redknapp doing razor advert what advert did she do before
Live by the sword; die by the sword.
-who is the little bald headed idiot in the safe style advert
-who’s the mouthy gug on the safe style uk advert
The amount of horribly negative searches regarding the latest set of Tesco adverts is quite extraordinary, though unsurprising. Tesco's latest set of adverts ran away with the worst advert of the year poll. These were my favourite among thousands.
-tesco lower middle class advert
-that wee fanny on the tesco ads
-tescos learning disability advert
Toyota have no-one to blame but themselves for this.
-go fun yourself complaints
-toyota advert go fuck yourself
Another advert I must have missed.
-trivago dog sex advert
Amongst other things...
-uncle bens advert grease looks like dildos
The Virgin 'Girl On Fire' advert was the third most-hated advert of the year for AdTurds readers.
-virgin advert creepy ginger
This advert obviously passed me by.
-vodafone 4g girl orgasm new advert live life
-vodafone 4g orgasm advert
-who is the idiot on the winner bingo advert and can we get rid of him
-who is the idiot on winner bingo
-who is the idiot on winner bingo advert
The Semantic Web
This section is largely about the conversational way people interact with their search engines - and the very bemusing, amusing and troubling things they ask of them.
A few queries I'm able to assist with.
-can you flush andrex wipes (answer is no)
-dave money supermarket advert is that his bum (answer is yes)
-is rob brydon in the tesco advert (answer is no)
-morgan freeman skittles (answer is no)
-so money supermarket advert cast is the old lady in pink janet street porter (answer is no)
-what does never knowingly undersold mean (no-one knows)
-am i the only one thinks the edf mascot looks like a poo (no)
-who is the idiot in the current tesco advert (Will Close)
-blow job in confused.com advert (yes)
- boots here comes the girls ad why has it stopped (because it’s fucking hideous)
- vegan and sperm (a matter of personal ethics, apparently)
-what company makes these horrible haribo sweets (Haribo)
Things people want to know, for reasons not obviously apparent.
-how can gladstone brookes you and i advert still be running
-how do they make paul whitehouse appearance in the arriva advert
-how do u describe bad adverts
-how do you turn fossilised oak into furniture
-how gay are the oak furniture land commercials?
-how many customers put off by money supermarket advert
-how much commission does gladstone brookes take
-how much did gok get paid for the activia adverts
-how much did it cost to make the cillit bang advert
-how much did sharon get for money supermarket advert
-how much did the m&s christmas advert 2013 cost
-how much do gladstone brookes spend on advertising on tv per annum
-how much does bt pay the guys who do the 118 118 advert
-how much does jessica ennis earn from santander adverts
-how much does michael parkinson get everytime they show that stupid sun life advert
-how much money paid m & s to clean bandit
-how old is the son portrayed in new tesco ads
Confessions, declarations, appeals for help...
-i am a cunt for the national lottery
-i am sick of the advert for galaxy phone sick of annoying singing
-i don get the cheese string commercial
-i dont understand the hsbc advert
-i dont want to sound like some twat off the bbc
-i fucking hate perfume adverts
-i fucking hate the fruit bowl advert
-i hate 118-118.com ads
-i hate andrew castle
-i hate andrex advert
-i hate barclay card ad
-i hate expedia advert
-i hate haribo ads
-i hate haribo inner child advert
-i hate john lewis
-i hate john lewis advert
-i hate lidl adverts
-i hate money supermarket ads
-i hate oak furniture land adverts
-i hate sensodyne commercials
-i hate sponsored tv ads
-i hate that gala bingo advert
-i hate that tesco advert with family
-i hate the 118 guys
-i hate the advert for actipatch
-i hate the asda advert
-i hate the confused.com advert
-i hate the gladstone brooks advert
-i hate the new andrex advert
-i hate the new direct line ad
-i hate the new matesers advert uk
-i hate the no 7 adverts
-i hate the oak furniture adverts
-i hate the plenty advert
-i hate the secret escapes advert
-i hate the slag she name skye the slut mole thing lyrics skye sucks dogs dicks slag bag slut song
-i hate the tesco family
-i hate the voice on confused.com
-i hate toothpaste adverts
-i hate trivago advert
-i hate vodafone advert
-i hate wonga adverts
-i hate you cortana
-i hate zingy
-i m a pilchard bernard matthews advert
-i’m as dumb as a fucking shrimp advert
More questions apparently asked of Google's algorithm.
-is alexander the meerkat gay
-is andrew castle a tory ?
-is anyone else sick to death of scott clark toyota tv commercial
-is bear grylls a psychopath
-is cadbury world shit
-is compare dot com going to bring back oleg
-is gok wan's mum in tv ad with him for yogurt
-is his arse inhunted in the supermarket .com advert
-is iceland advert lily allen
-is it just me or does david cameron look like a cunt
-is it me or are the supermarkets just taking the piss?
-is it true that the oil that is vanishing the condom is bio-oil
-is jacamo for fat people
-is janet street porter a psychopath
-is janet street porter a sociopath
-is mark watts who is in the halifax ad an actor what has he been in
-is nick knight ex cricketer married with kids
-is rob brydon a cunt?
-is sergei the meerkat gay
-is tescos christmas advert the worst
-is the actors in the oak furniture related
-is the edf mascot a shit
-is the lexus oragami cat advert the stupidist advert ever?
