Have you ever noticed how few black people there are in Christmas adverts? Or Oriental or Asian?
I'm guessing that different racial demographics are a lot less valuable to the Christmas Cash Climax that this time of the years represents, with WASPs more likely to actually indulge in this celebration of the market economy, but once you've noticed it, it's hard to un-notice.
For all that the media is reasonably heterogeneous these days it's as if everyone closes ranks at Christmas. Look at the smiling white extended-family faces. You don't see many people in wheelchairs, fellas kissing one another, black families pulling crackers or Muslims, well, doing whatever it is that Muslims do on Christmas Day.
Not that this is a call for a token black face amid the sea of caucasians all over the airwaves - that would be almost as insulting. But a Christmas advert featuring only a black family seems unthinkable. As does the cold hard reality of what Christmas is for a lot of people - and sorry to be such a miserable fucker at this point - a lonely time.
Here's one that would take some real fucking balls - and guarantee my loyalty for many years to come. Instead of jizzing all of that cash on some hungry celebrities I'm calling out the supermarkets: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Morrisons, Marksies. The lot of 'em.
Here's what you do with that cash. You take over a nice hotel in 30 towns and cities around the country. You use your own produce - the nice stuff, the free-range stuff, the expensive stuff - and cook a Christmas dinner for the local Salvation Army patrons. Homeless types, kids on the street, care home people, the elderly, George Entwistle; people like that. Roast turkey, some live entertainment, loads of booze, some crakcers, a few gifts and transport there and back.
What's the cost of that? Even if it were thirty grand a pop you're still quids in. And imagine all that lovely publicity. That's 2013's advert sorted - and a smile on the faces of thousands of people who might not have much reason to crack a grin. And, perhaps more to the point, we don't have suffer your annual smugathons that are as hard to digest as a three-day turkey-and-stuffing sarnie.
Go on, British supermarkets, do it. I challenge you. I dare you.
OK, on that bombshell I'm going to round up this Xmas ads from this year. If last year's Xmas ads are anything to go by it won't be pretty...
Alien sperms continue to swim around our television screens, like the smeary laptop screen of a man who knows the names of all his favourite porn stars and sends them a picture of his cock in the post every Yuletide.
I don't know why Argos is continuing to plough this furrow - to justify the hefty wodges of cash that have been already sunk into the concept presumably - but this seems to be a stinker on all levels.
It's annoying, it's bemusing, I don't see how it connects with the brand (perhaps, once, there was an idea that aliens would take to the 'wrong-way-round' Argos shopping experience, or something) and it feels well past its sell-by-date.
But, more to the point, it's trying to make a virtue of something that isn't particularly helpful. Surely the whole attraction of shopping online is that it's then delivered to your door at no extra cost? If you have to order online, not necessarily easy in the first place, and then physically go to an Argos store anyway what's the sodding point?
What's more, Argos' thing is that you have to look through a catalogue to find what you want, fill out a little form and then take it to the desk. It's that classic thing of making a virtue out of something that, on the face of it, is actually harder than the usual system (see also: Salt And Shake crisps).
But the Argos online shopping app removes that whole exchange. So not only is the online shopping thing not especially helpful, it also invalidates the whole point of Argos.
With this ad, Argos has just ejaculated in its own face.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 30
So far all I can find online is this effort from Tesco, which involved a Furbie and Lionel Richie (and doesn't that sound like a great internet rumour?).
I have seen a few other Tesco ads that end with a little Christmas hat perched jauntily on the Tesco logo, so I guess this is part of a multi-ad approach that eschews any big central campaign and will offer little snippets of deals, particular products and the like.
As such it doesn't give me a lot to get my teeth into, but I like the fact that the whole campaign isn't resting on some cash-splashing jamboree. But it's not especially memorable either, despite the nifty visual gag.
Tesco calls this advert 'Christmas 2012 Clubcard Exchange advert'. Yeah, and a Happy New BOGOF to you too.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 3
Iceland went a bit off the rails the last two years in its Christmas advertising: in 2010 suggesting some sort of chavvy David Lynch horror festival; last year assaulting us with Stacey Solomon's ginormous face.
