AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

25Nov/171

Best and Worst Christmas Adverts 2017

So, it's the Christmas adverts 2017. Christmas isn't Christmas without your very own Christmas hashtag is it? I mean, a hashtag really is the true meaning of Christmas and if your advert doesn't have one you're the equivalent of one of those fictional councils that has banned Christmas.

I've copied below the titles that the various brands and companies came up with themselves and while you can see more keyword stuffing than a Christmas turkey, you'll probably notice that most have their very own Christmas Hashtag. "Hashtag Aww".

honey g christmas adverts 2017

You know what else Christmas is all about? Value. Like politicians addicted to promising to make the lives of 'hardworking families' slightly less shit than last year, brands have become utterly obsessed with offering 'value', by which they mean 'cheap', by which they mean 'shit'.

That's something references in plenty of these Christmas adverts below - from the V-flicking of Lidl to the orgy of badness seen in the advert for peacocks, which is responsible for a whole new alphabet to categorise just how far down the celebrity rung the ad's stars are.

Compare these adverts to the Christmas adverts of a few years ago and the lack of celebrities is startling, as if the Brexit-hungry population might associate people who are not Norms as elite, and therefore hate them. In the place? Black, asian and gay people by the bucketload, thereby replacing celebrities as the hate-filled lightning rod for fruitcakes, saddos and bastards.

christmas adverts 2017

But usually it's the same old stuff: Christmas lights, tables groaning under platters, snow, CGI animals and multicultural parties in a non-threatening commuter town.

They're not all bad. Granted some of them made me bleed from various orifices, but it's just about possible to watch most of these adverts without devolving into a pile of fats and proteins.

Vote for your favourite, tell me about your most-hated - or simply go and hurl a brick through the window of a drive-thru. Whatever gets you through the festive period basically.

Me? I'm off to Soho with a my boomstick and a chainsaw attached to the bloody stump where my arm used to be. I wish you a Groovy Christmas!

Christmas advert 2017

John Lewis Christmas Advert - #MozTheMonster

They say: Joe befriends a noisy Monster under his bed but the two have so much fun together that he can't get to sleep, leaving him tired by day. For Christmas Joe receives a gift to help him finally get a good night’s sleep.

I say: I'm as immune to the supposed charms of anthropomorphised Christmas CGI so beloved of John Lewis as they are to my complaining about them. Suffice it to say that they needed to explain their advert, which either suggests an overcomplicated advert or a very stupid target audience.

Turkey, Every Which Way | Tesco Christmas Advert

They say: Every family has a different turkey tale… However you cook yours - from barbecuing to basting - we’ve got a turkey for you.

I say: The hashtag for this Tesco Christmas advert is, of course, #EveryonesWelcome. "Fuck that," said the internet in response, "the Muslamics aren't fucking welcome!" Tidings of comfort and joy and all that, eh?

So, two things here: I actually laughed out loud at the terse "Have you been basting it, Caroline?" that rings so true of Christmas Day tension exchanges.

Also I like it because it features a gay couple, black people and an Asian family celebrating Christmas. And if you have a problem with that I have a Christmas message for you: fuck you, you're a cunt.

Best Christmas Ever | Asda Christmas Advert 2017 – Full Version

They say: Step inside the Asda Christmas Imaginarium to discover the magic behind everything we’ve created, so you can have the #BestChristmasEver

I Say: I like the look of this and the setting, Manchester's beautiful Victoria Baths. There's almost a bit of a Wes Anderson feel to bits of it. The idea is quite nice, featuring plenty of Borrower-style creatures making all of Asda's foodstuffs, though you get the feeling it would be rather more honest if it features a load of Polish agricultural workers and various non-whites working for $3 a day.

Sainsbury's OFFICIAL Christmas Advert 2017 #everybitofChristmas

They say: The 2017 Sainsbury's Christmas advert squeezes every bit of Christmas into a wonderfully fun and festive song, sung by people all over Britain.

I say: I'm afraid I couldn't watch this advert for more than five or six seconds, though I did have enough time to glean that Sainsbury's is sticking to its cretinous food dancing theme, a running background chatter only slightly less appalling and moronic that Donald Trump's Twitter account.

