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19 Tesco Discount Fails You Won’t Believe

tesco discount fails

I'm a big fan of the yellow-sticker section in Tesco. Or the Whoopsed section in Asda. Or... whatever Sainsbury's calls its discounted section. They're a great source of cheap food and a kind of Ready-Steady-Cook challenge: "You've got river cobbler, a load of cubes of feta with olives, Activia and some wilting spring onions. What are you going whip up for us today?"

I've an eagle eye for Twofers, BOGOFs and standard discounting too, but sometimes you see a deal that is so clearly not a deal it blows the mind. Go to the discounted trolley - full of broken biscuits, remaindered shoe polish, out-of-date herbs and bashed-up cans - and you will always find a multipack split into its constituent parts that's more expensive that the multipack.

The frequency of multibuy discounts not subtracted from the bill - and preponderance of big yellow labels that usually denote savings but frequently do not - also leads me to wonder how much of this is pure accident. And don't get me started on the 11.5p per 100g; £0.65 per metric hundredweight; £4 per half-ounce chicanery that they all deal in.

But it doesn't end there. The last time I was in Tesco I made a note to see who else has encountered similar Not-Bargains. Turns out there's a lot. Stand by for some of the worst discounts you'll ever see...

Putting the 'little' in Every Little Helps

1. Thanks Tesco for that 0% discount

2. Woo-hoo, Christmas is saved!

3. Buy two, pay 52 cents extra; buy four, pay four cents extra!

4. Bulk buying never fails - when it's beer anyway

5. Have a break, have a Kit-Kat at 100% of its original price

6. St George Design Bowler Hat - a whole one-hundreth cheaper

7. Was £1, now £1! Must be eaten today!

8. That's a 1.79% discount in case you're wondering

9. And this is a whopping 0.67% off this old pastie

10. In fairness this is a huge saving - on eels in jelly

11. Diet Coke - better for your teeth; better for your wallet

12. Better than half price! If better means more.

13. Why, I'd be a fool not to!

14. The lighter, if not cheaper, way to enjoy chocolate

15. Thank God - we will eat today!

16. In fairness it's way more than one per cent

17. A 0.20% saving - the spirit of Christmas

18. Healthy body, healthy wallet!

19. Best discount ever!

A huge 0.04% saving on this whisky!

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Worst Advert Of 2015: Results

tesco-advert will close

Tesco was the runaway winner of the poll to find the worst advert of 2015. By such a long way that it garnered almost four times as many votes as its closest rival, Clean Bandit's quite hideous Cortana advert and a full 35% higher than a third-placed late addition - the Virgin Media advert.

This is by far the biggest win of any terrible advert over the last seven years, but I'm going out on a limb to suggest that Tesco's ubiquity around the time the poll has somewhat skewed the results. Was it really worse than the Clean Bandit Cortana advert? The godawful Haribo ad where they talk in children's voices? Or the utterly vile Andrex 'gold pants' ad? For my money no, but there's certainly something interesting going on here.

The rather swaggering way that Tesco went into this ad campaign - believing it had 'permission to be funny' and that there was a 'latent love of the brand' - only to be met with a wall of visceral hatred reminded me of the grisly way the Ceaușescus went to their doom in 1989. Waving and smiling to a crowd one minute; machine-gunned up against a wall the next.

Hyperbole? Just take a look at the comments on this Facebook post, which contains just one image of actor Will Close (the annoying son to Ruth Jones and Ben Miller in the Tesco adverts) and nothing more. A calvacade of hatred.

My theory on this is that our suspicion of government, banks and big business is finally catching up with authority figures. It's why Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP have become more popular; why the High Street is having such a terrible time; why we burn effigies of politicians and bankers. The old orders are being disrupted.

It's not so established that we're actually leaving our banks or shopping at co-operatives - instead we vent our frustration in more symbolic ways. We're unlikely to vote out a Tory government virtually everyone believes is horrible but we're sure as Hell going to throw eggs at them. Tesco and the like - all those big, familiar brands - can expect a rougher ride going forward.

20 years ago Tesco had Prunella Scales and Jane Horrocks doing the exact same thing as Miller, Jones and Close. And it was seen as part of Tesco's undeniable elevation to the king of the edgeland-megastore; the vanguard of a movement that killed off our limping town centres. Skip forward to today and Tesco is struggling and a set of adverts that do exactly the same thing are utterly despised.

Something has changed. The question for agencies, brands, business - for all of us - is what?

Worst Advert of 2015: Results

Tesco wins with over 44% of the vote, with the Cortana advert a distant second at 12.33% and Virgin Media - a late entry that probably would have claimed the runner-up spot if it had been in the original poll - taking bronze with just under 10%. MadBid was just outside the medals and the only other advert to take more than five per cent of the vote in a very open field. A field of shite, that is.

worst advert of 2015

'Other' answers

Just Eat
oak furniture land
Vitality uk dog
Joe Hart Head and Shoulders advert
House of Fraser "Your Christmas your rules"
just eat
Apple christmas
Apple xmas advert
LA vie est belle

Worst Advert Of The Year: Past winners

Tesco joins AdTurds royalty Wonga, Sainsbury's, Go Compare, Haribo and Halifax in being voted the worst advert of the year. You can check out results and what I had to say for them below.

Worst Advert of 2009: Results
Worst Advert of 2010: Results
Worst Advert of 2011: Results
Worst Advert of 2013: Results
Worst Advert of 2014: Results

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