Archive for the ‘Worst Ad Wednesday’ Category

WAW: Best Buy — Holiday Stories

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

jtherkal: I don’t know what makes me so furious about these ads. Or maybe I do. I think it’s the fact that these boring little stories are supposed to touch my heart, which will result in the purchase of more electronics. WRONG. Electronics will result in the purchase of more electronics. The feeling of standing in that television section and seeing those glorious TVs, that’s the story. Tell me about a guy who came in looking for a 24″ regular tv, but you sent him home with a 42″ flatscreen HDTV. Tell me how awesome that made him feel. Or better yet, don’t have annoying, jackass employees tell me anything. Show me a giant TV and say GIANT TV! I’m sold. F.

sjbooher: I also despise these. It’s over the top… too sugary good… and complete lies. None of this ish never happened. Sure, ads like all the time, but this is a lie which would only work if it were the truth. Best Buy sits on a throne of lies. F.

WAW: Toyota — Saved By Zero

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

jtherkal: I’m not sure how this type of ad rates on your scale, SJB, because I definitely know who it’s for and I definitely remember it. But mostly I know and remember out of pure hatred. As long as this is running, I’m almost guaranteed to stay as far away from a Toyota dealership as I can. Every morning on my way to the subway, this song echoes in my head and fills me with rage. If Saved By Zero was on the subway platform, I would push it in front of the train. F.

sjbooher: No publicity is bad publicity, my friend. If catchiness is a crime, then this ad deserves 25 to life. After hearing this ad repeatedly during Monday Night Football, I was walking around my apartment singing it. I didn’t realize what it was for… but then thought, “hmm… ’saved by zero’. Maybe a 0% car ad? Oh, I think it’s Toyota.” A jingle with context clues? Slam dunk. A.

WAW: PedEgg

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

jtherkal: Yuck. This commercial makes me want to vomit, then put that bile-filled vomit into my eyes, so they burn and keep me from having to finish watching it. “Don’t use potato peeling tools!” No? You shouldn’t use a kitchen utensil to peel dirty, dead skin off your feet? This is something that should never be spoken of, especially for two minutes on public television. Not only does this make me hate the PedEgg, it lets me know that anyone who owns it watched this terrible commercial and thought, “my feet are really disgusting, I need that.” And anyone with disgusting feet who doesn’t have it is possibly using potato peeling tools? Hold on, I feel a gag reflex coming…F.

sjbooher: Somebody needs to be introduced to the edit mechanism on their video editor. Rule #78 of advertising… NEVER SHOW SOMEONE DUMPING A PILE OF DEAD SKIN INTO A TRASH CAN. That associates your product and brand with vomit. F.

WAW: Mazda 6 — Future Stadium

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

jtherkal: If anyone loves things in the future, it’s me. Hell, I once ate Future City french fries. I own Futura Super Socks. But this ad, set in some sort of futuristic gladiator stadium, is about the most useless, drab, unimaginative spot I’ve ever seen in the last week. First, the car isn’t fighting anything in that stadium, what are all of those stupid people so excited about? Second, the copy is terrible. “The totally, completely, 100%, all new Mazda 6.” Only they kept the same shitty tagline? “Zoom Zoom. Forever.” is like the kiss of death for anyone working on Mazda. Zoom Zoom is over. Dead. Buried. Let it go. It’s like Who Let The Dogs Out. Good when it came out, terrible now. This does the opposite of making me want a Mazda. F F forever.

sjbooher: First of all, “Zoom Zoom” was never good. Terrible the minute it was birthed and that horrid faux-Caribbean song ran incessantly in my head. Horrid. Second, I agree that the played out “Mad Max” theme is not very inspiring here, but I am more in the “oh, ok, whatever” position. I’ll go with a solid “meh”. Just another boring, forgettable ad. D.

WAW: National Guard — American Warrior, Kid Rock

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

jtherkal: This dandy is showing in theaters before the trailers start. I don’t really know what to say about this. Part of me loves Kid Rock (a secret, ashamed part). I know he’s clinging desperately to any sort of fame and wishing he’d saved a little more of his balltotheballthebangthebangditty money. All I could think of when I saw this was, “this is like a caricature of a National Guard ad.” Like if you were making a comedy about an advertising agency and they had to make up a National Guard ad, this would be the result. For instance, you can imagine the ridiculous scene from the movie where Will Farrell proposes to mesh NASCAR with Kid Rock and war footage. “Look, it’s everything poor white people like. Kid Rock, stock car racing and blowing shit up with guns. If we could legally add in a few scenes of beer being poured on tits, we’d have an Oscar heading our way. But we can’t show beer being poured on tits. Ever. Damnit.” Unfortunately, this isn’t a comedy. F. On a side note, while writing this I played the song over and over again. I’m fired up. F+.

