AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

12May/180

Halifax Wizard Of Oz Advert

Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert

I've been hearing from you in your droves. The AdTurds postbag is positively throbbing with anger at the new Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert, CGIing a camp Halifax mortgage chap into The Wizard Of Fucking Oz and abusing its 'There's No Place Like Home' catchphrase like a racist brandishing a Union Flag.

The new Halifax advert seems to have caught people genuinely off-guard. Sure the Top Cat and Flintstones adverts were annoying but I'm not sure there's quite the emotional connection or sense of desecration. Hacking up The Wizard Of Oz to flog mortgages for the banking equivalent of Home Bargains seems a bit like getting Mary Berry to strut around as a ring girl at Connor McGregor's next fight.

It's not news that Halifax adverts are among the worst on television - their record over the last 20 years has been worse than Val Kilmer's film career. Remember the ones where they ran a radio station (Isa Isa baby)? What about the Halifax choir?

top cat halifax advert

This latest set of children's entertainment rip-offs seemed to confirm Halifax's view of itself as the Crazy Gang of the banking sector, but why would anyone want to entrust their money to a zany bank?

Fred Flintstone wants to switch bank accounts. Top Cat can't get a mortgage anywhere else on the high street. Why? I dunno. Why Harambe? Because we can, seems to be Halifax's response.

And now we have a Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert, where Dorothy and her unlikely back-up squad. Halifax approves mortgages for tinmen, scarecrows and even lions, apparently, in what appears to be a grossly irresponsible lending policy. No wonder Britain is mortgaged up to the hilt: Halifax has been giving out money hand over fist to fictional characters.

Theis new Halifax Wizard Of Oz Advert doesn't even make any sense. The Welsh chap representing the bank can't even approve a mortgage for Dorothy. Oh, I guess there's a 'no place like home' pay-off that just about makes sense of the MGM trappings but fundamentally it's just another example of nostalgia appropriation by the dead hand of advertisers.

Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert

But as yet another childhood-mining advert eviscerates your feel glands I've realised something. I don't much care. Because this is advertising in a nutshell. If you like something and it's popular and it can be used to encourage you to do something that earns someone else some money, you can bet your bottom dollar - or your bottom for that matter - someone is going to weaponise it and use it against you.

Our key details - age, wage, families - are already known by any business who has a few quid to spare. Business is only going to know more and more about us. Every page you visit on the internet? Logged. Your physical location at any time of the day? Tracked. Your likely voting intentions, biases and fears? Predicted. What you buy at the supermarket? Shared. Sexual orientation, peccadilloes, porn habits? Old news. All of them are up for grabs.

And where might this lead us? Targeted adverts addressing us by name? Talking about our families? Zeroing in on our every insecurity and foible? Think I'm exaggerating? It's nearly ten years since Nike used an audio recording of Tiger Woods' dead father whenthe golfer was on the comeback trail, after all.

People are very worried about what information governments hold on them. And that's not something I take lightly. But have you any idea what Tesco, Amazon or Facebook knows about you? Why don't we worry about what business knows about us too? And what it might do with that knowledge.

If you thought the Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert was depressing, disrespectful - invasive even - it's nothing compared to what advertising is going to do with its file on you in years to come.

Tagged as: No Comments
22Mar/180

Diet Coke Advert 2018: Yurt, Athleisure and A Gaping Abyss

Diet Coke advert 2018

Well, well, well. A new Diet Coke advert. Like a Tory party broadcast or a Nigel Farage Question Time appearance, a new Diet Coke advert is to be greeted in much the same way as an unloved season. Tedious, inevitable - though more likely to make your guts explode.

I have a longstanding beef with Diet Coke, because their adverts are some of the worst ever devised. First there was the advert starring Duffy that not only killed Duffy's career stone-dead, it finished of Keith Duffy too, just for good measure - and he had nothing to do with it.

Second, the Diet Coke frotters, fingering their ringpulls when they spray their sticky stuff all over a man.

Now, a confession. I drink Diet Coke. I started drinking it with a vengeance when I quit smoking - it's the caffeine hit I guess - and haven't really weaned myself off it. And I can safely say that it's fucking horrible.

Diet Coke tastes like poison, in much the same way that smoking does. It's reminiscent of chemicals and something that vaguely resembles sugar. I drink Diet Coke because in some fucked-up psychological manner I associate the nicotine hit I still crave with whatever Diet Coke is doing to my synapses. And that's it.

