AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

4Feb/187

Choose February’s Worst Advert

nationwide advert sisters

Did you miss me? I've had to take something of a sabbatical from the adverts. In fact I've been receiving daily blood transfusions in an effort to rid me of the concentrated evil that's built up in my body from almost a decade of watching pure, unfiltered adverts. It's 1000 times purer and stronger than the stuff you get in your living room and when they opened me up there was the unmistakable sound of that tinkly piano riff from the Tui advert and a pulsating tumour with the face of Gio Compario.

As a result I'm still on a long road back to full fitness and can only subject myself to tiny doses of advertising. So I'm going to let you choose the current worst advert of the month, based on intel received from Facebook, Twitter and the good (meaning bad) people of the Suggest An AdTurd community.

But be careful. Only experts should watch more than a few advert in one go. Overdo it and you risk devolving into a bubbling, stinking mess of the proteins than probably go in chicken Mcnuggets.

Apple iPad Pro advert

You might question why anyone would ever think that a hateful, precocious child in your advert is going to connect with people. Then you realise that everyone who made and signed off this advert works in advertising or tech. Although I was given pause for thought when I recognised various bits of Brooklyn from my honeymoon there, which I guess makes me a big twat too. Ho hum.

Voices Nationwide Flo and Joan advert

People are literally begging me to make this advert stop, like when you see women in films who are so desperate to save their children they offer their bodies to Nazi soldiers or evil supervillains. Flo and Joan are probably lovely people and in the right place - a Radio 4 comedy programme in that slot where I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and Just A Minute usually reside - or some godawful hipster cafe I never have to visit - I have no problem with them.

But stick anything on television again and again - even Salma Hayek pouting or Tom Baker laughing or the Blake's 7 theme tune and it's going to become hateful very quickly. And if your song about a house that's so twee it makes people pull the same face as when they bite on a lime segment then expect hatred so strong it rivals Piers Morgan's utter hatred of himself for being a snivelling little cunt.

Go Compare Monster Bill advert

In search of new ways to annoy you, Go Compare has decided to mine the 'deliberately awful acting' seam to good effect here. Over 2 million people have watched this on Youtube. Two million. That's one in thirty people who have been taken over by lookalikes that hatched from a pod. And it is your duty to destroy them.

Also, is it just me or is the 'random people turning up in your house at the same time' thing suggestive of a porn film set-up? Looks like Gio is going to be comparing more than just home insurance prices with these two lovelies...

First Choice advert - The Turners Go Mahoosive

Who still says mahoosive? Even provincial commercial breakfast radio DJs are too embarrassed to say that shit these days. And as for the Turners' rap - how many free holidays did they get for it to be worth all this? And what an incredible way to absolutely trash your own brand. Could this look any more cheap?

Right, look. I'm going to say something now and you need to bear with me. This mixed-race couple thing. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it. Hang on, hear me out. Mixed-race couples are everywhere where I live - and that's not a good or a bad thing, it's simply a thing as far as I'm concerned. I can't think of a friend of mine who is not white who is not in a mixed-race partnership. Great.

If you have a problem with that you're a racist, basically and I want no part of it. And if you think it's 'political correctness gone mad', well I don't agree with that either. What's 'mad' about showing people behaving exactly as they do in the real world?

But on this First Choice it's like you can see the workings out, the base code behind it. You need a family rapping, but an all-white family rapping? Bit awkward. An all-black family rapping? Nice spot of cultural stereotyping. Like Goldilocks, someone has found this racial mix - and I don't believe for a second its a coincidence - juuuuust right. And the thought of that level of racial card-shuffling makes me cringe.

But, one a much more basic level, this is simply a crashingly devastating advert of awfulness.

Fiftylife Over 50s Life Insurance

It's hard to pinpoint what's the cause of the final product here, which is so hilariously bad you're constantly waiting for the punchline. Is the script, direction or acting most at fault here? I'm not sure but I'd challenge anyone to successfully pivot from a cheery 'Mum loved it here' to a solemn 'her death was such a shock'.

This actress clearly thinks so as she hasn't really bothered to change her delivery at all between the two lines. Her reading of that latter line suggests this was as shocking and emotionally devastating as the milkman delivering two pints instead of one last Tuesday.

Luckily Dad joins in with a reading of 'it hasn't been easy' suggesting he's bringing to mind a particularly tricky spot of grouting he's been tied up with. And is there a right way to broach the cost of your own mother's funeral? Perhaps, but reserving the manner you'd normally adopt for feigning interest in someone boasting about their double glazing probably isn't ideal.