Aldi Christmas Advert ft. Kevin The Carrot 2017

They say: Kevin the Carrot is back this Christmas and he’s met someone special. Join him in his adventure across the dinner table and see all of the delicious festive food we have on offer this year.

I say: I guess if you throw some snow and a groaning table-full of festive fare into a £5m ad campaign it doesn't really matter what else you do, so once again we have a carrot in peril from Aldi. I hope he gets grated or pureed - and his green tops turned into pesto -before next Christmas.

Marks & Spencer Christmas TV Ad 2017 | Paddington & The Christmas Visitor #LoveTheBear

They say: We can now reveal our Christmas advert - the tale of true Christmas spirit - with our favourite Paddington Bear

I say: There's more cash been spunked on this than fake snow and none of it really aligns in any way with Marksies. Still, it's hitting M&S customers - moneyed people frightened by change - right in the demographics.

Amazon Christmas Advert 2017 - 'Give' 60"

They say: See what happens when hundreds of Amazon boxes go on a magical journey, to send a smile this Christmas all whilst singing Roger Hodgson's anthem “Give a Little Bit.”

I say: Top-notch soundtrack, though needless to say it's completely ruined by non-singing people singing it, as is the fashion these days. And if those parcels knew they'd be slung over your back gate and left out in the rain they wouldn't be quite so chuffed.

Christmas List - Morrisons Christmas Advert 2017

They say: Our Christmas adverts tell the story of three families and highlight the skills of our foodmakers and shopkeepers.

I say: I can't find it in my heart to dislike Morrisons, who always seem to at least pay lip service to some of the more wholesome messages of Christmas - bonus points for the continuing voiceovers of Paul Copley too. If you want to be in a bad mood for a month take a look at the comments on this ad, which has the gall to feature a person who is Not White.

Very.co.uk Christmas Advert 2017 - Get More Out of Giving

They say: Follow the story of our big-hearted little girl as she spreads festive cheer by giving pink-wrapped gifts. Our heroine is accompanied by Ulfie, her much-loved toy wolf.

I Say: What happens if you cross The Snowman with The Box Of Delights - and add a touch of Stranger Things? This ad for Very.co.uk.

Bring Merry Back - House of Fraser Christmas Advert 2017

They say: this year, we’re recapturing that Christmas magic in our new advert with a much-needed trip down memory lane. Complete with paper chains, stick-on Santa beards and some quality family time, watch as two sisters fall back into their younger selves, reminded of the joy that Christmas can bring.

I say: House Of Fraser tracks down the very last Christmas song left unraped by advertising (though it's not a very good one) and shows us the lifetimes of two sisters through a Christmas filter.

Boots Christmas | TV Advert 2017 | #ShowThemYouKnowThem

They say: This Christmas, it’s all about the thought. It’s about old memories and the new ones you’re yet to make. It’s about the secrets you’ve shared and the laughs you won’t forget. Most of all, it’s about finding the perfect gift to really show them you know them.

I say: Ooh, two sisters. This is awkward. Like when you turn up to a party and you're wearing the same dress as That Woman You Hate. Especially when you're a man. But I can never find it in my heart to dislike Boots adverts, which at least try to get somewhere close to depictions of real life in their Christmas adverts. Great soundtrack too.

TK Maxx ‘A White Christmas’ Advert 2017

They say: Yes, we’re actually doing this. You can get a White Christmas. To your door. For absolutely nothing.

I say: A lorry turning up to ejaculate snow all over your house is so on-brand for TK Maxx it's ridiculous.

Waitrose Christmas TV Ad 2017 | #ChristmasTogether

Christmas is the perfect time of year to gather round and enjoy delicious food but, most importantly, to spend #ChristmasTogether

I say: The awful silence, the looks heavy with significance, the open hostility. Are the people snowed in at the Tan Hill Inn - Britain's highest pub - going to... kill and eat their rescuers?

Argos Christmas TV ad 2017 - #ReadyForTakeOff

They say: Our Christmas ad is #ReadyForTakeOff! Watch our elf race through the snow to make sure no-one is disappointed this festive season.

