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
Haribo then. It had to be really, even with the incredibly strong late challenge put up by Littlewoods (undoubtedly the worst Christmas ad of the year), who couldn't really have done any more to win the title of Worst Advert of 2011 if it had executed an old man in a Santa outfit live on air.
Haribo. It sounds like it stands for something. Ha-teful Ri-talin Bo-llocks? Ha-ve R-ubberI-sed Bo-ogers? Thinking on, that seems unlikely but it may as well as far as I'm concerned, it may as well. I hate Haribo, I think the sweets are horrible. But I hate their 2011 Supermix advert more for all the same reasons. Gooey, overly sweet, artificial and indigestible.
The Drum asked Haribo exactly what they were playing at with the Supermix advert, to which they replied with the following:
“The new advert is certainly attracting a great deal of attention. We intended that it would be a fun, memorable and catchy karaoke style sing-along, which is exactly what it is.
Let's examine this statement. The advert, Haribo concedes, is attracting "a great deal of attention".
That's a fairly coy statement in relation to the torrent of hate the ad generated, including a staggering 1,849 dislikes on Youtube, dwarfing 'likes' by around six-to-one. The average ratio of likes to dislikes is around 20-to-one on video channels.
There's at least three Facebook groups set up to disparage the advert. A forum called Britain's Biggest Cunts has a section on the ad called Haribo Chewing Cunts. It certainly seems reasonable to suggest that the advert is attracting a great deal of attention.
What next? Well, agency TBC Inc says it's a "fun, memorable and catchy karaoke style sing-along". Memorable and catchy? Yup - in the same way that a particularly unpleasant dose of dysentery is memorable and easy to catch.
Karaoke-style singalong? Well, if it was a particularly hellish karaoke in a David Lynch nightmare, perhaps.
"Haribo is a family brand and we have a mass market audience and appeal, at the heart of everything we do is fun, whether that’s tongue in cheek or playful.”
At this point I could mention the allegations, levelled at Haribo, of using forced Jewish slave labour during the Second World War but that would be a bit crass, albeit quite amusing.
Does this have mass-market appeal? It's certainly on the radar of a lot of people, but whether putting out an advert that's universally despised is good marketing is a moot point (and one I've mused on before here).
What's more interesting is whether this is supposed to be "playful or tongue-in-cheek". Which is it? The former, an earnest attempt to make something 'playful'? Or the latter, a deliberate attempt to make something awful? I'm plumping for the latter as I don't believe even the most simple-minded savant could feasibly come up with something as artless as this.
What is more interesting than the ad itself is what happened to it. All of a sudden it was missing from the schedules and the previous ad – Interrogation – was back on the telly.
Did Haribo decide, all of a sudden, that their karaoke-style singalong was not just annoying the very tits off people, those tits were orbiting the Earth at a very high level of the atmosphere, as far distant from their owners as Haribo sweets are from being delicious sugary treats? Surely not something so fun and playful? Who's to say.
Suffice to say I thought it hideous - adverts that set out to put me in a bad mood frequently make me feel that way. It's nauseating, bizarre, shrill and - worst of all -affected.
Yes, I think it's the fact that this is all so arch and post-modern and deliberately inane that makes it so terrible. I thought some of this year's worst ads were more egregious on an aesthetic level - and others more misguided - but certainly this is the most purely annoying.
Don't take my word for it though - Haribo was streets ahead of its nearest competitor, in numerical terms, by the end of the vote despite duking it out with Littlewoods for a while.
AdTurds readers have spoken - and they have spoken of their displeasure at "Oh so smooth, love them soft" (an I didn't even get around to those vile pornographic subtexts).
Internet justice - the most useless, fulminating, empty, unreasoning and fleetingly-satisfying justice of all - has been delivered. Fuck you, Haribo. Fuck you all the way to Hades.
Now let us never speak of it again.
Read the original Haribo AdTurd
The rest of 2011
Littlewoods gave Haribo a great run for its money, as did Gillette, which kept falling away then regaining lost ground. I suspect that little man's voice from the latter, reverberating around living rooms, became something of a Pavlovian stimulus to many over the year.
