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…

Rapping Teacher Windows Advert

windows rapping teacher advert

“They call it the remainder / it’s the number that remains.”

With these two meagre lines the right of Toney Jackson to refer to himself as ‘the rapping teacher’ is destroyed forever. What you do Toney, if it has a name, is to speak words quickly in a monotone while jiggling up and down a bit. This is the worst rapping I’ve heard since, well, since virtually any white man attempted to rap.

This is rapping worse than Honey G, a weird white woman who appeared on The X-Factor and immediately set race relations in the UK back a generation. Though admittedly it has more credibility than Ed Sheeran. But it’s both more amusing and less listenable that this parody of rap from the hilarious Look Around You.

I’ve always pondered why American adverts are beamed into our homes as they’re virtually guaranteed to irritate any right-minded Brit. Sure there’s racists here – the last two years have been a depressing reminder of that very fact – but what’s almost admirable about the British character is how it has an impressive power to be repulsed by the sort of earnest, shit-eating American nonsense that’s all too visible in this Windows advert. Comments are disabled on Youtube because of course they are.

Toney Jackson looks like an idiot. He’s everything Brentish and squirm-inducingly unaware that you see in management culture, self-help gurus and occasionally politicians. He’s a second away from describing himself as a ‘chilled-out entertainer’ or, while musing on the dynamic between himself and his kids as ‘friend first, teacher second…’. Well, you probably know the rest. On the extended version of the advert he refers to the classroom as his ‘stage’ and describes himself as ‘a performer’.

Here’s some more of his insanely catchy flow:

“Welcome to fourth grade;
Today will only be a short day;
I’m Mr Jackson;
I like to laugh and – of course – play.”

Of course.

We Brits simply can’t cope with this level of blithe self-belief. It’s almost physically awkward for us to witness. Our weapons and self-defences are made of irony, sarcasm and cynicism – shields designed to protect us from uncomfortable social interactions. Making us watch stuff like this is like pinning our eyes open and making us watch scene after scene of violence and rape. Honestly American, first you inflict Trump on the world, now this?

Hey, if the kids yum it up and no-one gets hurt then knock yourself out. If teaching is your calling and you want to spend day upon day, year after year rapping constantly about long division long into old age then I see no reason why not. But don’t export it around the world and beam it into our living rooms, otherwise we’ll start to wonder whether Kim Jong-Un has a point.

At the end of this clearly dangerous 30 seconds come the following claims about Windows 10: “I feel like the sky’s the limit” and “I’ve seen the future”. Far be it for me to suggest that this is total bollocks – after all the words ‘real people paid for real opinions’ are evident under Toney’s face at one point, thereby confirming that he’s earning cash for this guff but, perhaps more worryingly, confirming he is an actually real person – but this is clearly total bollocks.

If a man with glowing eyes turns up in your bedroom at night, stepping out a glowing door to infinity, and claims he has seen the future you’d be pretty fucking devastated if his experience of this undiscovered country was a tablet you can draw swirly lines on to make a rap about ancient Egyptians slightly easier to deliver to bewildered pre-teens. Stick your future – it’s an austerity Jetsons.

Perhaps if Toney went back to the boroughs of New York in the early 80s and revealed himself to be the ultimate expression of hip-hop he might immediately become part of some sort of weird sci-fi paradox where he instantly disappeared. Because all of the genre’s progenitors would immediately get jobs sweeping the streets – or simply immolate themselves – in a desperate effort to prevent a future every bit as horrifying as that seen in the Terminator franchise.

I watch this Windows 10 advert featuring Toney Jackson, the ‘rapping teacher’, and from The Bronx I hear the sound of KRS-ONE gently weeping.