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.
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 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 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
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.
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 adverts of all time
In Roger Corman's portmanteau of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories, Masque of the Red Death, Vincent Price - as Prince Prospero - explains that his father once locked a man in a yellow room for a year to see what would happen. When Prospero was done with him the man was half-mad and unable to look at the colour yellow for the rest of his life.
Having watched eleven months of adverts that could drive the calmest man to knuckle-biting angst I know how he felt. What would happen, I wonder, if a man were made to watch price-comparison website adverts non-stop for a year? My bet would be a fate from another Poe story, namely being reduced to a puddle of foul, stinking, steaming pustulation in a matter of minutes.
2011 continued where 2010 left off, with a number of big names - chiefly price-comparison sites, financial sectors and high-street names - doing their level best to put you in a bad mood. In a marketplace where brand recognition is paramount, an advert equivalent of a hair-pull is good work.
Let's consider, for a second, the utter absurdity of price-comparison adverts. Short, aggressive messages that cost tens of millions of quid to create and distribute; designed to make us use a website that shows aggregated prices for financial services. And to make us use them they try their damnedest to make us feel angry - it's utterly barking mad by any rational standpoint. Welcome to advertising.
So it should come as no surprise that price-comparison site adverts usually constitute a significant degree of 'worst of' lists. Go Compare and Confused.com anyway. In my wholly scientific price-comparison site advert survey earlier this year readers disliked them the most. CompareTheMarket continues to show that price-comparison sites can be tolerable, enjoyable even, but the majority of ads in this pester-power genre have all the subtlety of a South London racist tram rant.
I've left Go Compare off this year - I think we can all take it as read that we hate it - and the Patrick Stewart MoneySupermarket ones haven't quite piqued my anger yet. Confused.com is, of course, because I absolutely despise it.
Alas, there's nothing we can do about any of this. You want your Corrie, your I'm A Celebrity, your X-Factor, your E4, your More 4; you pay for it. By buying Corn Flakes, Anusol, Mattesons smoked pork sausages, Muller yoghurt, KFC and Volkswagen Crafters. By submitting your details to MoneySupermarket and Go Compare; by banking with Barclays and Santander and Halifax. By doing your Xmas shop at M&S, Tesco, Iceland and Littlewoods.
You pay for these adverts to be created. You have created your very own monster. Stacey Solomon's gangbang of cheap food and families. Jamie's Oliver increasingly piggy face smirking over some brussel sprouts. Freddie Flintoff headbutting pork pies. And, lest we forget, Cara Confused pulling unfeasibly large items out of her vagina.
The only, tiny, infinitesimal thing you can do is to boycott the products of the ads you despise; an act so futile it's up there with shouting at the telly and blogging about adverts you hate.
But you can strike a blow for humanity. You can, in your own way, blow Gio Compario's brains out; throw an anvil at the Halifax choir or kick that "Wooh! Hello buddy, how's your shave?" twat up the arse forever by delivering swift internet justice.
Vote for your worst advert of the year here - and send a metaphorical horse's head to these people. It's the one chance you'll ever get to fight back. The war was lost long ago but, briefly, the boot is on the other foot. And it's a foot of righteous anger.
Deliver it to the knackers of evil - and rejoice.
The worst adverts of 2011 - shortlist
Marks and Spencer Xmas ad
An advert that is so brazen in the lie that it is telling even Tony Blair would baulk at delivering it. Honey-voiced cannon fodder line up to tell us that your dreams can comes true even as they're being edited out of the ad, week by week, as theirs die in the pages of tabloid and shopping centre ribbon-slicing Hell.
And let's not even mention Frankie...
• Read the original Marks and Spencer Adturd
VW Think Blue ad
I've never included an advert on these lists before simply because the soundtrack is so irredeemably awful. The visual concept is quite nice - albeit not exactly original - but this rendition of Wouldn't It Be Nice - a truly beautiful and lovely song - is so stomach-knottingly awful with its whiney delivery that this may be my most despised advert of the year.
• Read the original Volkswagen Adturd
British Airways' massive wank
It's possible that this advert opens up a small rip in the space/time continuum every time it's played, so up its own backside is it; like an Ouroboros serpent burrowing into its own rectum, rather than swallowing its tail.
Several people have already been sucked into some sort of existential Mobius strip, as reality struggles to orientate itself with this new level of awfulness.
An elbow to the nose of anyone who's attended Heathrow; to anyone who's been through a body scanner; to anyone who's looked forlornly at a notice board to see a row of red where their flight details should be.
• Read the original British Airways Adturd
Wonga got into trouble last year for making adverts deemed too flippant to sell an eye-wateringly high money-lending service, so what did it come back with? Three grotesque hyperannuated puppets, gurning and twitching around, explaining various 'payday loan' scenarios.