So the claim that Diet Coke 'is delicious' lies somewhere on the honesty scale between Russia's denials that it has stockpiles of chemical weapons and any claim disputing the actual fact that Piers Morgan is a snivelling little cunt.

Secondly, the lady in this advert claims Diet Coke 'makes me feel good'. That's because it's full of chemicals that make your brain briefly go haywire. It's certainly bad for your teeth, worse than even full-fat soft drinks according to some authoritative reports, so it's no surprise that Coca-Cola's adverts don't even try to make the suggestion that Diet Coke is good for you in any objective way.

Diet Coke advert yurt

We then get the utterly baffling "You know what else makes me feel good? Athleisure!"

I like to imagine the young lady in question has a lisp, and she's actually saying 'ass-leisure'. I'll leave it for you to decide what that might entail.

Also I'm not sure why this apparently-British lady is using the American pronunciation 'lee-zure'. It's 'lejuh' - to rhyme with pleasure, like in 'leisure centre'. A small point perhaps, but another facet of this utterly horrible advert that seems determined to send precision-guided shooting pains through my head.

"Because it's comfy casual." Even Holly Willoughby couldn't be this simperingly vacant if you boiled her for 24 hours, collected the resulting residue and injected it into Nigella Lawson. Plus, what the fuck are you talking about?

Look, if you preface a statement with 'look' you're signalling that you're about to tell it like it is; to set the record straight. You might preface a sentence such as "It's not good news," or "We need to talk" with a 'look". Here we get some verbal incontinence about drinking pop and wearing lycra.

Next we hear that life is short. Which leads me to wonder whether this Diet Coke advert is simply trying to prepare us for the oncoming apocalypse? This is, surely, how the news will be broadcast to us anyway? Not with a stern-faced, gravel-voiced news anchorman, but by Clare Balding on a comfy sofa or a Reggie Yates documentary.

I don't want to live in a yurt, thanks, neither do I want to run a marathon (a side-note, if you use the prefix 'super' to create any word not already in the dictionary, I super-hate you).

But why is a drink that used to be extolled for its health benefits being advertised by a woman telling us to indulge ourselves, as if it's a Krispy Kreme donut injected wit Ket? Leaving aside the fact that, should I want to indulge myself, I'll be plumping for whiskey, fags, cocaine and a huge German prostitute, it's unutterably pitiful that a can of Diet Coke could be considered by anyone some sort of guilt-inducing gastronomic sin.

Unless that guilt is induced by the mountains of plastic waste Coca-Cola is responsible for - or for muscling in and drying up wells around the world, of course.

Diet coke advert athleisure

Bear with me, I'm nearly finished.

"If you want a Diet Coke, have a Diet Coke."

That's it? That's the pay-off to this sequence of dissonant Millennial brain-shart? Is this what William Shakespeare died for? Is that what a medium-sized Colombian cocaine-harvest produced? 'Have a Diet Coke - because you can'?

Rest in your grave Emmeline Pankhurst; sleep tight Stephen Hawking; dream fitfully Nelson Mandela - mankind has got it covered. We've had a long talk about it and we've decided that we've come up with the answer to life, the universe... everything. And the answer is... 'if you want a Diet Coke, have a Diet Coke.'

That's the sum total of human endeavour, right there. That's what 200,000 years of evolution, the renaissance and industrial revolution brought us. We've decided to hand over the reins of humanity to the Diet Coke demographic, with their athleisure and 'yurt it up'. We're superhappy with the results and we think the future's in safe hands.


Back in the 70s, ensconced in Berlin, David Bowie and Brian Eno refined a technique for creating music called Oblique Strategies. The idea is to encourage lateral thinking, often by doing something that might appear nonsensical or resulting in an apparent non-sequitur. In our short history such techniques have been used to create some of the finest art in history.

But in this Diet Coke advert, filled with meaningless, unconnected phrases that still manage to come off as deeply affected and hatefully hip, what appears to be a similar dynamic has birthed perhaps the most obnoxiously dumb 30 seconds in existence.

More nauseating than Trump boasting of grabbing women by their parts; more smug than Piers Morgan announcing he has won the Euromillions rollover; more thoroughly awful than Nigel Farage laughing while doing a shit in your bath, the Diet Coke advert is a Soho/Manhattan nightmare of vacant stupidity that literally has no meaning. You are trapped in it and there is no escape. Welcome to 2018. Welcome to the rest of your life.

Tagged as: No 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.