AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

4Feb/187

Choose February’s Worst Advert

nationwide advert sisters

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

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

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

Apple iPad Pro advert

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

Voices Nationwide Flo and Joan advert

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

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

Go Compare Monster Bill advert

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

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

First Choice advert - The Turners Go Mahoosive

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

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

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

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

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

Fiftylife Over 50s Life Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote for your most hated advert

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

19Dec/176

The Worst Adverts of 2017: Vote

Is it that time again. For the bad things? You know, the worst adverts of 2017? The things that have been making your angry, upset, irritated or perhaps even clinically insane over the course of the year? I must say, 12 months ago I was struggling for things to say. Now, as I find myself casting an eye withered by intense hatred over what advertising has served up over the last 12 months, I feel reborn. Just like America, where it's morning again. If that morning looks like a coming fascist apocalypse.

Back over in Blighty it's not been much cheerier, but luckily we're going to leave the European soon and all our problems will be solved. The economy will rebounce, there'll be a million more houses once the Eurocrats stop us using straight bananas for bricks and there will be no further Muslim families in adverts (thanks for nothing, Gordon Brown!).

worst adverts of 2017

And on the telly? No comfort there. Between the meat-grinder aesthetics of box-set killathons, The Handmaid's Tale and This Fucking Morning there's precious little to lift spirits. And sandwiched in between like James Corden wrapped up in, well, two more James Cordens the adverts are waiting for us.

They get you while you're weak you know. Just when you're reeling from Trump and nuclear war and the housing crisis and Philip Schofield they hit with concentrated messages of smiling, happy, thin people and wormtongue in your ear that if only you buy their shit you can be just like them on the telly.

tui advert ain't nobody

Whisper, whisper. A holiday, a car, a burger.The unfettered delights of broadband from a slightly different supplier. And checking your FUCKING. CREDIT. HISTORY. They lie in wait for us like a Victorian butcher's assistant awaiting a lady of the night in the fog-shrouded east end (oh, and let's take it as read I despise James Corden, any price-comparison websites, betting websites, virtually anything for banks and acknowledge the sheer ineptitude of most daytime things for hoovers, gardening kneepads and meals-on-wheels).

And so you buy something and, fractionally, momentarily feel a little bit better. And then it's onto the drudgery of the fifth nightly episode of Coronation Street. So I urge you: don't see adverts as harmless or even a bit of a laugh.

Think of them as evil; as obviously evil as Rebekah Vardy. And steel yourself for what's ahead, for it's the time of year when I choose the absolute nadir. Brace yourselves: it's the worst adverts of 2017.


Read: worst adverts of 2017

Sainsbury's food dancing advert

Want to know what it looks like to spend bazillions of quids on a campaign in which no-one has the slightest faith? Look no further than the Sansbury's Food Dancing adverts, which features a rainbow vision of Britain where everyone prances about while cooking.

It's like a Brian Eno cut-up technique where a bunch of creatives have inexpertly welded together a bunch of aspirational and on-brand concepts and like a conceptual Human Caterpillar (please don't Google that if you don't know what it means) and just as grisly.

All so somewhere a handful of people will upload their videos to Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram with the hashtag #FoodDancing. And somewhere in London some people will make a note of this and make a PowerPoint then show it to someone who works at Sainsbury's who, in turn, will hand over a cheque for three million pounds.

• Read the original: Sainsbury's food dancing advert

Tui Ain't Nobody advert

You know you almost have to admire this advert for Tui, a thing that used to be called Thomson that has been rationalised into a noise that seems designed to represent gross physical nausea, given the reactions to this spot.

I pondered not even doing a poll this year, as it's quite clear to me that Tui is going to sweep away everything in its path like a physical tide of comical ineptitude worse than an Apprentice candidate laced with enough chemical sludge to make everyone evacuate every bodily receptacle at once.

Clearly one of the worst adverts of 2017; clearly one of the most dreadful thing to take place within our solar system since the Kuiper Belt fiddled a load of OAPs out of their war pensions.