Adverts to give you nightmares, if not for the crippling APR, then the disturbing mannequins - like marionette corpses given life once more in the pursuit of selling ill-advised loans.
Would you buy money form reanimated cadavers, twitching around in their ghastly parody of their former lives? Did you know that Wonga.com actually uses reanimated corpses to staff its call centres? Of course you didn't. But you do now.
• Read the original Wonga.com Adturd
I have no inherent objection to ads that try something else; cock a snoop at received wisdom. I like Jarvis and Gondry; some of my favourite adverts are utterly batshit crazy, but this is simply idiotic. No-one knows who these three people are; two-thirds of them are hard to understand; the concept is confusing and unengaging.
The most ridiculous thing of all is that this is an advert for Eurostar that's using London 2012 as a hook. It is quite conceivable that Europeans might be lured to Eurostar by the promise of Olympic sports to the other side of the channel.
But it has exactly zero relevance to anyone in the UK - unless they're planning to fly to Paris and then get the train back to London in order to get to a lake in Slough. Just a bad, bad idea.
• Read the original Eurostar Adturd
BMW tracked to two brothers and interviewed them about their empty lives: cue instant hatred.
How could it ever have been otherwise? Everything about this advert is dripping with a smugness so cloying it's a relief when the television doesn't dissolve in a warm, self-satisfied fart and start oozing into the carpet.
The Lunds themselves may be nice people, but if BMW had made it their target to make themselves, and the brothers, look like the biggest cunts in the world they couldn't have done a better job.
• Read the original BMW / Lunds Adturd
I'm still not exactly sure what happened here? Is this the confused result of an ad simply gone very wrong? Or, more likely, an attempt at a deliberately bad advert. A bad advert so bad that it made Halifax and Go Compare look like an indoor firework compared to Haribo's Tunguska?
Are there any vile pornographic subtexts here? Almost certainly not - but that doesn't mean I'm not going to imply that there are. And it's really hideous stuff. I mean it. Sick, just sick.
Can you image if you actually, in real life, saw the events in this ad take place? The utter horror of that - your world turned totally upside down. Either you had lost your mind or, or...
The alternative is too hideous to contemplate. But I feel sure the Haribo family would start moving towards you. No smiles, dancing or singing now. Just pure, unfettered blood lust. The horrifyingly blank eyes, the hungry mouths, the chittering noise as they gnash their teeth...
• Read the original Haribo Adturd
This, on the other hand, is rather more straightforward. It's utterly hideous on a much more prosaic level; the result of a creative brief just going more and more wrong with each successive iteration.
There's a decent idea behind all of this; it looks glossy enough. But it's annoying. And it's utterly inept. Why the heck was a rap about salad included here? And why crowbar it into the ad is such an unwieldy way? "Help yourself to salad [three second pause]... all the salad that you want." Dear Christ.
I refuse to believe anyone associated with the ad was happy with this. No-one put this to bed with that sense of satisfaction of a job well done; just a weary shrug. The problems, the lack of direction, vague brief, 'the best we could do'.
I imagine the director, driving away from the shoot at a Harvester on an industrial estate near Daventry; Five Live is on but he's not listening. He misses his turning but just lights a cigarette and just drives and drives and drives...
• Read the original Harvester Adturd
Stephen Merchant always seemed like the nice one when set against Ricky Gervais, didn't he? You could imagine Ricky Gervais actually physically abusing Warwick Davies - but not Merchant.
He may not actually step in but would linger in the background, distaste writ large on his face as Gervais' high-pitched hyena-ish laugh rang out, another blow raining down on the dwarf's back.
"Come on Ricky," he'd offer, a weak smile on his lips. "That's enough now. He's had enough for one day."
Gervais would stop; his fun forgotten, for now.
"What did you say? 'Stop'? Stop what?". His voice is calm and sounds reasonable, but there's a dread stillness to him now.
Suddenly Warwick shrieks in pain as the riding crop connects; another withering blow on his lacerated buttocks.
A nervous rejoinder: "The, er, the whipping. Stop. You've gone too far." Merchant swallows hard.
"Too far? I've gone too far?" A high-pitched giggle, baring those oddly pointy teeth. "And who are you to tell me I've gone too far, you gangly Milky Bar... Cunt."
Gervais approaches, flicking the riding crop absent-mindedly, unblinking.
Merchant spots a squirrel dashing across the set and point it out, hoping it will lighten the mood.
"Squirrel there, oops, he's off," pointing at the squirrel disappearing through a door; another nervous smile.
It's not working - and he can tell Ricky is getting tumescent with the thrill of the violence that is to come.
"No, come on, you've had your fun Ricky. Let's write some more lines, eh?"
"'Write more lines'? Oh, I see. You want some of this too. Is that what you want?"
