Thursday, 2 June 2011

The worst ads of 2011...So Far

I'm quite an advertising nerd. It's safe to say that I talk about ad campaigns fairly often - I don't work in advertising, so I can't use any real terminology or actually even pretend that I know what I'm talking about, but I like to think I know what makes a good ad and what doesn't. So what irritates me more than anything else in the world is when an advert is not only irritating, it does it's job badly. After all, if it can't sell that product, what is the point of it? Exactly. There is none. It's a mobius strip of empty non-existent profits margins and words like 'Implementation' and 'innovention' (copyright Jack Donaghy) that circles like a blind vulture, incapable of swooping down to a nomfest barbecue because, well, it doesn't have any eyes to see the potential food. It's a metaphor. I'm tired.

What I'm trying to say, is that this isn't a list of adverts that make me want to get violent in numerous creative hyperbolic ways, because that would be far too easy. These adverts fail in not only engaging a potential customer (ie. They pissed me RIGHT off) but they also fail in managing to get their message across too (ie. they spent so much money or time on YouTube that they forgot they were selling something). Plus, we all like a good self-regarding rant. I want to hear your least favourites too, because I'll probably do an awards ceremony at the end of the year (if somebody pays me to do it).

ADVERT 1

MAZUMA MOBILE - TITKIDS FROM OMICRON PERSEII 8


Odious. At first glance, this advert is a knowing nod towards terrible advertising. After it's fourtieth airing the horrible realisation dawns that actually, Mazuma paid the exec that came up with this idea (Hey, Yeah, That's what young hip dudes with smartphones like! *fingergunpow*), they got two aspiring young actors to jig about like tits and thus end up being hated by anybody who watches it, and they said "Oh yes, this is the image we want to portray. HERE IS THE MONEY! MAKE IT AND BE GONE!" 

It looks like it's aimed at kids, which is fine. It is on at 9pm on all channels. I just don't understand.

Dressing teenagers like it's 1998 on Mars, giving them stupid hair and telling them to "look really FIERCE" is shit. Really really shit. I am never using Mazuma Mobile, because subconsciously I believe that I will end up wearing purple bell-bottoms and start playing a Fisher Price keytar at all times. For this reason, they FAIL.

ADVERT 2

P&G - WE ONLY LIKE MUMS, DADS CAN JOG THE FUCK ON


I'm not going to get all preachy, but a lot of Dads do a good job raising their kids. People without children also manage to, on the whole, keep their houses clean and tidy, and perhaps look after a pet or two to boot. Why then, have Proctor and Gamble decided to focus on potentially 25% of their market by twee-diddly-deeing about how bloody great mums are? I'll tell you why. JOHN LEWIS is why. They want to cash in on that squeeze-the-tears-out advert synopsis that's been doing the rounds since last October. Full disclosure: They make toothpaste, toilet cleaner and Pringles. Boo hoo hoo.

This advert was brought out around about mother's day, so in the spirit of all things Hallmark, I decided that it was total hokum, but people clutch at straws around easily forgettable celebration dates and need present ideas. Fine. It's still being played. This isn't fine any more, it's ridiculous, and I want no part of it. For this reason it has FAILED.

ADVERT 3


WONGA MAN


For many reasons, this advert is a great shame. Clearly the person who put it together has a lot of talent, and references to Doom and Mortal Kombat are always welcome in this house. However, it's a clear example of how advertising can give too much credit to what people talk about on Twitter, and at one point, people/idiots were talking a lot about "that guy wot said a "wonga" on that advert". They dumped the rest of their ad campaign with the nice smiley people and the clear Envirophone message, and went solely with Wonga Man for their entire ad strategy.

Yes, Envirophone. That's the name of the company. Are you surprised it isn't Wonga.com? I always am, and I know it isn't. Envirophone and Wonga.com are completely separate entities. Clearly, for this reason above all others, this advert FAILS.

ADVERT 4 


PIGS, TRUFFLES AND THAT BANK


This advert is quite good. It looks nice, and the idea is sound. The reason I don't like it is that even though it's about a year old I only just worked out what it was selling two days ago. Until then I spent the entire advert thinking "Ooh look, a pig! Is that how truffles are really found? I hope he finds one. Oh look, he found one! Is that a big one or just regular sized? He looks happy. Ah, that was nice. What?" This might be just my simple nature at fault, but I don't want to blame myself. FAIL.

There are good adverts though, and as an advert dork I do enjoy a really well-thought-out advert. there are so many mediocre or simply irritating adverts that i didn't write about, simply for the reason that this wasn't meant to be a bile-spewing hate-fest. People made these things after all, and I want to give them constructive feedback. I didn't talk about Halifax again because every time I do a blood vessel bursts in another part of my body, and I didn't talk about adverts that shamelessly steal work from YouTube or artists or musicians because I feel that's been covered elsewhere, and it would be better to email these companies to tell them what they are doing is wrong and prickish than just moan about it on a blog.

I'm ending with an example of a good advert. I've heard that a few people hate it, and it is a bit old, but I love it. It makes me laugh, it clearly states what it's selling, and the guy said "THEY ARE NAAAOOW DIAMONDS" in the best way ever.


Here is another great advert.

[THERE WAS AN EMBEDDED VIDEO OF EVIAN'S NEW AD CAMPAIGN IN THIS SPACE, BUT I'VE SINCE HAD MY SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED THAT IT WAS INDEED TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE AND IS MADE OF A STOLEN IDEA - THANKS @grazingbison]

See you in December for that champagne-fuelled awards dinner (funding pending).

4 comments:

rich (them apples) said...

Not talking about the Halifax shows admirable restraint, restraint I wouldn't have been able to muster had I written that post.

Pinklilycat said...

It's like you're in my head! As usual I agree with everything here. I have another - that beautiful ad with the billion multicoloured bouncy balls boinging through a city - so gorgeous, so clever so inspiring! So what's it selling? Go on... Nope me neither. FAIL.

peterRepeater said...

I agree with everything but can we have more vitriol and petulance in the next one?

Katie said...

Bouncy balls - excellent choice, I had forgotten about that. It can go in THE LIST. Also what a lot of people have been saying is the Bio-Oil advert because it doesn't explain what it is. I agree totally, which is why Bio-Oil are also going on THE LIST.

No vitriol I'm afraid, the sun's making me a happy biscuit :)

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