I think Iceland has a problem - people think it's cheap: the food is cheap, the people who go there are poor; the brand is toxic. Just yesterday someone told me that they would 'never go into Iceland'. They've only got themselves to blame - for several years the brand has aligned itself with people who scream 'low-rent' - and thus its brand has acquired the same image.
As someone who writes about cars for a living I can tell you at length why being thought of as cheap is dangerous. To be thought of as offering good value, on the other hand, is very different. It's a subtle difference - ultimately a meaningless one - but one that brands get wrong time and again.
However - and this is a big however - this new ad from Iceland might just go some way to changing all that. This Xmas ad looks lovely, it puts product right at the heart of the ad and it's got one of the most calming, sentimentally satisfying noises ever accompanying it.
Pretty much a home-run. And not a hideous celebrity in sight. If there had been one this year my money was on Tulisa - as someone who's probably been seen by many slapping a cock across her own face she probably wouldn't have been the worst celeb Iceland had employed.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 1.1
A new entry - I don't remember seeing any Debenhams ads for a long time. As a new effort it's not bad, but it's very much a greatest hits of successful Xmas ad tropes. A nice train, snow, a glamourous lady running hither and thither and being delighted by what she sees...
At one point it threatens to go a bit Boots, with three women stalking rather jarringly - look at the costumes! - down a flight of stairs and the big John Lewis-style 'awwww' moment at the end.
Inoffensive - and a bit hard to remember who it's for. Which is fairly appropriate as I'd struggle to tell you what sets Debenhams apart from any other department store.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 2
Christmas adverts go austerity. This year we've spent all our cash on a donation to charity, says a voiceover. As if the mink-and-ermined Waitrose customers give a stuff.
I also have a feeling that there's something a bit disingenuous about all this - how much did it cost to buy up all the ad space to tell us you're not spending any cash on a fancy Xmas ad, eh, Waitrose?
Still, one in the eye for all the others who've spunked up a load of cash on celebs and a frankly insane amount of Christmassy milieu. And it's not far off my idea for 2013 - but this doesn't mean you're off the hook, Waitrose. Oh, no...
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 2.5
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: ∞
There are certain groups you can't possibly criticise these days. The Armed Forces, for example - rebranded as 'Heroes' in our modern parlance, seem to be utterly beyond reproach. I've got a lot of time for people whose chosen career paths have taken them into the army, navy or airforce, but I don't think it especially good for society that anyone is untouchable.
But woebetide anyone who has a pop at Mums. This previously-unknown phenomenon in society - actual people who you might pass in the street or live next door to, who have little people inside them and then 'give birth' to those tiny creatures - is now the most exalted in every facet of life.
See how they use their reproductive organs to conceive and then gestate foetuses who grow inside them for nine months before emerging in a bloody, slimey curtain to the spontaneous applause of everyone within a mile's radius.
The ability to fulfill one's sexual facilities seems to be on a par with parting the red sea these days. But there's more. Once they've had these wailing mucal balls extracted from them, these women actually return to work and even go shopping.
If I had my way, we would not rest until every photo posted to Facebook was of a unfocussed child frowning vaguely in the direction of a camera. Everyone who has ever brought a child into the world must be given an OBE. I demand a new Minister for Motherhood and that we replace Nelson atop his tower with a 40-tonne tribute to MumsNet.
Or we could just watch this fucking Christmassy Asda advert. For fuck's sake.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 23
Toys R Us
I can't tell if the people who do the adverts for Toys R Us are secretly setting us up for some sort of glorious return to the days of a smiling giraffe pointing at Connect 4, or whether they're just complete imbeciles.