Spittle flecks the lips and Gervais is clearly nursing something that isn't vertically challenged in his pants.
"You want to talk to Mr Whippy too? I'll write some lines - across your back!"
Ricky is now pointing at Stephen's face with the fun-size whip. Stephen backs away, but Shaun Williamson grabs him from behind and holds him steady.
Gervais raises the whip above his head, Merchant knows that to struggle will only make it worse. Warwick Davies is sobbing across the room - still wearing the leather chaps and waistcoat Gervais insists on - a look on his face that says 'thankyou'.
At that second Johnny Depp enters the room, and it's as if a light has been switched on. Gervais drops the riding crop, Barry wanders off in search of cream cakes and Merchant relaxes, slightly.
He fingers the scars on his face and neck; flinching at Ricky's high-pitched whinnying. At least Warwick survived.
Once upon a time you might have looked at Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and imagined a dynamic between them a bit like that. But no more. This set of Barclays adverts are so awful I find it impossible to look at him in anything approaching a positive light any more.
I'm sure Ricky Gervais does not whip dwarves with riding crops, just as I'm sure neither man is actually evil. But whenever one of these ads comes on I think of Merchant brandishing an Ewok figurine and throwing it at Warwick Davies. Really hard. And laughing.
• Read the original Barclays Adturd
This is a genuine search query, typed into a search engine today, resulting in a visit to AdTurds:
Is there a bigger cunt on tv than the twat in the gillette pro-glide ad?
The answer to the question is 'no'.
• Read the original Gillette Adturd
...and still they come. Confused.com adverts are certainly memorable - for featuring a weird cult with massive bouncing breasts and a multi-dimensional muffed leader singing about what is understood to be a dating service.
If Brian Blessed were to shout FAIL from the moon for eight years it wouldn't be sufficient to describe this deleterious misfire.
• Read the original Confused.com Adturd
Paul Whitehouse / Aviva
Can Paul Whitehouse tapdance? Is Paul Whitehouse dead? Has Paul Whitehouse bought a house in Tuscany? These ads seem to really confuse people, who don't seem to be able to tell fiction from reality.
They confuse me too, mainly because they're so strange. They're just like Fast Show vignettes, but somehow there's a message for insurance in there too. I never really receive that message because I'm too busy writing WTF? all over my skin in felt tip.
A very unlovely, aggravating, baffling and truly weird series. In't Aviva brulliant? No, no it's not.
• Read the original Paul Whitehouse / Aviva Adturd
Quite probably taking victory at the last minute, for my money, this Christmas advert for Littlewoods is not content with simply being an entirely new shade of awful, it's killed off Santa too.
I'm not really sure why Littlewoods felt the need to dispossess children of their youthful innocence quite so abruptly and violently, but there you are. Perhaps because Santa Claus is now deemed an obstacle to accessing the true meaning of Christmas - children's pester power - to be tolerated any longer.
Perhaps they should have gone further; explaining that their parents will die one day, anything they truly love will be taken away from them and there is no God.
Start firing off Littlewoods credit cards emblazoned with 'THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT TRULY LOVES YOU' once they get to 12 months, I say.
• Read the original Littlewoods Adturd
Idiotic - if nicely shot - drivel that made 53,000 people come to this site over the course of the year to try and find what the hell was going on.
I don't have the energy to talk about it again. Suffice to say that the guy doing the voice was NOT Morgan Freeman.
• Read the original MoreThan Adturd
I always hated this song, but imagine how much more I hate it now that it's being used to advertise cow paste, using a reanimated cow skidding around on a dinner table.
I mean, at least Wonga waits until people die to use their corpses to run their UK operations, but Colmans relies on cow's being killed to make its beef gravy. That's right - a creature loses its life for this to be made possible.
That's all well and good, but there's no need to shout about it - or make a hideous, distasteful advert about it. It would be like Wonga using their bodysnatching teams on their adverts.
• Read the original Colmans AdTurd
Halifax won last year's worst advert poll with its bank-employees-as-idiotic-regional-radio-disc-jockey ads.
Having dispensed with the services of DLKW, who were responsible for the radio station adverts, it's now up to Adam & Eve to rescue Halifax's reputation; battered by poor performance as part of Lloyds and its hated ad campaigns.
This one is noticeably less egregious; it's not actually trying to cause you mental distress, which is always a bonus. The people in the choir are actual Halifax employees and they're trying to convey messages such as Halifax's Saturday opening and so on.
But still it's horribly annoying. It may be the misappropriation of the songs - I don't want my bank telling me they'll 'be there' or that I've had a 'hard days night', but it's OK 'cos the bank's open in the morning.
What next? 'It's OK not to be OK'? 'You are beautiful in ever single way way'? 'What I got you gotta get and put it in ya'?