sjbooher: When it opens, I’m thinking, ok, Kid Rock, kind of awesome. Then the military aspect comes in, and I start getting a little sick to my stomach, because of the way the military recruits the desperate by looking “cool”. But it still works — Kid Rock’s image and this track fits well with America/military/etc. Then I see Lil’ E… WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Now we have reached ridiculous levels of absurd. BEING A NASCAR DRIVER IN NO WAY COMPARES TO FIGHTING IN WARS. Not only is the message sick, but there is no flow amongst the 3 sets of clips. It is chopped together with no continuity. Using the song as an ad for ONLY the National Guard? Fine. Using the song as an ad ONLY for Lil ‘E/NASCAR? Even better. The disco-hell-mix of all 3? Terrible. F.

WAW: Verizon/LG Dare — Pit Bulls

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

jtherkal: Following the growing trend of pulling seemingly “offensive” advertising, Verizon yanked this off the air after getting pressure from PETA and other animal-rights groups, who claim the commercial promoted animal cruelty. They went on to explain “that chained dogs are deprived of social interaction and forced to endure weather extremes, adding that the spot perpetuated stereotypes against pit bulls as a violent breed.” Hmmm, you know what else perpetuates those stereotypes? When pit bulls eat people. The only thing offensive about this ad is that it royally sucks. Maybe that’s why they took it off the air. F.

sjbooher: I’ll never understand the concept of spending ones time saving dogs when there’s poverty and inhumane conditions for HUMANS in our own backyards, but that’s just me — call me crazy. So with that being said, I obviously do not find this ad offensive. I do not think this ad is that bad, either. That guy wants to touch that phone, and he’s willing to risk life and limb to do it. The best part? Even though he appears at the end, that dumb “network” guy doesn’t talk and his time is limited. I will say this spot has the “feel” of the Boost mobile brand, to me… if I didn’t know which provider it was for, that would have been my guess. C.

FREE MIKE VICK!!!!!!!!!!!

A WAW Political Ad: McCain — Obama = Paris Hilton

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

jtherkal: In what will become a growing series as November nears, we’re going to tackle political ads. For years, political ads have been a stain on our society, littering the airwaves with slanderous accusations, boredom and just plain terribleness. You’d think that candidates would hire professionals to pump out some ads that don’t feel like your typical political BS. But to date, few have. We’ll start with this gem, which has been a bit of a lightning rod as of late.

It’s for John McCain, Republican candidate for president (for the super uninformed). My guess is he has hired some professionals, and those professionals talked him into this outstanding ad. The conversation probably went a little like this:

Ad Guy: So John, the difference between you and Obama is that you’re old and crusty. He’s young, beloved and hip. Trying to make you seem hip, or Obama seem crusty is a near impossible task. So our angle is this: play up your crustiness and make his popularity seem like a fault.

McCain: Interesting. Can’t we just say “McCain is white and will take over the fucking world with guns?”

Ad Guy: No, there’s been a bit of a backlash due to all this war crap.

McCain: Oh, continue.

Ad Guy: Well, we start with ominous music. Then we show people chanting “O BA MA! O BA MA!”

McCain: Wait, won’t that make him seem popular?

Ad Guy: That’s the point, you old bastard. Now shut it and wait for the punchline.

McCain: Sorry.

Ad Guy: So while people are chanting, we show images of celebrities that are idiots. Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, etc. Then people will think “Obama is a celebrity, Paris is a celebrity, Obama is the same as Paris.”

McCain: I like your logic.

Ad Guy: Then we say some of the political bullshit you insist on cramming in my ads, followed by that image of you looking into the light while you say you approve this message.

McCain: Doesn’t that clip of me looking into the light make people think of me being old and dying?

Ad Guy: That’s the point! We want people to think about how old you are. You’re the anti-young. You have so much experience that you’re almost dead.

McCain: Brilliant.

Ad Guy: That’s why you hired me.

I guess if I have to rate this, I give it a F. The backlash on this has been nothing short of sensational. Paris has even responded with this:

sjbooher: That’s it, I’m voting for Paris. That is awesome. How does Paris Hilton have a better campaign ad than McCain? And it also sounds like she already has a better handle on her running mate (Rihanna, potentially) than either of the real candidates! Ha. McCain’s ad was lazy and scatterbrained at the same time. FOCUS, MAAAAAAAN. Not to mention he just saved Obama millions of dollars as the backlash is campaign advertising in and of itself. F to the McCain ad, A+ to the Paris ad.