Because this sexed-up ad for Toys R Us is like asking Dappy to give the New Year's Day message instead of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A happy-slapping in advert form. Get rid of it, for the love of Geoffrey.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 42
We all know the form by now. An effort that is fairly explicitly trying to make you cry. A precision-guided Cupid's Arrow aiming to shatter your emotional aorta and cause a blockage of sludgey mawk in your left ventricle. A psychological heart attack in advert form.
In this one a snowman - bereft of a comedic genital carrot and possibly related to the Weeping Angels as no-one ever seems to see it move - fetches some gloves for his missus (also a snowperson, but with no snowtits in evidence), requiring a massive trek across, apparently, a bit of England that resembles the Alps.
Next year will be Barber's Adagio For Strings as a series of rostrum-camera'd sepia photos of beloved personalities who have passed away (Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe, the Dad's Army cast etc) ticks over in a starlit sky above a donkey sanctuary.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 8
Marks & Spencer
Blergh. Back to middle-class women dancing around like people who are so smug even Ian Hislop thinks it's a bit much. The 'stalking-towards-the-camera' meme, the dicking-about-in-jim-jams stuff, the endless smiling...
There's a half-hearted effort to make it a bit less Surrey-Commuter-Belt-ABC1s with some INXS in there, but really this is Marks and Spencer by the numbers. And those numbers are £39.99 for a scarf you know your Mam secretly dislikes.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 9
I suppose we should be grateful we're not getting the rat-a-tat-tat of Here Come the Fucking Girls again, but Boot's mission to align Christmas and your feelings for your loved ones with hairdryers strikes me as a tough sell.
There are some non-white faces here portrayed in a way that feels natural, so bonus points for that, but there are also a few odd things going on here.
Is the Mum who's in bed at first suffering from some debilitating ailment - is there a suggestion of a disease in remission here? And is the girl who suggests checking into a hotel naked? I'm genuinely not sure. If so, why? If not, then why does it look like they are?
All told, though, I think this is the Christmas advert I dislike the least.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 1.08
With a voiceover so earnest, it makes Kevin Whately talking about African children dying of dysentery sound like a Top 40 chart rundown, this Matalan ad is going for broke in pretending that it gives a fig about its customers' enjoyment of Christmas.
Frankly, I don't believe these massive multi-million quid corporations telling me they love me - and neither should you. So the whole ad is undermined by the transparency of the exchange between customer and vendor.
Matalan, you want my money, not my approval. Don't pretend otherwise - we'll get together a lot better. As it is, you're unlikely to earn neither this festive season.
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 11
First things first. Having attempted to do away with Santa in its ad last year, suggesting that a 'lovely muvva' was responsible for all the Christmas shopping, the very first shot is of Saint Nick pulling up on a sleigh this year.
A wise move, I'd suggest, not because I really give a toss about whether children believe in a mythical being or not (see how easy it would be to include a smug Dawkins-esque rant here?) but because the naked commercialisation of young kids was one of the most egregious things I'd ever seen.
Still, Littlewoods is at it again here. Is that a mobile phone that some kids have bought AJ's Mum? Yes it is. How fucking lovely. A phone. I know this is a judgement call, but I don't find anything cute about shoehorning little kids into ads; I find it obnoxious.
What's more, Myleene Klass (it's worth pointing out that she's one of only three identifiable front-of-camera slebs on this year's lot), who I have no particular beef with, seems to have acquired that skeletal hawkish look that 30-something celebs on fad diets assume with the passage of time. To be quite honest, I think it makes her look a bit frightening. Have a few goose-fat-roasted-spuds this Xmas, Myleene.
An attempt to rein in the hideousness of last year's effort then. But there's still something a bit grasping about the whole thing; as if the very thing veneer over the it that could be peeled back to see a call-centre, a distribution depot, a foreign factory...
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 9
Woah, and you thought the Asda advert was bad. It would be easy to start crying sexism at this ad - and I don't doubt that many have already. Whether this is patronising to women or men, or whether you see this as a fairly realistic portrayal of what it is to be a woman at this time of year probably depends on your point of view.