I say: Argos warehouse workers get paid £7.71 at the time of writing - that's 21p per hour more than the minimum wage. And it's that extra half-bob that ensures Argos workers go that extra mile to deliver a toy robot dog to your house on Christmas Eve.

Creating Value in Every Moment - Matalan Christmas Advert 2017

They say: Christmas – it’s magical, fun and super-busy all at the same time! Find the value in every festive moment with us… #MatalanMoment
*An on-set vet was present to supervise Dodger the dog for the filming of our advert.

I say: 'Value' is a much abused word in this day and age - it should mean the worth, the desirability or merit we place in something. Instead it's usually a euphemism for cheap and the drive for 'value' has led to a race to the bottom in this country. Result? Cheap, tacky crap and cheap, bad food. I'll let you decide which definition of Matalan is going for here and which you most associate with the brand.

Beautifully Normal - Lidl's Global Christmas Advert

They say: Clichés don't make Christmas, it's the moments that do.

What I say: A nice effort at subverting the Christmas schmaltz and spitting in the face of the rest of the pack but have you heard this fucking music? Nothing says Christmas like a vocoder-ed R'n'B semi-rap in a transatlantic accent eh?

Barbour Christmas Ad 2017 - The Snowman and The Snowdog

They say:This #BarbourChristmas, the story of The Snowman and The Snowdog continues with the next chapter in their story. When snow starts to fall on Christmas Eve, magic can happen...

I say: Who could find it in their heart to hate something that references something so beautiful, British-ly festive? And I wouldn't begrudge Raymond Briggs a nice little Christmas windfall. Still, hijacking The Snowman with advertising is rather like tattooing SKY BET across David Attenborough's face.

Sky Cinema Christmas Advert 2017

They say: Our Christmas adverts tell the story of three families and highlight the skills of our foodmakers and shopkeepers.

I say: I hate Sky. I hate the way they monopolise sport and films, I hate the associations with The Sun and the Murdochs and I hate the way they charge you so much for something and then stick adverts in the middle. And I hate the fucking Sound Of Music.

The tagline to this ad - nothing brings people together like a movie at Christmas always reminds me of a brilliant retort to a similar claim in an advert of yesteryear.

"Nothing gets a party started like Ferrero Rocher," went the ad.

"Mmm, ecstasy does," replied my chum to many chortles.

#YouShall Find Your Fairytale Christmas | Debenhams Christmas TV Ad 2017

They say: Our Debenhams Christmas TV advert 2017 is revealed...will they find their fairytale Christmas? #YouShall

I say: Debenhams seems destined to be always the bridesmaid and never the bride when it comes to Christmas adverts. In fact it's not even the bridesmaid - it's the woman from university who was somehow part of the friendship group even though she never fitted in and was invited only on sufferance. However lots of racists have been whining about it on the basis that there's a mixed-race couple in it (and yes that is Ewan McGregor up a ladder) so it gets a pass from me.

Vodafone Christmas Love Story. Part 1: Love on the Platform

They say: There’s magic in the air when Martin meets a young lady who’s using her Vodafone Video pass to stream It’s a Wonderful Life, on the way home for Christmas. Watch as he hilariously bundles from a Jimmy Stewart impression to an ill-advised sermon on data usage in part one of our Christmas love story.

I say: Love On The Platform sounds like a DVD by Ben Dover, a grimy Carry On film of a man with a back catalogue of back-alley sex compilations: car-parks in Scunthorpe; garages in Poole; sewage works in Luton and the like.

Martin Freeman is still miles away from overexposure and there's something reassuring about his everyman awkwardness but an ad campaign for a telecommunications company - somewhere between Inland Revenue and dentists on my list of 'people I like having appointments with' - might test it sorely.

Littlewoods Christmas 40" Advert 2017 - Own it!

They say: Step into December with Littlewoods this year as we help you own every magical Christmas moment you have planned in your calendar. From putting up festive Santa decorations with your loved ones, to making sure you can create and capture your perfect Christmas Day filled with love and perfect gifts, we’ll help you own every moment - with a bit of extra sparkle and glitter.

