March’s Worst Adverts

M+Ms advert

What a strange time for awful adverts. I can only assume it’s something to do with the Conservative government. March doesn’t just herald the arrival of adverts that are truly appalling – the sort that you only have to see once to recognise its hideousness – in the shape of the Admiral advert, but enduring efforts such as the Just Eat advert, Go Compare advert and Big Bad Wolf Moneysupermarket ad – or even commercials back from the dead, such as the M&Ms ‘I could really use a snack’ advert, arse-wipe Andrex effort and Travelodge muppets spot.

All are currently making people hurl their remote controls, pets or even spouses across the room in the vague direction of the television. An ad break that featured all of the ads mentioned above might just lead to the sort of outbreak of spontaneous mass violence that JG Ballard would have written off as too horrible to contemplate.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a confluence of truly terrible adverts. As a result I’ve been forced into a kind of mini Worst Advert of the Year poll, a bit like an Treasury Autumn Statement. Choose your most hated ad with care – you only get one vote. I understand that’s a bit like having Piers Morgan, Michael Gove and Louise Mensch in the same room and only being able to throw rotten tomatoes at one of them, but there you go.

If you must – and you can bear to put yourself through it – you can remind yourself of the horror of it all below. Just be warned – watching all of them in one go could turn you into hermit crabs.

Andrex advert

A hideous confluence of sickly kid cutesiness and someone asking you how you feel when you wipe your arse.

MoneySupermarket Big Bad Wolf advert

More omnipresent than Olivia Coleman and more awful than The One Show.

M&Ms advert

Containing the most hideous phrase you can possibly see on television right now, apart from anything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth: “I could really use a snack.”

Just Eat adverts

The Just Eat advert is less of an earworm and more of an earparasite. Don’t expect to be free of it any time soon.

Travelodge advert

Jim Henson’s gift to the world, hijacked in this unlovely evocation of business-trip misery.

Admiral advert

Frankly a misfire that is astonishing even for advertising. The Admiral advert is an absolute horrorshow of what happens when something goes wrong and no-one can stop it happening.

Go Compare advert

It’s clear now that we will never be free of Gio Compario – just like you’re never really free of sensitive skin, bad knees or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Just Eat Adverts – Crimes Against Music

Just Eat adverts

The new series of Just Eat adverts seem to signalling a new front in the ongoing war against humanity that advertising so often represents. In the I Need A Balti and Chicken Madras ads we have a notification of intent; a warning shot over the bows.

Because the fact that these two ads have come out in quick succession suggests there’s a whole new array of mind-melting adverts for the internet takeaway service. Korma Chameleon? Tikka To Ride? Vindaloo Killed The Radio Star? Don’t bet against it.

Most companies – especially internet-based companies – new to television advertising are out to make an impact. And when these companies offer a service, rather than a product, there’s very little point in shelling out the millions of quids required to make and promote your brand if you don’t. So Just Eat and rival Hungry House look likely to join the ranks of price-comparison sites, betting companies and banks in giving you a metaphorical ear-flick several times a day.

And while the Just Eat Adverts aren’t that egregious in the first place – the I Need A Balti ad even spoofs itself, pleasingly – anything that arrives uninvited in your home several times a day is going to get tired extremely quickly. Imagine someone making a mildly amusing pun. Now imagine them repeating it about 200 times. That’s what we’ve got to look forward to here.

As a result I have to file both of the Just Eat adverts thus far – and the thousands to come – under Crimes Against Music. And though I don’t have a lot of time for Groove Armada’s I See You, I don’t know what Bonnie Tyler has done to deserve I Need A Hero being so roughly taken up the bum.

My prediction: Wake Up, Little Sushi beaming out of your telly throughout 2016.

NB. Is it just me or in this Chicken Madras advert has the girl in it just been shagged by the backing dancer? No wonder she’s got an appetite.

NB2. Warming to their theme, there’s also a Christmas Just Eat advert riffing on The 12 Days Of Christmas, coming in at a staggering two-and-a-half minutes. I think that’s testing the patience of even the LOL generation. The highest-rated comment on Youtube as I write?


Which is your most-hated of the Just Eat adverts?

‘just eat advert actor’

Always harsh to single out the actors but these tweets caught my eye on Twitter.