I'm going to steer clear of all that stuff - I can see both sides - but I do think this is a bad advert. For fully 86 seconds of the 90 this Morrisons advert consists of, it's slating Christmas. Does the pay-off haul it back over the line? I'm not that sure it does, you know.
So, then, Christmas. An utter ballache, with a side-serving of chauvinism. Sheesh, where's that eggnog?
Times worse than my charitable Christmas advert idea: 5
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.
Time was we'd judge the start of the Christmas season by the appearance of crackers in shops; nowadays it's the appearance of the first Christmas adverts.
With fully 50 days before 2011's Yuletide there were Christmas adverts on our tellies; filmed in the unseasonally pleasant September and October across the country. Freddie Flintoff in a duffel coat, surrounded by fake snow, santas and mince pies. In St Albans. In September.
So, what festive delights await us this year? M+S had ditched Twiggy and Danni; the Sainsburys ad constitutes Jamie Oliver's swansong; what would John Lewis come up with this time?
Absurdly, Xmas adverts for the big supermarkets and department stores have become event television. But how big - and shit - have these events been this year?
By my money they've mainly got it right. Iceland has backed away from the insanity of last year's Donovan adverts; Marksies has ditched its middle-class smugathons; the overall tone is of restraint, when compared to last year anyway.
It's not all good. The Boots girls are still coming - perhaps due to the entry of Ann Summers into our advert marketplace - and there are still two truly diabolical efforts here.
Familiarity - and you can bet you'll become very familiar with these ads - is sure to breed contempt, even fury. By the fifth time you've seen the new Littlewoods or Toys R Us ads you'll be ready to hurl your chestnuts at the telly.
But with any luck this year's crop of Christmassy ads should leave you relatively unmolested come Christmas morning. Just pray no-one has a Halfords-style reaction when unwrapping presents.
It seems to be John Lewis' modus operandi to make viewers cry these days, with their ads ploughing a fairly shameless furrow that seems to work for them.
I think the strategy pretty canny. It's a rich seam of nostalgia, sentimentality and general warm fuzziness - all the stuff that makes Christmas what it is.
Next year's advert will apparently feature a sickly kitten being stroked in front of an open fire by Terry Wogan for a full 120 seconds, while Gary Jules' Mad World plays in the background.
Turd rating: One
Celebrities: Jamie Oliver
"Goto Sainsbury's for a magical Christmas feast," says this last effort from Jamie Oliver on behalf of the upmarket supermarket.
Nice idea, nice execution. Minimum Oliver. Good work.
Turd rating: One and a half
Celebs: Stacey Solomon
Where was there to go after last year's Xmas Iceland offering, featuring Jason Donovan as a perverted ringmaster? Well, back to basics really. Christmas parties, finger food, Stacey Solomon's enormous face - I'm fairly unsure Stacey and her family will be tucking into gammon over Xmas, mind.
I take exception to the horrible new Solomonised recording of Driving Home For Christmas - a song I always make sure I have on a CD when actually heading home on Christmas Eve.
Not especially egregious then - and a thankful step back from the Lynchian horror of last year - but I doubt any celebrity would ever be seen dead entering Iceland, which seems to be ever closer to some sort of underclass shopping experience every time I hazard upon one.
Turd rating: Two
Celebs: Delia Smith, Heston Blumenthal
I'm a bit nonplussed by this one, featuring Delia and Heston. It hinges everything on four distinct products and doesn't really compel me to find out more.
It looks a million bucks - a bit Downton Manor via Heath Robinson and Tim Burton - but it doesn't feel especially cosy.
A bit chilly, all told, like a Heston artichoke and air-dried Haribo truffle in liquid nitrogen.
Turd rating: Two
Celebs: Andrew Flintoff, Bruce Forsyth
Hmm. Jury's still out on this one. I suppose Freddie still has enough goodwill from the Ashes in 2005 and 2009 to get away with this - and some good decent, honest, thick Lancashire shtick probably doesn't do any harm, although it's a bit much that they actually correct Flintoff's awkward delivery.