• Read the original: Tui advert

Clearscore advert

People actually complained when I ran through this advert with a spit before roasting it unceremoniously on top of a Bonfire of James Corden autobiographies. Because it has animals it.

Look, I like animals. I like them so much I give money to the RSPCA, RSPB, WWF and a variety of wildlife and environmental charities and pressure groups. That's what liking animals means, not gawping at the fucking things and making that 'aww' noise when you see a CGI one on the telly before polishing off another cow-leg sandwich.

So, frankly, fuck adverts that use non-existent animals as a means to barter entrance into your subconscious. As for you, if you're one of the people who liked teh funnay animals, go and put a bird feeder up in your back garden.

• Read the original: Clearscore advert

Virgin Trains advert

"Speedcore or Spandau?" Virgin asked us.

"Hobnail boot or baseball bat?" replied the world.

Like Piers Morgan entering your bedroom, dousing you with a bucket of cold water and dragging his fingernails down a blackboard just as you near orgasm.

• Read the original: Virgin Trains advert

Windows rapping teacher advert

A good grief. Tony, what have you done. Though I might decry bigotry and jingoism in all its forms I have to admit to a kernel of annoyance when American adverts are beamed, unchanged, into our upright, steadfast and proudly parochial British living rooms. We just can't deal with such an earnest lack of irony and if there's anything Tony lacks - apart from the name of a good hairdresser and any flow whatsoever - it's irony. Tony got in touch on Twitter and seems like a good guy, but by God he really is responsible for one of the worst adverts I've ever seen.

• Read the original: Windows rapping teacher advert

McDonald's dead Dad advert

I dislike McDonald's for many reasons, but I never thought they would add 'exploiting bereaved children in order to sell hamburgers' to that list.

Of course, a diet high in sugars, fat and salt is probably more likely to lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes so perhaps it's no surprise that Dad popped his clogs before his son was in long trousers.

• Read the original: McDonald's dead Dad advert

Skeletor Moneysupermarket adverts

Like a shark, price-comparison site adverts have to keep moving forward to stay alive. Well, if that shark was a total cunt anyway. Every now and again a Go Compare or a Moneysupermarket stumbles across a winning formula - a genuinely amusing, original or dissonant advert that catches the eyes and actually entertains for the first 600 or so times you see it. But there's always a regression to the mean that ensure the next one up will be as depressingly banal as usual.

Perhaps there's simply no point in making the effort in this peculiar niche of advertising where your product is literally exactly the same as your three main rivals. If shouting the loudest and longest is the mark of success I guess we should be surprised there's as much effort as there is in these crushingly tossed-off, will-this-do 'ironic thing from your childhood' bowel movements casually shat out by agencies who know they're onto a good thing.

• Read the original: Skeletor adverts

McDonald's McCafe advert

Yes it's McDonald's again - did I tell you I don't like them? - with this advert that's half-good. Unfortunately the rest of it is pure, concentrated evil - as bad as the stuff that seeps out of the pages of the Dailies Mail and Express every day and poison the brain, heart and any other major organs of anyone who is exposed for long enough.

This point-and-laugh exercise is a metaphor for Britain in 2017, where anything different, anything fancy, anything highbrow or anything that attempts to lift itself out of the Shit Life Syndrome bog much of England is right now can be ridiculed just because it's not itself shit.

Imagine Nigel Farage in his stupid upmarket Del Boy coat smoking a fag, braying that posh-boy laugh and slurping a cup of McCafe coffee - it's startling easy to - and you'll never look at it in the same way again.

• Read the original: McDonald's McCafe advert

Nationwide 'share a sunrise' advert

Meet Toby and Laurie. On second thoughts, don't.

TalkTalk advert

It's actually called This Is Christmas. Shane Meadows meets Googlebox - somehow conspiring to advertise broadband with a soundtrack of 'real people' singing. Ghastly.


Vote: worst adverts of 2017

Obviously if you've voting on the worst adverts of 2017 it's going to be Tui. But I'll be keeping a close eye on second and third place in the battle to find the worst adverts of 2017...

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