I say: As a tagline 'own it' seems a bit rich from Littlewoods, whose USP seems to be that you don't really own anything for several months, or even years, after you start paying for it. Putting Christmas on tick may not be particularly festive but it seems fairly par for the course in 2017. If that golf course is about to go bankrupt, anyway.

Geoffrey the Part Time Reindeer Toys R Us UK 2017

They say: Once upon a time, there was a giraffe called Geoffrey who ran a beautiful Toys 'R' Us store. It was Christmas Eve and Geoffrey was waiting for someone very special.

I say: If I were Toys R Us I'd just show the same faded, fuzzy advert from the 80s rather than this halfway 'have-your-cake-and-eat-it' house that drags Geoffrey into a charmless CGI Pixar update, like a colourised Laurel & Hardy film or After Effects-ed celeb face into a gangbang.

Merry Techmas | LG | Currys PC World

They say: At Currys PC world, our colleagues try out our products to give you the best advice. Looking to upgrade your TV this Christmas? The LG OLED 4k ready HD TV with Perfect Black and Perfect Colour gives outstanding picture quality.

I say: Merry Techmas everyone! A heartwarming tale of how a family laughs at the idea of sitting around a fire having a conversation with one another and instead offers a hi-tech television with 'perfect black'. Makes the heart positively melt, like a Nazi's face in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

JD TV AD 2017: Undisputed Christmas

They say: Back and better than ever, have yourself an Undisputed Christmas this year, with our action packed TV Ad, featuring exclusives from Nike, adidas, The North Face, Ellesse, Under Armour and many more.

I say: Nothing says Christmas more than a bunch of happy slapping youths throwing punches at your grid.

TalkTalk: This is Christmas

They say: Here it is, our 2017 Christmas ad. Whether you're after an Oscar for your 'I *really* love my new socks' performance or cosying down in front of the telly, our TalkTalk family have shown us just how much being connected to loved ones matters.

I say: Apparently this is TalkTalk's Christmas advert but every time I catch in on telly I've been convinced it's the latest instalment of THIS IS ENGLAND.

Carrot Stick | Christmas | Brand | TV Ad | McDonald's UK

They say: McDonald's 2017 Christmas ad is here. Time for everyone to get #ReindeerReady

I say: The idea that any McDonald's outlet has anything approaching raw, unadulterated vegetables on it premises just seems laughable. And the idea of A Christmas McDonald's advert seems as dissonant as replacing communion wine with a Jaegerbomb.

Peacocks Christmas Advert 2017 | #XMASFACTOR

Reader comment says: Oh my god honey G Is my idol I am now training to be her and am scheduled for plastic surgery in 3 days

I say: A chemical toilet of an advert featuring X-Factor rejects who would have been burned at the stake 300 years ago.

Gogglebox Meets Coca-Cola's “Holidays Are Coming” 2017

They say: See the families of Channel 4's Gogglebox reacting to Coca-Cola's iconic Holidays Are Coming ad, that has been gracing the nation’s screens for 22 years!

I say: I love Gogglebox and what works is that the people are honest, genuine and generally likeable. All of which is, of course, destroyed by throwing them into an advert and paying them to overreact to the approach of a truck carrying sugary drinks. Like co-opting a benevolent old man who gives you presents at Christmas into a Coke-wielding American brand mascot.

Vote for your favourite Christmas adverts 2017

Favourites? You tell me. I'll take is as read the answer 'none of the above' will feature.

Christmas adverts of old

Refresh your memories of the best and worst Christmas adverts – sob pitifully at advertising or enrage yourself to vein-throbbing standards – of previous years.

Best and Worst Xmas Ads of 2016

Best and Worst Xmas Ads of 2015

Best and Worst Xmas Ads of 2014

Best and Worst Xmas Ads of 2013

Best and Worst Xmas Ads of 2012

Best and Worst Xmas Ads of 2011

26Mar/163

Hollywood Celebrities In Adverts

john cleese specsavers fawlty towers advert

Have you noticed the amounts of Hollywood celebrities in adverts recently? Not just film trailers or transatlantic airways or American banks and all that jazz; not Victor Kiam. I'm talking bona fide Hollywood legends knowingly advertising utter shit in exchange for cold, hard cash and a significant hit to their credibility.