Nice cameo from Brucey at the end and a fairly strong message - Freddie like pies! Legend! Meat! Christmas! Pastry! Brulliant! - unlike many of the ads featured here.
Turd rating: Two
Marks and Spencer
Celebs: X-Factor cannon fodder
It's fairly apparent that M+S and John Lewis are competing to be the winterval shopping experience and Marksies has really wheeled out the big guns for this X-mas effort.
Riding the X-Factor bandwagon has brought its own problems that rather trouble me (the singers either got a paltry £3K each or nothing, depending on who you listen to - Merry F'ing Xmas) but as an ad in itself it's well executed and reasonably inoffensive.
I just find it hard to shake the feeling that we're all implicit in an evil plan to make berks like Simon Cowell even more filthy rich than they are already. From somewhere in Brighton comes the sounds of Johnnie Robinson gently weeping.
Turd rating: Three
Celebs: None that I'm aware of
A novel, decent conceit but I'm not sure why a family of sperm are striding around shopping centres looking for Christmas presents.
There's one extremely strange - and rather disturbing - aspect to this. "Mmm, eggnog," says Father Sperm, Homer Simpson-style, absent-mindedly.
"Mmm, Bieber," says Ma Sperm, appreciatively. Actually, more than appreciatively. Lasciviously, you could almost say.
Now, I suspect Bieber is legal, but probably only just. What's more he looks about four. Just imagine the Dad lusting after Hermione Granger and see how you feel about that.
Turd rating: Three
Nice idea, nice execution but this is a terrible assault on the senses - the sort of thing the CIA used to blast at Manuel Noriega.
Turd rating: Three and a half
Celebrities: None that I'm aware of
I find it hard to believe that the Here Come The Girls tattoo doesn't have some sort of Pavlovian effect on half the population these days - its very presence like the foreshadowing of some horrific catastrophe.
Personally I'm inclined towards punching myself in the neck, but voiding of stomachs, noses, bladders and bowels are all empirically-proven side-effects of hearing this tune.
Since this one has a clear Great Escape theme to it I'm hoping there's a bonus ad that involved them all being taken out to the woods and machine gunned.
Turd rating: Four
I wonder if the Wachowski Brothers ever thought that their revolutionary Bullet Time trick photography invention would ever be used to shill a discount supermarket chain in a bizarre Christmas advert.
I'm guessing not, just as I'm guessing that no-one would have foreseen the inclusion of a mind-spinning Inception-style telescopic reality setting for an advert selling trouser-vendors.
I just find this confusing - and I don't get what it has to do with Matalan. Presumably all the people feature in it are asleep, bald, pale and nude - possibly in a gigantic monster-feeding embryo chamber.
Turd rating: Four
Toys R Us
Why, when you have a much-recognised and much-loved Christmas advert in the form of the ageless "There's a magical place; We're on our way there; With toys in their millions; All under one roof" ad, would you piss all that brand equity down the drain with a vile American rap waffling on about coupons?
Appalling. Inexplicable. Appallicable.
Turd rating: Four and a half
An absolute fucking disaster, unless the aim was to reposition Littlewoods as the most low-rent outlet on the marketplace.
The ASA has actually been moved to an issue a 'we don't like it, but we have to go along with it' rebuttal to complaints that this ad is killing Santa. And replacing it with what? A bloody credit card.
If this were Japan some ritual boardroom suicides would be going on about now. Possibly metaphorical, possibly not.
I never want to see this ever again.
Turd rating: 245,835,585,299,001
So, there you have it. A rotten bunch to be sure, but this could have been so much worse. No-one would ever pretend that Fukushima was a good thing - but the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.
And, just in case you think I'm overcooking things somewhat, take a look at this - and never, ever forget.
Well, well, well.
Don't look for him - he isn't there. Frankie Cocozza that is. Not happy with cutting his bits from the new M+S / X-Factor clustershag advert, poor old Francis has actually been painted out of the latest version of the ad, which is presumably causing some headaches at M+S headquarters.