The following discussion of the financial intricacies of life insurance makes it clear no-one intends to make any further effort to make this ad in any way naturalistic, a sense only heightened by a shot of the not-grieving father and daughter standing about an inch away from one another.

Oh, Fiftylife advert people. Your ad makes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Australian dog immigration apology look like Schindler's List.

• There are two versions for some reason. Why not see if you can figure out which is worse.

Vote for your most hated advert

But choose wisely, for you can only choose one. And no you can't choose another one!

4Jan/154

The Worst Advert of 2014: Results

Well, well, well.

It seems that many people, rather than being touched by Sainsburys' advert about the Christmas Truce, thought it was the worst advert of the year. I've explained previously why I thought so when it originally came out and in the end-of-the-year round-up, so I'm not going to repeat myself.

Suffice to say, I do hope this misadventure is the last we see of appalling moments in history being used to flog goods. And to anyone who wants to take this up with me, I offer the following question: In what way would it be worse to use 9/11 as a backdrop for advertising a supermarket in a similar idiom?

Of the other top three competing to be named worst advert of 2014, I was surprised but heartened to see Gladstone Brookes ranking highly. This aggravating, openly aggressive and hideously ubiquitous advert was like an aggressive fungus spreading across television screens in 2014. The product they were advertising? Charging you a wedge for the sake of sending out a templated letter.

ihu

There's something offensive in a vaguely Dickensian way about that and while I'm sure their terrible advert played a part, I think the number of votes indicates that readers felt similarly about Gladstone Brookes' business methods.

Hive rounds off the top three and was winning this poll for a fortnight or so. There was no more aggravating noise in 2014 than this ghastly, twee, try-hard ditty that sounds like it was sung in a shed by a man wearing a stupid pom-pom hat, drinking cloudy cider and thinks Ed Sheeran is the last word in cool music. From everyone in the world, Hive, I beg you to fuck right off.


The rest of the poll


I loved how Wonga spectacularly imploded this year, with their ads disappearing from screens as the company underwent a lengthly self-flagellation, execs were defenestrated and they admitted they'd lent money to people who wouldn't be able to repay their loans in a million years. This was particularly satisfying as Wonga have made a habit of popping up on this blog over the years to complain that I've misrepresented them.

Picture 1

My big problem with the actual adverts is that they turn the serious business of borrowing money into some insane, infantilised pantomime - it's a smoking gun, as far as I'm concerned, as to Wonga's real market and in pulling these ads, they've admitted as much.

Hotels4U, another ad that simply vanished as quickly as it appeared, is the only advert I've ever seen that made me fear for the safety of the actors it featured. Their Twitter account reads: "If you love #hotels & high quality television adverts then you've come to the right place!".

While not in any way offensive or annoying, the Co-Op advert smacked of a company that simply doesn't know what it's about anymore. The fact that an agency made this ad and the client signed it off is, frankly, a disastrous mistake by everyone concerned.

Will this be the year that Andrex stops trying to sell us their wet wipes? I don't know, but I do hope it's the year they stop telling us that they're safe to flush. Especially as there's a full ad campaign by water companies specifically designed to refute this claim. Where next for this lengthy campaign which seems determined to make us discuss faeces?

Picture 2

I'm not sure there's much less to say about the remainder, other than how appallig they are. What I can guarantee is this: CompareTheMarket isn't going anywhere, despite being the most overstayed welcome since Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy; Sky Sports will continue to pretend that football matter, when it doesn't fucking matter one bit; Apple will continue to be smug; beards will continue to be appropriated by fuckwits; cheese strings will remain vile in every respect and that we will never escape The Redknapps.

Happy New Year.


Others

There were plenty of votes for other adverts readers hated, including lots (excluded here) that simply aaid 'all of them'.

Mostly good choices on the whole, though I can't agree with the Singing Toys advert. Even though I couldn't tell you what it was advertising if I had a gun to my head, it was one of the best of the year for my money. I actually wrote to the makers of the ad to see if they'd let me have the wonky owl, but they never replied to me.

Natwest - 3 votes
Gala Bingo - 3 votes
Paddy Power - 2 votes
Singing toys - 2 votes
Oak Furniture Land - 1 vote
Carphone Warehouse - 1 vote
Sensodyne Toothpaste - 1 vote
Paypal - 2 votes
Bet 365 - 1 vote
Cadbury Xmas - 1 vote
Coral Windows Radio Advert - 1 vote
Vistaprint - 1 vote
John Lewis - 1 vote
Chloe Perfume - 1 vote
Argos - 1 vote
Go Compare - 1 vote
Vanarama - 1 vote
Famous Grouse - 1 vote
First4Lawyers - 1 vote
MyMate - 1 vote
Renault Zoe - 1 vote

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.