WAW: TGIFridays — Annoying Spikehead Guy

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

jtherkal: This ad makes me want to throw up. I hate hate hate that spike-haired guy, who is supposedly some sort of chef. DOUCHE. His name is GUY. Guy!? The only person, ever, in the history of the world who should be named Guy is that muppet, Guy Smiley.

After that they should have retired the name forever. I want to like TGIFridays ads, because I love TGIFridays. Their BBQ burger is awesome. They have the best French onion soup I’ve ever had–and I’ve had a lot of French onion soups. But having that guy, Guy, talk to me turns my stomach. Yuck. F.

sjbooher: This “guy” is sort of annoying to me, but I am not on the Hate Train. This series of ads aired non-stop during the NCAA tournament, and my wife was constantly talking about Friday’s, as a result. If we lived anywhere near a Friday’s, this would have for sure fallen into the Ads That Work category. Beyond spike head, this is your average restaurant ad. They do a good job of showing mouth-watering food, and infusing their brand with the red-and-white stripe background. C.

P.S. I didn’t recognize him, but I guess Guy Fieri is a TV personality. You learn something new everyday…

WAW: Powerbar — Michael Phelps

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

jtherkal: Hey, all you competitive swimming fans out there, here’s an energy bar you can really get behind. I mean, if Michael Phelps–who is good at swimming–likes it, it must give you super power. Come on Powerbar. Maybe he was the best athlete you could afford? Or maybe you thought it was a good choice because swimming is hard. Sure it is, but most people don’t give a daaaaaamn about swimmers. Unless they’re in a red bikini, running down the beach in Malibu (Baaaaywatch). Nice try, putting those sharks in the pool, but you never had him fight the sharks. You didn’t even have him race them. Massive failure. F.

sjbooher: I do remember that last Summer Olympics Michael Phelps was EVERYWHERE — featured in maybe 4 or 5 (more?) different ads. I have no idea if that worked, but he was the star of the games themselves. I think he won a few medals, but he did not eclipse Mark Spitz’ record for most medals in one games. So they are definitely tapping a familiar well, here. The problem with Phelps, is that he is about as charismatic as that diving board he’s standing on. The Michael Phelps Story, starring Hayden Christensen, coming soon to a theater near you! Maybe there should be more focus on the sharks? Sharks are definitely not boring, and I do not think I even noticed them until I saw the ad a few times. Another interesting tidbit, while he has been a saint when compared with Naomi Campbell, this marks another use of a celebrity endorser that has been in trouble with the law, proving companies are generally hypocrites about that kind of thing. Since he is a fellow Wolverine, I won’t be quite as harsh as my associate. D+.

WAW: Accenture — Tiger Woods Campaign

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

jtherkal: With the whole Arthur-Anderson-renamed-Accenture sneaky marketing move gone and all but forgotten, Accenture has moved on to further disgrace themselves by creating terrible ads. I see the logic they’re using: Tiger Woods is good at golf, businessmen like golf, so let’s put Tiger and golf and business together. Their line “Go on, be a Tiger” makes me throw up in my mouth, and the new line “We know what it takes to be a Tiger” is almost as bad. They force fit their message clumsily into images of Tiger golfing, resulting in an embarassing, pun-filled, hack-job campaign.

The only redeeming value is that this campaign gave birth to one of my favorite advertising stories. I know two of the creatives who were unfortunate enough to work on it. Unhappy as they were to be strapped with the assignment of writing terrible lines to go with pictures of Tiger golfing, they gave it the old college try. During their work, they noticed that a lot of the headlines bought by the client sounded like they came right from fortune cookies. So they went down to Chinatown and bought a bag of 200 fortune cookies, cracked them open and started to pick out the fortunes that might work as lines. They presented the list of lines to their creative director, who thought they were BRILLIANT. The lines sold and now, in the archives of Accenture ads, you can find some fortune cookie gems. I was in the airport one day and saw one that was clearly a result of their efforts, which read “At first, all great tasks seem impossible.” Like doing a good ad for this campaign, I imagine. F.

sjbooher: True confessions: I love puns. True confessions part II: I have no idea why this is so bad. Seems fine to me. Simply including the stills and clips of Tiger is probably a win… and then they didn’t get too over-the-top with “we’re so witty” copy — just simple puns and quotes that don’t detract from the message: “Be the best in the world at what you do, come to us”. Overly creative? No. Will it win any awards at some holier-than-thou ad awards ceremony? Apparently not. Will business people like a company associated with Tiger? Yes. C.