Mark and Spencer's Christmas ad for 2011 is designed to be modular, so that when poor unfortunates get voted out - or dropped for not being sufficiently headline-grabbing - they can be excised from the ad, as if they were never there in the first place. Heartwarming stuff.
Clever, huh? Well, I think not for reasons I detailed here.
But M+S presumably did not see the fact that Cocaine Cocozza - as the tabloids are probably calling him - would get embroiled in a bit of sex-and-drugs rumpus and then get spotted looking totally mashed in the advert's group shots.
M+S has been playing a bit of Youtube hide and seek, hiding and deleting various ads and uploading new ones as contestants have been voted off.
But the most recent development sees Cocozza actually painted out of the group shot, like Trostsky from various Bolshevik photos.
It's a remarkable piece of TV flotsam revisionism and perhaps the perfect example of why I thought these ads were a bad idea.
Unless 'anything your heart desires' included a week of coke-fuelled shagging followed by the swiftest career plunge in history I rather doubt Frankie is digging the M+S advert at present.
That's assuming he hasn't been erased from existence altogether.
The previous version
Cocozza appears, looking mashed, in the top right-hand corner at 47 seconds
The latest version
And now... a blank space!
Oh well, at least Frankie can still be spotted on the M+S Youtube page, just
EDIT: Actually, they've even painted him out of him that Youtube home-page background now.
EDIT 2: And here's the most recent, with Kitty removed from history, replaced by Amelia Lily like it's Invasion of the Bodysnatchers via X Factor.
Having edited out The Risk, Johnny Robinson and Frankie Cocozza from its X-Factor-themed Christmas advert, a new edit has appeared with an altogether different group shot that shows the helmet-headed wild man staring into the distance - mouth agape - in a manner resembling Jim Morrison's corpse as if he'd just seen Louis Walsh stroking his stiffened-yet-tiny cock in the night sky.
Far be it for AdTurds to suggest that Cocozza was mashed on ecstasy pipes, but in light of recent allegations over his unceremonious exit from the competition we're not ruling anything out.
Cocozza has pretty much as good as admitted that he bummed all of Girls Aloud and the Sugababes - Cheryl Cole and Heidi Range twice - and snorted at least an entire South American coca harvest during his time on the show, sleeping as little as 18 minutes in the last three weeks and subsisting on "parsnips and Haribo".
So perhaps we should make some allowance for the tired lad on the day the M&S X-mas advert was filmed.
Given his physical and mental state we should probably be grateful he's not simply spewing down his suit while fiddling with himself in the brand new advert that reminds us all how great Christmas and Marks and Spencer's are.
46 seconds in, if you're wondering
EDIT: M&S keep making their vids private after I've embedded them, so here's the previous version - it still has Cocozza's blank expression on view but it's about a second later
I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not, but there you go. Actually I am, it's a bad thing.
JS-P, as precisely no-one calls her, quoted my "women stalking the camera en masse — post-feminist zombies lusting after a scarf" observation about the Marks and Spencer's Christmas adverts from last year in the Daily Scum (that's Mail in this instance, rather than Sun or Express).
There are a couple of things of note here: the first being that I was not afforded the gesture of a link or mention; the second being that it's a straight quote lifted straight off here, several months after I published it - and it outranks me in the SERPS.
More proof, if proof be need be, that Google Page Rank is a twat. And so is Janet Street-Porter.
No way am I linking back to them, so here's the screenshot.
NB. M+S keep setting their vids to private, lest anyone actually watch the ads they've blown wads of cash on, so the video below may change. Sorry about that.
Dreams don't come true - and this Marks and Spencer's advert featuring the latest round of musical cannon fodder from the X-Factor proves it.
When You Wish Upon A Star kind of tells you everything you need to know about the absurd conceit of X-Factor; the idea that any normal person can become mega-rich, mega-beautiful and simply mega by being good at singing.