-is the man of the save money on your car insurance advert a man, a girl or a mixed
-is the moneysupermarket ad mans bum for real
-is the new morrisons advert grammatically incorrect
-is the person in the kia ad an actual chef
One of mine
It pleases me on some level that people remember phrases I’ve written
The way that people are starting use the Google voice interface brings terrible visions of rooms of people having conversations with their phones. The idea that even Google is able to assist with queries such as this one boggles the mind.
-ok google show me the money supermarket advert with harry redknapp's face instead
I have no idea how these people ended up on AdTurds - or what they were on about in the first place.
-why is the black guys bum going round in easyjet happy bum
-fuck off and die you pathetic bastards with your bucket lists
-advert daz with shane ritchie in dronfield chesterfield acer help
-advert shouting gammon
-advert where the man is rubbing himself
-bearded idiot on alpen advert
-ben fogle wanker
-blonde in halfords ad fixing a bike while rider shaves his leg
-cameron farting advert
-christopher biggins twat cunt shit tory
-davina mccall saying cunt
-do ginger women make a better shag
-gravy advert old people pregnant
-halfords adverts on dave foreign man sulphuric acid
-iceland advert two women with big shoes
-injury lawyers 4 u cunt adverts
-letter of uncle specially meant for uncle glegg thanking him for trying to lighten up a serious moment
-macdonald advert featuring a burger vagina
-marco pierre white looks psychopathic in the knorr ad
-most annoying advert stupid woman pulls tablecloth and nothing lands on her
-ross kemp sausage advert
-tv always showing fucky whisper stayfree ads, we hate it
-v sign gesture with two fingers at the mouth for oral sex piss take and mouth funny granny doing it in style
-women poo gas voice
-www. piss clean betty .co uk
Things we learned
People think Ben Miller is Rob Brydon; people were really freaked out by the Freeview adverts; people think Sergei and Aleksandr are gay; people still don’t know what John Lewis’ slogan means; people still don’t understand what the EDF Energy mascot is.
-who plays son with rob brydon advert
-just had a strange break into the adverts - a robot stating you must conform, you must upgrade
-aleksandr orlov and sergei are a gay couple
-what is never knowingly undersold
-what is the energy poo called?
Not only can I not answer these questions, neither can any search engine - and possibly no-one in the entire world ever…
-are the goats in the hsbc ad really up the tree
-why have they removed nose blow at end of latest comparethe meerkat advert
-andrex advert how can you be clean if you haven't washed?
-andrex washlets for anal itching
-can i poop in my saniflo
-can u tell me if the compare insurance.com is still going 2 use the meercat in their new insurance adverts now the baby oleg adverts have finished now
-can the wowcher adverts please just fuck off?
-does shane ritchie wear a wig
-does sian lloyd like big cocks
-explanation of the literal and figurative meaning of the colgate skull toothpaste image
-fucking hell just give me the damn number for smart fry verne road
-go compare insurance use a northern soul record in there latest advert can you tell me what it is called please
-how can you tell if the advert is good or bad?
-in the hsbc pink ladies advert how much did the asian girl get
-just for men advert is he or isnt he
-just how obnoxious is cameron's bile?
-there was an advert today after the rugby world cup match for vodafone, what was the dog in it? oct 24th
-what does yoghurt on nose mean in adverts
-what is food on plate in kia advert
-what is name of advertising duck in edf energy commercial
-what is the weird bird person on channel 4
-whats happened to the fire brigade horses in the lloyd bank advert
-whats with barry scotts teeth
-why are proenamel toothpaste adverts on an angle
You’re on the wrong website
Naughty people and their naughty browser histories.
-dawn porter naked
-photos of ginger women's arseholes
-boy fuck cow real in youtube com
-blonde whore gets bukkake on her ass
-british uk surprise cumshots
-cartoon slut eaten out by old dude
-coronation street all the male actors are ugly twats
-cute redhead sucks cock in an ambulance
-fuck davina mccall ass
-melissa's twat & butt are open for alex and johnny
-pile of thick manure porn
-scummy slag forces her man to anal
-shiny red knob jerking off
-show pics of fat old shrivelled wrinkled prostitutes fucking der veri old pussies
-spandau ballet linen jockstrap
-uk milfs xmas fucking
-uk women talking about their cunts porn
-uppity cunts need a blast of baby batter in their smug faces now and then!
-valarie singleton tits
-videos of fat twins fucking each other on youtube
-village womemens nipple pressing hardly and fucking hardly on youtube
-women sucking vegetables
-fleur east wank
You’re doing it wrong
Some queries I can’t help with, rendered even more baffling and amusing by their misspelling
-a small boy pouring love into the bowel on bakers biscuits advert
-how can shampoo give you organisms?
A search engine is not a confessional, nor an oracle. Yet people seem to use it as such. These people typed the following phrases into a search engine, presumably in the hope of finding an answer of some sort to their anguish. They found AdTurds. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.
-stop putting bastard adverts on my tablet when l am trying to look at someone i sm interested in l am absolutely sick of adverts on the tv now on my samsung tablet , l absolutely hate bastard adverts and if i continue to get them on my samsung tablet, as well as the tv l will no longer use my samsung tablet.
-what does it mean when your boyfriend takes the piss out of u when ask him the bacon is out of date and takes the bank cards of u and the money and blackmails u if he does not wach pon he got some way else
-i hate the slag she name skye the slut mole thing lyrics skye sucks dogs dicks slag bag slut song
-i fucking hate this fucking stupid cunting bitch sitting opposite me i want her to go and fuck off and die!
Basically a touchstone for everything that happens on this blog.
-why do all adverts make me feel sick inside?