To try and bolt such garbled messages about savings accounts and the like to these twee little ditties is simply rather grisly. It's like a door-to-door salesman spending hours cooing over your family snaps and lovely crockery, only to open his briefcase in the last ten minutes and try to sell you a 'little piece of paradise'.
You kinda wonder if all the preceding stuff is just a big pile of bullshit, don't you? And, you know what, you'd be absolutely right. Banks exist to make money from you - don't forget it.
Also, bonus hatred for the guy who does a little first pump in the bottom left-hand corner at the climax of one of the ads - for some reason not present in any of the ads on Youtube. I bet the people who made the ad would make out that it was "just something he did on the day" and that they "decided to leave it in".
Lucky that he was positioned in one of the two places that would be really noticeable, then, eh?
Now vote for your most hated ad of 2011
You've seen the candidates - now you have to pick one. And only one, mind. None of this multiple voting shit. I know it's hard. You may have to think long and hard and about - agonise over whether your vote goes to Wonga, Littlewoods, Barclays or one of the others.
Either that or clear your cookies and vote again.
Another month, another deluge of funny, weird, sexy and scary keywords that AdTurds readers have been typing into their search engines.
The one in the title - Fuck off I'm not talking to rice Uncle Ben - tickled me, but the following one also elicited a giggle too:
does the vw advert really say wouldn't it be nice if we were rover?
It isn't, of course, but the idea of it amused me. I doubt if any car manufacturer in the last 20 years would envy Rover, but the notion of VW putting subliminal messages into its ads, such peculiar ones at that, is an intriguing one.
Elsewhere the guy on the far left of the Halifax choir is upsetting readers - several readers have been upset by him. I've not seen him yet, but I imagine there's already a Facebook page that exists simply to disparage him. He'll probably be making an appearance on here soon, as I suspect I'm going to loathe Halifax's new ads even more than the old ones in the long run.
Paul Whitehouse, Stephen Merchant, Cheryl Baker and Louise Rednknapp were in the firing line this month - I particularly liked 'freddie flintoff morrisons fucking idiot' though.
Already the shortlist for the worst adverts of 2011 article is forming. And what a shitty shortlist it's shaping up to be.
AdTurds October 2011 keywords
oh the hatred i feel for the halifax adverts cannot be put into words - 11 separate instances. I find this hard to believe, but surely Google can't be wrong? According to the Big G 11 different people typed this phrase into their search engine and navigated here
"go compare" "fuck off" - 9 separate instances
confused.com fat black woman - 8 separate instances
stephen merchant is a c*nt - 4 separate instances
anyone else hate that guy in the loreal commercial? - 3 separate instances
fathers made to look stupid - 3 separate instances
fuck off halifax you c*nts! - 3 separate instances
fathers made to look stupid - 3 separate instances, see more on the stupid dad meme
gillette fusion proglide challenge guy is a twat - 3 separate instances
stephen merchant what a fuckin wanker - 3 separate instances
colmans advert disgusting cow - 2 separate instances
fuck off i'm not talking to rice uncle ben
what is the new muller advert about? - not yoghurt, I don't think
"patula" kid can fuck off
...... the confused.com woman keeps pulling stuff out her vadge! seriously.
advert where woman leaves her poop on the table - genuinely don't know what this ad is - anyone?
adverts with bums
adverts with gordon brown
are the 2 girls in the maltesers ad with boyfriends asleep sisters?
are the haribo family a real family
bmw she's a cunt commercial - sounds like a bold new ad strategy for BMW
bt advert - where is the bt womans baby? - good question
can i fuck danni minogue for cash?
chummy mums love fucking
colmans new advert gravy creepy
colmans gravy advert needs to fucking stop
colmans advert for beef gravy is horrible
confused.com advert aimed at homosexuals
do gay people object to the malteasers ad
does anyone else refuse to use go compare simply because they hate the adverts?
does anyone hate the fat fucker from the jacamo advert?
does the vw advert really say wouldn't it be nice if we were rover?
freddie flintoff morrisons fucking idiot
gillette fusion commercial voice over fuck buddy
girl shitting herself outside the palace in halifax
guy on the far left of halifax ad
halifax advert choir bottom left man annoying
halifax advert stupid bloke in choir
halifax adverts make me sick
halifax choir cunts
horrible awful weird money supermarket tv ad gorilla terrible
i hate the new coffee advert don't want to see people fucking on my tv
ive shagged cheryl baker
martine mccutcheons huge fat bum
mignon morceaux phileas fogg m&s - I remember these fried snacks fondly
muller advert what the fuck?
pepsi twist lime urinating analysis - great ad
professional women has a poop accident in her panties
sky broadband is fucking shit crap bullshit stupid
tesco people who are ugly
throwing poo acid advert uk - I refuse to believe there's such an advert
torture tory bing commercial - ditto
volkswagen advert hitler think blue
what advert had a wig attacking people - dunno but I want to see it
what the hell is happening in the new muller advert
who are the 3 men in the eurostar advert - advert win!
who are the tossers in eurostar advert
eurostar ad with jarvis cocker, who are the other two?
who is rod rammage?
who is that silly woman in the iceland ads?
who is the fat thing go compare
why cadbury caramel is better than cadbury crunchie
wispa death pussy images
Someone just came on the site to tell me that people love Stephen Merchant even more after his awful set of ads for Barclay's. You know the ones - people growing money, heading down a railtrack.