That's why the auditions - television's equivalent of frying particularly stupid ants under a microscope - are supposedly the most riveting bits of television, they subject delusional fuckwits to a cleansing (or, more likely, devastating) dose of reality: you can't sing, you are ugly, you are probably unhinged.
But it's not the fault of these auditionees; it's the fault of television and advertising. If people are constantly told at every single stage of the their television viewing that they are beautiful, special, unique and should be celebrated for 'who they are' and be 'true to themselves' it should not come as a surprise when they're revealed to be totally delusional - and if it happens on TV in front of millions of people then all the better.
See also: Frankie Cocozza spannered in M+S advert
See also: Frankie Cocozza painted out of M+S ad
This is surely the reason for the rise of people stabbing other people for not attributing sufficient 'respect'; responding to criticism with the ludicrous and increasingly common riposte of 'what you see is what you get with me and if you don't like you can stick it' - a modern idiot's charter; and the genuine belief held by seemingly everyone under the age of 18 that they're entitled to goods, money, success and the life they choose to lead - irrespective of whether they have any brains, talent or other wherewithal that might allow them to achieve their Cowell-sanctioned dreams.
Some of the people in this advert have exceptional talent - the two scouse lads and Misha B seem particularly good - but they're all part of a process that makes ingenuous young people believe their dreams can come true, then chews them up and spits them out.
A bit like advertising really. So, this X-Factor-sponsored Marks and Spencer's advert - or is it a Marks and Spencer's-sponsored X-Factor advert? - is really about as evil as advertising get (one drop could turn you into Louis Walsh, who for reasons I can't quite fathom, I find to be the most hateful man on television).
In the Xmas 2011 ad a dozen or so X-Factor contestants - Craig Colton, Janet Devlin, Marcus Colins, Franky Cocozza, Little Mix, The Risk, Johnny Robinson, Kitty Brucknell and Misha Bryan - sing When You Wish Upon A Star from Disney's Pinocchio.
Marks and Sparks says that the ad is centred on the theme of "may all your Christmas dreams come true". Well, there are quite a few people in this ad whose dreams are being whipped out of their reach on a weekly basis in public at the moment. How's that for irony?
M+S says "the festive scenes will change during the course of the campaign", which should make for fascinating viewing.
Robinson and The Risk have already left, which will make subsequent versions of the ad fascinating: will M&S edit out the losers as if they're never existed or will they remain, a grisly reminder of the transience of fame; a touchstone for those whose dreams did not come true?
I for one shall watch entranced by this peculiarly post-modern experiment into how to fuck with the minds of the afflicted. Will it break the spell when Cocozza, a man who literally cannot sing, can be glimpsed in this Christmassy orgasm one minute and pictured slobbering over Jodie Marsh's tits - inevitably discarded by Cowell and Co before November's out - the next?
Will viewers become confused when Robinson does his inevitable gin-fugged 'Louis betrayed me' interview in a Red Top on Christmas Eve, while he can be seen twirling away in Marksies' very own vision of a corporate Christmas?
What will the kiddiwinks think when a tabloid sting reveals that [insert X-Factor discardee here] has been [insert sexual or controlled-substances act here] with [insert other faded celeb or Arab businessman here]? (Let's say Misha B, bagpiping and Christopher Biggins respectively for the sake of argument).
Steve Sharp, M&S executive director marketing, has this to say of the advert: "Our TV campaigns have become almost legendary – and for many customers mark the start of Christmas."
The start of Christmas for us - and the end of several Christmas dreams for those X-Factor contestants and their friends and families.
It's an irony almost too delicious to be savourable. In this one advert Marks and Spencer's has revealed everything that's secretly awful about X-Factor, about advertising, about alienation, about consumption and about Christmas.
Happy fucking holidays.
Edited to add: Oh, look. This should be interesting
Edited to add II:
Marks and Spencer will remove Frankie Cocozza from their multi-million pound X Factor Christmas advertising campaign after he was kicked off the show earlier today.
The retailer ‘swiftly moved’ to edit him out following his exit, which came amid allegations that he boasted about taking cocaine in front of production staff.