It's currently possible to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicole Kidman, Harvey Keitel and a raft of silver-screen legends debasing themselves in the bit between repeats of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire on ITV56 every Tuesday afternoon. In exchange for yet another mansion - or a year's worth of fuelling a Lear jet - they appear in these parochial, ironic and very shit adverts for products as pitiful as insurance, price-comparison websites and bread. Often sending up themselves - or the roles for which they're known. In British adverts for British brands.

bruce willis sky advert

This tells us many things. One, most celebrities are utterly shameless. Two, there must be a hell of a lot of cash flowing through the coffers of these companies. Three, there's a very good reason they're coming over here, rather than doing it on their native TV networks, to do it.

In years gone by Sylvester Stallone, Snoop Dogg, Al Pacino, Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis have also made the trip over the water. Or have they? In many cases, probably not, but there's a calculation going on here - a calculation that suggests the shame of patronising this shit is worth the money if you only damage your street cred in a faraway land.

In years gone by it was known as Japandering - whoring yourself for cash in foreign lands on the basis that none of your white, English-speaking fans would ever see you humiliate yourself. Here's a good example: Schwarzenegger, one of the biggest movie draws of the 80s, appearing in a fucking bonkers Japanese advert for an energy drink at the height of his fame.

There are various degrees of awfulness and contempt to these adverts, but no-one comes out with much credit. Apart from a couple million more in the bank. One thing I am certain of is that we haven't seen the last of Hollywood celebrities in British adverts. They'll be back. Oh yes, they'll be back.


Harvey Keitel / Winston Wolfe Direct Line adverts

harvey keitel direct line advert

Harvey Keitel is a funny one. Here is a man who has has authenticity coming out of his arse. Born to immigrant parents who ran a restaurant in Brooklyn; a veteran; taught to act by Strasbourg; long associations with Scorsese and Tarantino; earned his stripes with against-type portrayals in films by Jane Campion and Abel Ferrara; acted under De Palma, Coppola and Scott; a peer of De Niro, Pacino and Nicholson - a quartet of actors you could argue have formed the bedrock of some of the most acclaimed and successful films of several recent decades; one of Hollywood's most iconic tough guys of the last 40 years. He must be fucking minted.

And yet he is happy to collect a cheque in which he shits all over one of his most iconic roles in a film directed by his protege, Quentin Tarantino. I happen to think that Tarantino is vastly overrated as a director, but popular opinion and celluloid consensus is against me: Pulp Fiction is a classic, the film's fixer, Winston Wolfe, is an icon and Keitel is one of the coolest character actors in modern Hollywood.

Which makes it all the more bizarre that he's prepared to spray that film and his own reputation with whippet shit. Keitel not only riffs on his image from the film as a mob fixer but repeats phrases and set-ups in the adverts, extricating Direct Line customers from minor scrapes with recourse to an insurance company. Or does he? Perhaps he really is going to shoot a lot of people in the head in order to remedy these prangs, leaks and boiler repairs. And surely Direct Line aren't equating home insurance with illegal racketeering?


Al Pacino and Bruce Willis Sky adverts

al pacino sky advert

So very tired

Seeing this pair advertise Sky in their inevitably half-hearted styles is sad as much as anything. Pacino once smouldered with intensity; Willis a wise-cracking everyman. Nowadays they look tired, used up, bored to tears by everything they do - including these embarrassing Sky adverts, in which they inevitably come up against some dopey, star-struck, weird-looking Brits.

Pacino actually references the fact that he might keel over at any second. And Willis taking one of them home to fuck does not make it any less sad. Indeed, after half an hour of trying to get it up and failing it probably serves to enhance the innate tragedy.


Harrison Ford Sky advert

harrison ford sky advert

This is, at least, not wholly embarrassing for Ford - and at least it's not inserting him into some drab domestic situation and asking him to make a fool of himself. But he just looks so very tired, as if all he wants to do is lie down and go to sleep. The man who played Han Solo, Rick Deckard and Indiana Jones looks more likely to doze off and start snoring halfway through a movie than be a kid again.