I doubt very much that's true but thought I'd head off to Analytics to see what other people thought.
I don't think they like them either.
Stephen Merchant-related keyword phrase searches
hate merchant barclays ads
stephen merchant annoying
stephen merchant is a sell-out shit barclays advert
stephen merchant should fuck off and die
fucking barclays adverts stephen merchant
stephen merchant smug
barclays adverts annoying
annoying barclays advert
annoying barclays adverts
annoying barclays ads
2011 who is the annoying man who talks on the barclays adverts
annoying barclays advert voice
annoying barclays advert voice over
annoying barclays small business advert
annoying cunt from barclays advert
annoying voice on barclays ads
barclays ads voice over 2011 cunt
barclays ads voiced by stephen merchant
barclays ads, annoying twat
barclays advert most annoying ever?
barclays advertising is absolutely worst advert i have ever seen
crap adverts barclays squirrel
fuck off barclays adverts
that cunt on the barclays advert
who does the really annoying barclays ad
fuck off squirrel cunt
NO THE SQUIRREL ISN'T RELEVANT YOU TOILET!
If you're thinking "well, that headline's a bit uncalled for" then you may be right.
But that's how one AdTurds readers sees things, according to our latest trawl of Google Analytics data.
It kind of sums up the most active relationship most people have with adverts - they go onto the internet to seek them out, more often that not to complain about them, I suspect.
What else can we learn from this month's keywords? Well, fuck all to be honest, though I've jotted fown a few thoughts below. But first, a few stats on frequently-used keywords:
Shit - 125: used most frequently in conjunction with Halifax
Annoying - 59: Halifax, Barclays and Direct Line
Worst - 42: Halifax
Hate - 43: Halifax, BT and Louise Redknapp
Fuck - 37: Natwest, Boots, Kia, Yahoo, Jacamo
Jizz - 10: Creme Eggs
Vagina - 10: Confused.com
A resounding victory for Halifax again in most stakes (quite a few banks are getting it in the neck, can't think why), though I'm not sure whether it's better or worse to be associated with simply bad adverts as opposed to stuff like 'jizz' and 'vagina'. Clearly the people behind Cadbury's and Confused.com feel otherwise.
May 2011 amusing keyword phrases
"here come the girls" fuck off - 31 instances
natwest helpful banking fuck off - 16 instances
keith ian and andy twats
"cheryl baker" boobs
"keith ian and andy" who the fuck is responsible?
absolut sclerosis of the liver tony kaye
adverts on bum
bears by naugthy turd company
big hairy audacious goals
cadburys adverts pretentious shite
can we ban the halifax ads
companies that clean pigeon shit in halifax
confused .com advert complaints breasts
confused adverts laptop vagina
confused.com bouncing tits
confused.com with tits bouncing around
country price comparison prostitutes - there's a niche eh, Confused.com?
cream egg advert like cum shot
cream egg up pussey
dale winton goldfish my gold
davina mccall poo
dear yahoo, fuck your adverts, you cunts!
germaine greer featured in suck
halifax ads do it again annoying the fuck out of us
halifax adverts hope they fucking die
has the man off the bt adverts died?
horrible jammie dodger monkeys
how deep is morgan freeman's voice
i dont understand the cadbury creme egg advert
if women had dicks
is ray parker jr. gay?
jacamo is for fat bastards
jamie redknapp hate
jammie dodger advert horrible
jammie dodger annoying advert
jizzing all over the world
kfc advert we got family creepy
louise redknapp sounds so stupid
mandelson, arrogant little shit
meerkat advert that goes makes us brown makes us brown
memorable for the wrong reason (irritating advertisements in the uk advertising industry 2011)
natwest robbing fuckers
natwest shit awful banking
negative points about cadbury eyebrow
nick knight wrestling
pepsi max advert cunts
samsung galaxy is a fat brick turd
stupid bum shoes
that kid is gonna grow up fat in betty crocker advert
thrush and masturbation
tv advert were woman puts shit in her purse
up your bingo advert makes no sense
video sex with loathing
we buy any car chavvy
what the fuck is going on with those stupid cadburys ads?
what would happen if you ate too many cadburys chocolate fingers?
what's the annoying bullshit music behind the natwest adverts?
who is responsible for halifax adverts
who is the milf in aviva ad
why doesn't 118118 just fuck off
women fucking man advert
wouldn't you agree gary linaker
you wouldn't steal a car fuck you i would
bt jane nipple slip
Something that interests me, at least, is the way that people are starting to write search engine queries in the same way they might ask another human, rather than the more recognised search engine interrogation containing keywords. What does this mean for advertisers, marketers and social media marketers? I'm fucked if I know.