Further down were Wonga.com - a particular dislike of mine - perennial overachievers Halifax and Marks and Spencer for its X-Factor ad. I didn't dislike the latter that much, but I thought it a terrible idea. I'm still surprised that it registered so highly though.
Confused.com's horrible adverts were next up - and then the BMW Lund one, which were probably the genuine worst adverts of the year for money, in terms of what I reckon they did for the brand.
All the others got a good few votes each, apart from Eurostar with a single vote.
'Others' - for there was the opportunity to vote for one's own bete noir - did pretty well too, with quite a few suggestions. Go Compare fared well here, as did a late run for the Argos alien sperms - along with a couple of others such as Pepsi Max that has somehow escaped me over the year.
Still, a new year and all that. I can barely wait to be irritated by an all-new crop in 2012. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Compare the Market
Head and Shoulders / Jenson Button
Cadbury Dairy Milk - The Final Countdown
Pepsi Max Office Men
Mazuma Mobile advert from March/April
Game - Babies
j20 glitter berry camp lock-in
Boots "Here Comes The Girls"
Heineken "Bassanova" Utter turd
That PlusNet fat bastard
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.
For the record I doubt very much that Paul Whitehouse learned to tapdance for the sake of a five-second spot in a baffling insurance advert - but who knows eh?
If Aviva's intention with its series of unloved Paul Whitehouse adverts has been to encourage lots of bemused viewers trying to ascertain the twinkle-toed abilities of everyone's favourite cockney comic then it's certainly succeeded.
14 people typed the exact phrase 'can Paul Whitehouse tapdance' into their search engines and navigated to AdTurds last month - and there were plenty more besides. Perhaps a more valuable question may have been 'what does Avivia do again?' because, for the life of me, I can't work it out from their ads.
What else caught my eye among the AdTurds Google Analytics keyword data this month? Well, 'complain about gocompare advert psychological damage' had a certain ring to it. Could we ever see an advertiser sued for just being incredibly bleeding annoying? I'd like to think so - the streets of Soho would be lined with flattened creatives by lunchtime.
BMW's apparently-pulled Lund brothers advert has taken a hell of a lot of stick - I hope the Lunds thought their 12-month loans were worth it.
Elsewhere, someone appears to be of the opinion that the new Haribo advert - sample lyric: "Oh so smooth; love them soft; squidgy, squidy baby!" - is plagiarising John Lennon. This might, on the face of it, seem unlikely - at least to anyone who hasn't heard Double Fantasy.
The Toyota 'gadget master' ad seems to be universally disliked. Despite the fact that I think it's fairly odd - and very niche - I don't mind it, and at least Toyota is trying to lower its target demographic from somewhere around the late-50s at last.
Elsewhere it's the usual roll call of bewilderment, irritation and lust. Who'd have thought Cheryl Baker would have so many admiring fans? Has an advert every inspired such a gamut of negative emotions as the current Haribo effort? Why do so many people have it in for Louise Redknapp?
Tune in next month....
September 2011 keywords
jenson button head and shoulders awful - 23 instances
can paul whitehouse tap dance - 14 instances
gillette fusion proglide challenge guy is a twat - 13 instances
apple adverts patronising
bulmers advert plan b fuck off
compare the meerkat haters
latest haribo advert plagiarism john lennon - no idea on this one
lund brothers bmw twats
paddy power ginger twat
what the fuck is up with the haribo ad? - a heck of a good question
when are they going to get rid of that fat get on the go compare advert
"the jellied eel gazette"
advert where woman leaves her poop on the table
adverts for ants - do any exist?
adverts of haribo are retarted - the irony of this one amused me
anyone noticed confused.com advert is quite sexual? - safe to say they have
big fat pussy cat do in a cadbury egg commercial
bmw advert brothers cunts
bmw what is a latte without milk - a very good question - the Lund brothers don't seem to know
cannon and ball are fucking shit
complain about gocompare advert psychological damage
dishwashing ad where lady is looking at wine glass - there are some queries that stump even Google
gadget master- new toyota advert fucking sucks
gillette advert whooping volume - much too loud, though I'm unable to give a figure in decibels
ginger anger go compare ad
halifax adverts make me want to switch away from halifax - in a nutshell perhaps the whole point of this website
haribo advert very uncomfortable
has anybody got a meerkat from moneysupermarket?