He will be cut from almost every broadcast of the commercial tonight, and will completely disappear from all versions supplied to broadcasters by tomorrow.
An M&S spokeswoman pointed out that the it was ‘designed’ to be edited as the series progressed so focus would be kept on the remaining acts. As a result The Risk and Johnny Robinson – who were eliminated at the weekend – will also be removed.
So, just to recap, the answer to the poser above - "Will M&S edit out the losers as if they're never existed?" - is yes. Trotsky must be pissing himself.
Bad luck Frankie. Bad luck Johnny. Bad luck The Risk. Your dreams do not come true. And they were only on loan to SYCO anyway.
Edited to add III (25 November):
Misha B has been edited out of the latest ad and replaced with Amelia Lily! What's beyond this, I wonder? Strong backing for the latter at bookies? Persistent reports of bullying from the former? Or Misha B's reported demands for more cash for appearing in the anchor role of the ad? Tune in next week!
These were, apparently, the best-loved adverts of 2010, according to some kind of complicated algorithm from Nielsen.
The research includes 1.5 million votes cast by British viewers on the 'likeability' of various adverts and how much they remembered it.
On this basis, the ubiquitous meerkat adverts came out on top, with a 'likeability index rating' of 256; 2.56 times more popular than the average new commercial during 2010.
Second was an advert for Magners, one of many overwhelmingly Oirish adverts that blighted the channels over 2010; while utterly forgettable adverts for the likes of Maltesers, Cushelle and Velvet were also ranked in the top ten.
So, what does all of this mean? Very little, beyond the redundancy of many tracking metrics deployed in advertising and marketing to reassure advertisers and marketers that they're doing a top-hole job.
These adverts may have been ranked as memorable and likeable, but it's hard to read anything more significant into these figures. Are these good adverts? In the main, no. Did they give a return on investment? There's no data here to suggest they did. What was the penetration? Who knows? Did they raise the profile of the brand? Perhaps, that's the easiest conclusion to draw from this bizarre set of data, though how familiar and fondly thought-of the brand already is is debatable; as is how memorable they after after a year; while how these adverts automatically become 'best-loved' is beyond me.
No doubt Nielsen would love to tell you more about its advert rankings and audience research - for an absolutely whopping fee. I'd be more than happy to give rather more succinct views on the adverts below, for a much smaller one.
'Best-Loved' Adverts Of 2010
(Descriptions in italics are Nielsen's; in plain are mine)
Story of meerkats fighting an army of mongooses in a snowy landscape
Meerkats uber Alles.
2. Magner's Irish Cider
Clonmel home of Magners Cider; lorry over golf course; through brick wall
Begorrah, bejoisus, becroikey. Fucking champ. Patronising Oirish drivel.
Two couples watch a movie; girlfriends position boyfriends so that they are cuddling
Meh. Variation of the stupid-Dad meme.
4. Santander Bank
Family driving in car; boy falls asleep with red legos; featuring Lewis Hamilton
Everyone likes lego; kids probably like Lewis Hamilton (though probably don't do a lot of banking).
5. Snickers Candy
Mr. T doing pushups; listen up, suckers; get tough, one-fingered push-ups
Hard to ignore, hard to forget, hard not to like - at first at least.
6. Cancer Research
Race for Life this summer, beat cancer, enter now
Don't remember ever seeing this.
7. Marks & Spencer Christmas ad
Come on girls first positions; featuring Peter Kay, Twiggy and Dannii Minogue
Noisy, unloved-celeb cluster-fuck.
8. Velvet Paper Towels
Boy in suit points to where trees should be planted in forest; adults hold trees in pots
Quite like this, couldn't connect it with a brand though.
9. Cushelle Bathroom Tissue
Cartoon koala bear leaps and hugs pack of tissue; new name (previously Charmin)
10. Pepsi Max
Professional footballers, including Lionel Messi, play kids for a Pepsi Max
Cash-spunking corporate obligation pay-day.