I find the overt wielding of cash fairly vulgar in this instance too. Sky, Virgin, Netflix, BT and the rest hurl around utterly vast sums of money in an effort to increase their share of the cash you allocate towards making your snoozy nights on the sofa that little bit more bearable. Lulling you into a soporific stupor as they lift another £80 monthly fee out of your bank account. We're slaves to our tellies in this way and these box-set wielding behemoths are our masters.

That they can spend these shit-tonnes of cash to convince more and more people to watch slightly differing shades of glossy, largely braindead television is one of the more sinister facets of our modern society. Oh, look, Game Of Thrones. A child being burned to death. LOL!


Sylvester Stallone Warburton's adverts

sylvester stallone warburtons advert

This the one that take the floppy, rubbery, processed-flour cake. Tory donors Warburton's offer up a grisly concoction of Chairman Jonathan Warburton and dough-faced Hollywood punchbag Sylvester Stallone engaging in an unlikely conversation about bread. For more background on this I urge you to read this apparently serious interview with the bread impresario, in which he voices his disbelief that Alastair Cook didn't realise supermarket bread was fresh.

I suppose it's something to be grateful for that Stallone didn't rape Rocky in earning his filthy lucre. And a soldier with PTSD massacring Muslims probably wouldn't play too well in Bolton, so they've plumped for a thinly-veiled Expendables pastiche. A mass-murdering mercenary, then, was deemed an appropriate character to base the advert around. Yet the odd smart visual gag can't rescue the fact that this is just horrible - a patronising, badly-acted and fundamentally dishonest advert about bread that votes for David Cameron.


Snoop Dogg / MoneySupermarket adverts

snoop dogg moneysupermarket advert

Gangsta rap's whole ethos is an expression of the desire for money and power - and ability to express both in the most vulgar way possible - so it's no surprise Snoop is prepared to eat shit in exchange for lots of The Benjamins.

The idea that saving money on a price-comparison site is somehow equatable to doing burnouts in low-riders and twerking with a bunch of honeyz is surely one that resonated with the Essex-dwelling C2s that make up MoneySupermarket's core demographic too.


John Cleese / Specsavers advert

john cleese specsavers advert

It gives me no pleasure but say it, but it's precisely 28 years since John Cleese was last funny. In the same way that most musicians outlive their sell-by dates, churning out forgettable music by muscle-memory rather for any especially noble reason, many comedians start a low slide into irrelevance around middle age.

Fawlty Towers will always remain a landmark in comedy - and Cleese will rightly be lauded for his work - but this advert is just rather sad, for lots of reasons. It's impossible to link Cleese-Now with Cleese-Then, as a result this is simply the equivalent of acting karaoke by an old man who bears a passing resemblance to Basil Fawlty. Cleese must have been offered a tonne of cash for this - as he must have been hundreds of times over the last 30 years - and claims that he acceded this time because he thought it was funny. But it isn't.

Neither Cleese nor Specsavers come out with any credit. For the latter this is simply an opportunity to keep a tired joke going by besmirching the memory of a comedy classic. For the former, a million quid.


Nicole Kidman CompareTheMarket adverts

nicole kidman comparethemarket advert

In my mind's eye Kidman gets booked in for a day of soul-destroying shit one every couple of months. She does a few voiceovers for adverts (probably those ones where radio stations can bag a bespoke mention), takes part in a few round-table interviews in which unlucky journos are allowed to ask one question each about her new film no-one gives a fuck about and spends two hours talking to a CGI meerkat. For this day's work she bags, ooh, let's say $1m. Then she goes home and devours the soul of a maid whose name she's never really known.

Put all that to one side and you have someone who's been rich, successful and acclaimed for almost 30 years. Humiliating herself for money in a market she's calculated cannot damage her fame or professional standing. Perhaps the lack of nobility about the whole shouldn't surprise us - but it's worth remembering that while your man on the street might think it a bit of fun, the very existence of these adverts shows us what these celebrities, agencies and brands really think of us.

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