have the breasts in the confused.com advert got larger? - we need to know
i don't get the jenson button head and shoulders advert
i fucking hate the new toyota yaris advert
i fucking hate the new yaris toyota advert
i fucking hate the rap toyota yaris advert
is the uk maltesers advert offensive to gay people
is voyage prive french for stuck up cunt? - I have seen this advert and can only conclude it is, given its contents
jamie oliver advertising basic sausages
lorraine kelly interviews ad star howard brown - now that I know of the existence of this video I MUST see it
my brother freddie is an actor and a model fuck off
paul whitehouse dancing cunt - no manners but what a critic
shouty fucker on t mobile advert
toby carvery stomach cramps
tv adverts with jamie and louise redknapp. as thomas cook promotes family holidays, why does the ad give the impression that they are a couple without children? - why indeed?
who's the lovely girl in the toolstation ad?
why do haribo adverts have germans speaking english
wonga advert is evil - wonga is evil
Youtube has an ace new feature that builds a list of all the videos features on particular websites. In the case of its page for AdTurds it's a roll-call of advertising shame.
Most of the ads feature within that list seem to have a little note at the bottom of the video on the specific video pages. It says this.
As seen on AdTurds - Adverts That Are Shit
It cracks me up and strokes my ego at the same time. What's particularly brilliant is that there doesn't seem to be any way by the account holder to influence them so Harvester, for example, can't change the stinging little nota bene at the bottom of its own advert on its own page.
BMW, Haribo, Bulmers, Harvester - perhaps a few others as far as I know. They all get that unwanted little footnote at the bottom of their ads.
Serves 'em right.
'Two original what?' is the most obvious question to this really quite terrible campaign for BMW, who haven't had a good advert for sodding ages.
After the mind-frazzlingly misjudged Joy campaign we now get two poshos wanking about their incredible lives – and BMW seems to think we should be grateful.
I cannot possibly explain how hateful this all is. And I never could if I tried for a week. What I find particularly odd is that BMW has a reputation for being a brand of car made used by twats, so why exactly would you want to create an advert showing a pair of twats driving your car?
Incredibly BMW came up with these two – one of them's called Freddie for fuck's sake – out of loads of siblings that wanted to be part of it. So, one is a model and the other is a marble shunter; one them eats 'heavy stuff' the other one eats oh for the love of God I can't go on.
If BMW wanted to find the two biggest twunts on the face of the Earth they succeeded. Normally I'd doubt that that was the intention, but following BMW's recent run of ads I'm not so sure.
There's the quite hideous advert below and an interview with the Lunds below that. The vacant dribbling knob ends. You just know they vote Tory as well.
NB. The page www.2originals.com that hosted a site all about the brothers doesn't appears to be there any more. Wonder why. Perhaps because it was a bloody abomination.
Here's what it said about Freddie - the 'urban one' that looks a bit like Jenson Button - and Adam - the 'sporty one' who looks like Adam Rickett - for the sake of posterity:
Freddie lives in London and enjoys the lifestyle of being in a big metropolitan city where things are happening all the time. He works as a model and an actor and buys and sells a personal account of shares on the stock market in his spare time.
His brother describes him as the sensitive, thoughtful and caring one but also with a great sense of humor and a flamboyant ability to make people laugh.
Adam lives in a cottage in the middle of 26 acres of remote woodland. He loves the outdoors, loves rugby and taking his four dogs out for walks. Adam works as a tree surgeon, felling trees and selling the timber to the local community. He also has a marble importing business where he sources stones from Italy.
Here's what the most recent comment on the specially-created 2Originals Youtube channel makes of it:
And, finally, Youtube appears to have its own suggestion:
NB. Chris Lawrence has been in touch with this amusing update..
Stuff like this is gold dust on marketing, advertising and PR blogs because it's good link-bait-y copy. Top tens always go down well, but if you can match something that tugs at the nostalgia strings of readers, string it out over 20-odd pages and churn out some generic keyword-heavy intros and you're away.