Elsewhere we can see that Confused.com is now most associated with bouncing animated breasts and cavernous magical vaginas. Nice bit of branding there, guys.
"dear yahoo, fuck your adverts, you cunts!" fascinates me - is someone at Yahoo intended to see this? Could SERPS data be used by companies to gauge public reaction to campaigns? Again, that's a question for someone else to answer but it's an interesting proposition.
People are still fascinated by the Morgan/Morethan Freeman adverts - is this going to be the first of a series of ads that borrow a celeb's voice just for the borrowed interest? We'll see.
"negative points about cadbury eyebrow" is another one that interest me - it reflects a trend among the keyword searches where people clearly want to be told why an advert is bad. Weird.
NatWest might find some of the results interesting - despite the customer charter the vast majority of searches are from people annoyed with NatWest for poor banking experiences or their nasty little charges.
I love the implicit criticism in stuff like 'who is responsible for halifax adverts'. Halifax is probably the most hated brand by AdTurds keywords.
Anyway, plenty to chew on until next time. Keep foaming at the mouth, people.
So, with a sense of inevitability I'm here to name Halifax as the most despised adverts of 2010, running away with over one fifth of the vote in the worst adverts of 2010 stakes.
These adverts certainly annoyed me - the Ice Ice Baby one particularly drove me to turn the television off on at least one occasion - but they seemed to drive AdTurds readers to frothing, spasming apoplexy. Some of the keyword queries and comments were actually chilling to behold.
It's easy to see why these ads have irritated people so. Their very raison d'etre is to annoy anyone who sees or hears them. You know it. They know that you know it. You know that they know that you know it. It's like a restless tween asking you the same question over and over again simply to get on your wick.
Halifax is pretty much alone in the banking industry in deploying these tactics in its advertising, which have been widely adopted by price comparison sites; a kind of carpet-bombing of your consciousness with concentrated naff. These weapons are not laser-guided, they have no precision. They are the advertising equivalent of daisy cutters and there will be collateral damage.
The point of these adverts, certainly for price-comparison sites, is simply to embed a name and impression in your mind so that when you need to insure your car those Go Compares and meerkats and Omid Djalilis are right at the front of your mind. There's little customer loyalty in these most volatile of markets or much to differentiate one offering from another, which is why they must resort to pester power when it comes to putting their brands out there.
Banks have normally eschewed these tactics, with most preferring to put themselves over as rather stuffy, slightly dour but eminently trustworthy places to keep your hard-earned; think of the old-fashioned image of the stuffed shirt bank manager. NatWest sticks out in my mind as attempting to engender some sort of affection among potential customers with ads decrying the transition of bank buildings into trendy winebars and its recent - rather silly - customer charter adverts.
TSB liked to be the bank that said yes; Lloyds had its black horse; Santander has Wild Beasts and Lewis Hamilton; HSBC has those Gambon-voiced efforts that place it firmly as a global banking behemoth, which it is.
But Halifax has thrown off any attempt to make it look respectable, trustworthy, serious or even worthy of affection. It's going out of its way to annoy customers and potentials alike; displaying its staff as blithering twats and incompetents as if they were working in a shit leisure centre in a sitcom.
Clearly Halifax thinks this works as they've been ploughing this furrow since they launched Howard Brown onto an unsuspecting world a decade ago.
What's even more remarkable about Halifax's effort to place it as the Ryanair of the banking sector is that, a couple of years ago as part of HBOS, it nearly went down completely partly due to mind-boggling exposure to its own incautious lending, taking the rest of the UK banking sector and the national economy with it. At one point, no-one knew whether cash machines across the UK would dispense any money come the following Monday. A shotgun marriage to Lloyds followed, along with tens of billions of public money.
How has Halifax - admittedly only part of what's now an enormous toxic-bank clusterfuck - responded to nearly destroying, erm, money? Not with a mea culpa, or an element of contrition notable in things like NatWest's 'customer charter' adverts but with its most annoying advert yet.
This is our reward for bailing out the banking sector. Something that's beamed into your home on a daily basis with the express intention of putting you in a bad mood. The alternative to saving the banks may have been unthinkable, but the idea of societal apocalypse seems almost preferable when viewing the Halifax adverts.
