2010 Ad of the Year on ITV

Any programme called something like ‘advert of the year’ is like a red rag to a bull/ Surely very few people actually like adverts? That’s why a really good ad sticks in the mind – because normally they’re few and far between.

This ITV ‘programme’ – the inverted commas are a reference to the fact that this barely qualifies as programming; think of it as an extended ad break with some of your most hated people popping up from time to time and you’re about right – presumes to tell us what the 20 best ads of 2010 were, according to ITV viewers.

8,000 ITV viewers, so unlikely to include Brian Sewell, Peter Yorke, Adrian Serle and Melvyn Bragg – or many more people who would recognise a pile of nonsense if it slapped them in the face.

2010 was, we’re told, an “incredible year for adverts” that we “couldn’t wait to tell people about”. Apparently they’ve been “funnier, more inspiring and posed more questions than ever before”. If you’re anything like me the questions were usually along the lines of “who do I have to talk to to ensure this never happens again?”.

These ads “made us go ‘aaah'” or “turned back time and made us all think”. Oh, they certainly made me think.

Usually I thought bad things, as I’ve detailed below, along with my thoughts on the actual Ad of the Year programme.


20. Go Compare

By identifying themselves, I fear creators Chris Wilkins and Sian Vickers may have committed a fatal error, if the keyword queries on AdTurds’ Google Analytics account are to be believed.

Funnily enough, for two people who have created such unremitting misery, the pair, along with the Welsh bloke who plays Gio Compario, seem like quite pleasant people. Then again, they say Hitler was quit a nice chap in person (Christ, Godwinned myself with the first one).

• See also: Go Compare on AdTurds


19. Virgin Holidays

I’d literally never seen this before, which begs the question as to how ITV viewers held it in such high regard. Were the ITV guinea pigs were given a list of 20 and told to pick them in order?

Only a genuinely annoying advert came below this one, which is about right, as this looks totally forgettable, featuring a band called the Danke Schons (what?) doing a load of tedious old rock cliches; (‘with credibility’) according to the ad creator.

As a bonus someone called Vicky Binns proves to be an annoying twat, although nowhere near as annoying as a complete bell-end called Joe Cardamone.


18. Doritos

Never seen this one either. Something about a big Dorito.

“What sort of a mind would come up with a concept like that?” asks Lorraine Kelly, for whom life must be an absolute ever-day wonder. Someone who’d watched District 9 perhaps?


17. Yeo Valley

Never seen this one. Rapping farmers.


16. Carlsberg

Carlsberg’s advert for the World Cup, making jingoism cool again. Thing is, I actually liked this for a while. Until the bit where they rape Bobby Robson’s memory. And the bit where it goes a bit racist. Created by a guy who looks like he loves shit lager.

“You almost see [Jeff Stelling] as this pyscho beer-drinking hooligan,” says some young twonk of the ad.

• See also: Carlsberg on AdTurds


15. Visa

The fat blokes runs. Quite a pleasant little advert. The bloke shed two stone in a few weeks in the course of making this ad. In the programme he looks like he’s piled it all back on quicksmart.


14. Hovis

Something about a young girl who likes bread. Never seen it. A bit Grange Hill. Quite pleasant.


13. Stella Artois

The one with the runaway piano. Quite diverting. “All I remember is a hot guy playing a piano,” says Suzanne Shaw, showing that it didn’t really work on her, and that she’s dense.


12. Cadbury’s fingers

Chocolate fingers scale Everest; play in band; land on moon. Quite good.

• See also: Caadbury’s on AdTurds


11. Homebase

Turning Carlisle railway station into something a bit more middle-class is actually quite a nice idea. Sure it’s selling MDF and plastic chairs, but things that put a genuine smile on people’s faces are so few and far between these days I didn’t mind.


10. Ikea

“What would happen if we put 100 cats in an Ikea store,” is the stunning thunderbolt that brought this ad into reality. Being a cat owner, I could provide a fairly short list, with the word ‘piss’ featuring quite highly.

Since I own a cat, however, I quite like this.


9. Audi

This ad for the Audi R8 Spyder, featuring a load of cars on an ice rink, is a bit of cracker, like many Audi ads.

Having said that, I doubt it was the best car ad of 2010, nevermind one of the best ads of the year. Still, lovely to see the old cars, lovely concept, great execution.


8. Walkers

Walkers turn Sandwich into a UK version of Westworld, but with celebrities. About the same amount of plastic though. Quite a nice idea, but I couldn’t give a fuck about this.


7. Peter Kay – John Smiths

Meh. Not bad, but Kay is so overexposed and carries with him a reputation for nastiness that the new John Smiths ads simply don’t have the same charm these days.


6. Evian

Skater babies. Fucking horrible. Aimed at every lobotomised coo-ing woman that thinks anything to do with babies is brilliant.

The bit where the babies skate towards the fence and jump at it will have me waking up, screaming and sweating, for weeks to come.

Frankly the whole thing looks astonishingly twee, deeply wrong and overwhelmingly disturbing.


5. CompareTheMarket

Obviously overexposed, but I find the meerkat adverts quite diverting. AdTurds fact: Aleksandr Orlov is voiced by the geordie bloke from Alan Partridge.


4. John Lewis

“It captured the nation’s imagination and emotion,” says some woman about this John Lewis advert, which made us all cry, apparently.

This is the sort of advert that only affects people who aren’t really in touch with their own emotions; the sort of people who might not be able to relate to such complex emotions as ‘sadness’ or ‘happiness’ without being told what they mean by a fucking advert.

Lorraine Kelly and some other talking heads discuss this advert, which I didn’t really like, as if it were Shakespeare, Voltaire and Chekhov all rolled into one. It’s actually Dan Brown.

• See also: John Lewis on AdTurds


3. PG Tips

Johnny Vegas and Monkey. Genuinely amusing, likeable, comforting. Nothing bad to say about these.


2. Barclaycard

A rollercoaster that goes wherever you want it to – to work and back, through the shops, and past the windows of naked fitties (especially one that enjoy being perved over) – is a lovely idea. But that’s as far as this advert goes.

Because there’s nothing especially winning about this advert, especially in relation to what it’s selling. I just don’t see how it fits together. It doesn’t make me think of Barclays. It doesn’t make me think of money. It just makes me think, a little bit, about rollercoasters. And then I do something else.

Lorraine Kelly wonders how they made the advert. Christ.


1. Thinkbox

The dog does funny things. Quite diverting. No idea what the ad is saying or the product is.


The programme

Critical faculties left at the door. Some of the dumbest talking heads on bodies that are actually still alive. Mainly-charmless ad types discussing tedious details from adverts. Many poor ads.

The televisual equivalent of doping yourself up on tranquilizers and slowly drowning in a bath of Ovaltine while Lorraine Kelly and Ben Shephard coo comforting platitudes into your ears.