It's ironic that this one is about advertising taglines, as the title 'best every ad taglines?' - or words to that effect - is almost an advertising tagline in itself.
Anyway, the slogans on this article by Forbes - coincidentally one of the least user-friendly sites in existence - are inevitably US-based, but enough of them should have leaked through to our combined UK and European consciousnesses for them to make sense.
Some are universal. BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine is timeless. Or so you would have thought, as BMW recently ditched it for the appalling Joy.
Just Do It - also a good one, and a slogan coincidentally used by my Dad, in his general attitude to life. Not because of a freaky baseball-cap-wearing US geriatric, but because it worked for him.
Got milk? has alway baffled me. Surely the answer is either 'yes I have go milk' or 'no I haven't got milk'?
Mastercard's There Are Some Things Money Can't Buy tagline is supposedly well-loved. And while it's spawned a thousand spoofs, it doesn't exactly stand out. Does it do anything that other cards don't do? No, it doesn't. So who exactly 'loves' it?
Verizon's Can You Hear Me Now? suggests to me that the line is bad, forcing a redial. It also sounds like something a Tarantino protagonist would shout while pumping someone's head full of bullets.
McDonalds' You Deserve a Break Today has an old-world charm, certainly more than I'm Lovin' It. And We Bring Good Things to Life for GE is quaintly pleasing, far more so than the meaningless, aspirational Imagaination At Work. Then again, these were the days before carbon emissions.
Forbes tells us that the simplicity of The Milk Chocolate Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand is what makes it so good. But if describing what a product does makes a tagline clever, why isn't the Pampers slogan Keeps Baby Shit From Falling Out All Over The Place?
And Time to Make the Donuts? Surely the donuts have been made already? What?
You've Come a Long Way, Baby - Virginia Slims' tagline for marketing fags at women - is well-loved, Forbes tells us. Is it? Is it really? Who loves it exactly? The best I can say about something that plays on womens' fears of their own body image is that it smacks of a low animal cunning.
Reach Out and Touch Someone from AT&T is obviously problematic, while Be All You Can Be - for the US army - has a lot of obvious unfortunate rejoinders: 'working-class cannon fodder', perhaps?
Anyway, what I think stuff like this says about advertising is that it's indelibly linked with a hazy nostalgia for time's gone by. No-one's immune to it. It's the reason why old ads get a run out from time-to-time; the reason we form affinities with brands; the reason why articles like this exist.
Because we don't love the taglines. We love the bittwerweet melancholy of remembering.
• What are the 'best-loved' UK advertising slogans? Some that seem typically British include Ah, Bisto!; Go To Work On An Egg; Beanz Meanz Heinz; Have A Break. Have A Kit-Kat; For Mash Get Smash; Hello Tosh, Gotta Toshiba...
I think that this new advert from BMW is truly the worst I've ever seen in terms of its sheer ineptitude and muddled message.
The fact that it's so bad is accentuated by the fact that it's from BMW, who normally seem to know what they're doing with their ads. Power, style, grace, premium, driving dynamics, They're BMW watchwords. The company slogan is Ultimate Driving Machine, for crying out loud.
This one features some drivel about how cars are 'joy' (another 'sleep is gold' moment). BMW has gone all big lifestyle concept, perhaps heralding a subtle repositioning away from cars that are bloody fast and have as much traction as you can handle to a more family-friendly fun aspect.
BMW recently softened the edges of its Z4 Roadster and Coupe - turning it into a folding metal roof coupe-cabriolet - and eliciting complaints from its loyal buyers. It's hard not to ignore the fact that this ad is doing something similar, albeit much less successfully.
"We realised a long time ago that what you make people feel is just as important as what you make," claims Captain Picard. I'm unconvinced by this claim, and am doubtful that the team responsible for making the first atomic bomb to be used over Hiroshima felt the same way.
"At BMW we don't just make cars, we make.....joy" is the devastating pay-off. Although I anticipated it, it still made a little trickle of blood emerge from my nostril.
The Garage Band backing music, the softly-softly Patrick Stewart voiceover, the smiley happy mugshots that tick every demographic in the book and that inane bloody narration. What a strange way to vomit all over your brand.