Worst advert of 2010 - results and analysis
As mentioned, Halifax ran away with it in the end, but it looked like an equal three-way tie for a while, with Go Compare and Iceland performing strongly until the last week of voting. WeBuyAnyCar made a strong late surge too.
If this were any kind of serious attempt to find the most hated ad of the year, it would require some effort to measure the frequency of the ads and peoples' exposure to it through scheduling times - and determining the channels on which they were broadcast.
As it is we can probably afford slightly more bile towards some of the more obscure ads as, presumably, they were much less viewed than others.
The thing of it is, the results for the top four - if not a majority of the adverts featured here - will be seen as a positive for the brands the advertise, as they're exclusively of the 'exposure through annoyance' genre. By voting for them, you've validated them. Sucks, huh?
'Other' answers suggested by readers included the following:
Sainsbury's double points
The Times online
Any programme called something like 'advert of the year' is like a red rag to a bull/ Surely very few people actually like adverts? That's why a really good ad sticks in the mind – because normally they're few and far between.
This ITV 'programme' – the inverted commas are a reference to the fact that this barely qualifies as programming; think of it as an extended ad break with some of your most hated people popping up from time to time and you're about right – presumes to tell us what the 20 best ads of 2010 were, according to ITV viewers.
8,000 ITV viewers, so unlikely to include Brian Sewell, Peter Yorke, Adrian Serle and Melvyn Bragg - or many more people who would recognise a pile of nonsense if it slapped them in the face.
2010 was, we're told, an "incredible year for adverts" that we "couldn't wait to tell people about". Apparently they've been "funnier, more inspiring and posed more questions than ever before". If you're anything like me the questions were usually along the lines of "who do I have to talk to to ensure this never happens again?".
These ads "made us go 'aaah'" or "turned back time and made us all think". Oh, they certainly made me think.
Usually I thought bad things, as I've detailed below, along with my thoughts on the actual Ad of the Year programme.
20. Go Compare
By identifying themselves, I fear creators Chris Wilkins and Sian Vickers may have committed a fatal error, if the keyword queries on AdTurds' Google Analytics account are to be believed.
Funnily enough, for two people who have created such unremitting misery, the pair, along with the Welsh bloke who plays Gio Compario, seem like quite pleasant people. Then again, they say Hitler was quit a nice chap in person (Christ, Godwinned myself with the first one).
• See also: Go Compare on AdTurds
19. Virgin Holidays
I'd literally never seen this before, which begs the question as to how ITV viewers held it in such high regard. Were the ITV guinea pigs were given a list of 20 and told to pick them in order?
Only a genuinely annoying advert came below this one, which is about right, as this looks totally forgettable, featuring a band called the Danke Schons (what?) doing a load of tedious old rock cliches; ('with credibility') according to the ad creator.
As a bonus someone called Vicky Binns proves to be an annoying twat, although nowhere near as annoying as a complete bell-end called Joe Cardamone.
Never seen this one either. Something about a big Dorito.
"What sort of a mind would come up with a concept like that?" asks Lorraine Kelly, for whom life must be an absolute ever-day wonder. Someone who'd watched District 9 perhaps?
17. Yeo Valley
Never seen this one. Rapping farmers.
Carlsberg's advert for the World Cup, making jingoism cool again. Thing is, I actually liked this for a while. Until the bit where they rape Bobby Robson's memory. And the bit where it goes a bit racist. Created by a guy who looks like he loves shit lager.
"You almost see [Jeff Stelling] as this pyscho beer-drinking hooligan," says some young twonk of the ad.
• See also: Carlsberg on AdTurds
The fat blokes runs. Quite a pleasant little advert. The bloke shed two stone in a few weeks in the course of making this ad. In the programme he looks like he's piled it all back on quicksmart.
Something about a young girl who likes bread. Never seen it. A bit Grange Hill. Quite pleasant.
13. Stella Artois
The one with the runaway piano. Quite diverting. "All I remember is a hot guy playing a piano," says Suzanne Shaw, showing that it didn't really work on her, and that she's dense.
12. Cadbury's fingers
Chocolate fingers scale Everest; play in band; land on moon. Quite good.
• See also: Caadbury's on AdTurds
Turning Carlisle railway station into something a bit more middle-class is actually quite a nice idea. Sure it's selling MDF and plastic chairs, but things that put a genuine smile on people's faces are so few and far between these days I didn't mind.
"What would happen if we put 100 cats in an Ikea store," is the stunning thunderbolt that brought this ad into reality. Being a cat owner, I could provide a fairly short list, with the word 'piss' featuring quite highly.
Since I own a cat, however, I quite like this.
This ad for the Audi R8 Spyder, featuring a load of cars on an ice rink, is a bit of cracker, like many Audi ads.
Having said that, I doubt it was the best car ad of 2010, nevermind one of the best ads of the year. Still, lovely to see the old cars, lovely concept, great execution.
Walkers turn Sandwich into a UK version of Westworld, but with celebrities. About the same amount of plastic though. Quite a nice idea, but I couldn't give a fuck about this.
7. Peter Kay - John Smiths
Meh. Not bad, but Kay is so overexposed and carries with him a reputation for nastiness that the new John Smiths ads simply don't have the same charm these days.
Skater babies. Fucking horrible. Aimed at every lobotomised coo-ing woman that thinks anything to do with babies is brilliant.
The bit where the babies skate towards the fence and jump at it will have me waking up, screaming and sweating, for weeks to come.
Frankly the whole thing looks astonishingly twee, deeply wrong and overwhelmingly disturbing.
Obviously overexposed, but I find the meerkat adverts quite diverting. AdTurds fact: Aleksandr Orlov is voiced by the geordie bloke from Alan Partridge.
4. John Lewis
"It captured the nation's imagination and emotion," says some woman about this John Lewis advert, which made us all cry, apparently.
This is the sort of advert that only affects people who aren't really in touch with their own emotions; the sort of people who might not be able to relate to such complex emotions as 'sadness' or 'happiness' without being told what they mean by a fucking advert.
Lorraine Kelly and some other talking heads discuss this advert, which I didn't really like, as if it were Shakespeare, Voltaire and Chekhov all rolled into one. It's actually Dan Brown.
• See also: John Lewis on AdTurds
3. PG Tips
Johnny Vegas and Monkey. Genuinely amusing, likeable, comforting. Nothing bad to say about these.
A rollercoaster that goes wherever you want it to – to work and back, through the shops, and past the windows of naked fitties (especially one that enjoy being perved over) – is a lovely idea. But that's as far as this advert goes.
Because there's nothing especially winning about this advert, especially in relation to what it's selling. I just don't see how it fits together. It doesn't make me think of Barclays. It doesn't make me think of money. It just makes me think, a little bit, about rollercoasters. And then I do something else.
Lorraine Kelly wonders how they made the advert. Christ.
The dog does funny things. Quite diverting. No idea what the ad is saying or the product is.
Critical faculties left at the door. Some of the dumbest talking heads on bodies that are actually still alive. Mainly-charmless ad types discussing tedious details from adverts. Many poor ads.
The televisual equivalent of doping yourself up on tranquilizers and slowly drowning in a bath of Ovaltine while Lorraine Kelly and Ben Shephard coo comforting platitudes into your ears.
I was ambivalent about the G20 riots today, as I'm doubtful of the value of breaking a few windows and terrorising a few hapless clerks in a bank. But having said that, it reveals – along with the vandalism of Fred The Shred – the extent of the feeling against banks in the county, and probably around the world, at the moment.
I think I probably speak for everyone when I say 'Fuck you, banks. No really, just fuck right off.' All those years of being patronised by a clerk in a bank, being told off because you haven't told the bank you've moved, but if you want to change your address you'll have to go back home and get your passport.
Those sneaky charges, the time they cancelled your overdraft without telling you, the way they charge you simply to bank with them.
Yeah, fuck you banks. That's basically what the entire world is saying to banks right now.
How have the banks responded to this public outpouring of hatred, contempt and mistrust? With some touchy-feely ads trying to convince us that all they're doing is trying to help us – if only we'll let them.
Their footsoldiers are people who work in the banks. A lot of them are undoubtedly good, decent, honest people. The banks know this, which is why they're on the front line. They're powerless when you're railing against them for the hidden charge.
They're forced into this position by the people upstairs. It's not their fault – they're just there to take the bullet and soak up the flack.
The nice ads are telling us that they've changed, they're listening and they're there to help. But with the other hand they're still appealing over the reclaiming of extortionate bank charges, even after being told several times by the Office of Fair Trading that their charges are incredibly honestly-how-have-you-got-the-gall beyond-the-pale unfair. Still! Greeting you with one hand and inviting you to swivel on the other.
I've been going to write this entry for a while and was waiting for one of those horrible NatWest ads to crop up on Youtube, but clearly no-one has the stomach for them. A small incident recently has made me revisit the banks ads though.
I went in to query a charge the other day for £28. It turns out I was overdrawn for a day to the sum of six pound back in December. By my reckoning its the first time I've been overdrawn for about eight years, so I was fairly annoyed.
But what can you do? There was a nice young lady lined up as cannon fodder to tell me there was nothing she could do. Just like in the ads.
Meanwhile, the people who dream up these outrageous charges and wrecked our entire economy dream up more ways to make money. See Barclays entirely legal tax avoidance branch and the hair-raising details that go with if you don't believe me.
This is what banks are about. They're there to make money out of you at every turn. Don't ever forget it.
So don't even fucking try it on banks, we're on to you now. And fuck off with your wretched ads. Every single one of you.