Thursday, March 30, 2006

Crap ad countdown

Today I'm returning to one of my favourite topics here at Bland Canyon - crap ads. Previously I've written about the gloriously failed Coke Zero campaign, the creepy Maccers campaign, sex in advertising, the crap Jila commercial and the even crappier Subway commercial, all of which pissed me off in some way or another.

I'd like to continue that theme with this, my personal countdown of the worst commercials currently annoying me on the telly. Starting with:

7. Toyota Rav 4

This ad gets a mention purely because of its involvement in this story: a few Sundays ago I was sitting down to some breakfast in the kitchen with a bit of Video Hits on in the background when I heard the delightful sounds of The White Stripes' Blue Orchid drift through from the other room. "Huzzah!" thought I, as I am yet to see the video clip for this fabulous song. Off I darted - only to be greeted with a bloody RAV4 commercial. So, for blatantly stealing a fantastic song and advertising a car with it, I nominate Toyota in seventh place.

6. Lenards Chicken

Not a particularly annoying ad, as it's fairly quiet and the background music is unobtrusive enough for you to ignore the whole thing altogether, but because it starts with a gut-wrenching, sick-making, vomit-worthy closeup shot of a knife slicing through a raw chicken fillet (it might not sound bad, but you get close up enough to that shit and you'll feel sick too) I am nominating it in sixth place.

5. Ingham Chicken

On a bit of a chicken bent here, sorry about that, but this ad REALLY shits me. Ingham have come up with a bizarre campaign for their chicken products that is accompanied by the slogan "Makes any mum a great mum". Now, apart from the whole "Mum" thing being one of my pet hates in ANY advertising campaign, I find this one particularly offensive. It seems to suggest that anything other than perfect behaviour makes a woman an "average mum" - but that she can redeem herself by heating up some frozen chicken pieces. And what makes an average mum? Apparently it's being a bit unlucky in a festive situation (as in the one where the mum pops a champagne and breaks a fishbowl with the cork), or swearing a bit (as in the one where the mum yells a bit of probably well-deserved abuse at a dodgy driver), or my favourite, not being a PERFECT 1950s HOUSEWIFE when washing your husband's clothes (as in the one where the mum accidentally dyes her family's white shirts pink). Ingham - get fucked.

4. 'Hide and Seek' Victorian tourism ad

When is Victoria going to get over itself? It's like the whole state suffers from some sort of personality disorder, and someone needs to scream "YOU'RE NOT FRANCE, OK? GET OVER IT!" That said, this campaign is possibly a controversial addition to the list because it's very well shot, very watchable and it has a lovely little song that sticks in your head. On the surface, it's quite nice. However I've just watched Wolf Creek and now I see this commercial for what it REALLY is - a short horror film.

The original ad:

For those who haven't seen it and can't be bothered watching the above: a young couple, who have obviously been holidaying in a bed and breakfast of some sort in the south of France Victoria, try to extend their stay by escaping the manager by naughtily running through various picturesque locations and hiding in the vineyards, while he chases them around. LIKE JACK NICHOLSON IN THE SHINING. Seriously, the man is creepy. He dances between the vines with a maniacal smile on his face as he looks for his victims missing house guests. All that's missing is the axe in his hand. Not only this - then he carries their left-behind suitcases into a shed and stows them, smiling, on a shelf, ALONGSIDE HUNDREDS OF OTHER BAGS OF HUNDREDS OF OTHER MISSING HOUSEGUESTS. Where are they all living? In the vineyards? Maybe six feet under them. I say again: Wolf Creek. I think the slogan should be changed from "You'll never want to leave" to just "You'll never leave". It's possibly more appropriate, especially if you happen to stay at this house of horrors run by a madman in the Yarra Valley.

The Run, Rabbit, Run soundtrack is scary enough as it is (in fact I believe it was a pro-ally song during WWII written about Hitler - great), but I swear if you put some screechy violins in there instead you'd get a one minute movie straight from hell.

In fact, I KNOW you would, as I've done it myself using music from Donnie Darko. I'd like to think it's what the ad was TRULY meant to be - properly menacing.

Visit Victoria? I'd rather go to Snowtown, thanks.

3. Dominos 'So Puff'

Didn't Dominos learn ANYTHING from Coke Zero? Or for that matter, Poochie?

Hey kidz, Domino's is PUFF - TO THE EXTREME!

Guys, you can't just "invent" coolness. That sort of shit is straight from the anti-cool textbook. You can't just start calling things "puff" and hope that DA KIDZ will jump on the bandwagon. Apart from which, the word "puff" is ridiculous anyway, and even if someone ACTUALLY cool were to come up with it, it would probably make them immediately uncool. Seriously, I don't even think Johnny Depp could get away with that shit, and he's pretty much the coolest person in the world. And aside from ALL of that - puff pastry pizza is a revolting idea in the first place. Bronze medal for Domino's.

2. Metropolitan Plumbing

Non SA readers might be a bit lost with this one, so here's a basic rundown of the ad: Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing. Metropolitan Plumbing.

Nuff said.

And the coveted first prize for most annoying, worst ad currently on TV goes to...

1. SA Road Safety

I'm sorry, I know it's worthy and saving people's lives and everything, but this has got to be the WORST jingle ever written or sung.

Click to watch the horror for yourself

If you can (for just a moment) get over the indescribably awful sound of those children singing off key (No need to BEEEEEEEEEEEE in a hurry...), I'd like to ask: WHO WROTE THESE LYRICS?? "There's lots of cars going here and there?" Bob Dylan should take note, he has clearly been usurped.

I have to clutch my ears, run to the TV and pull the plug out of the wall every time this ad comes on. For my money, I'd rather endure those horrific watermelon ones, or the ones where kids get slammed through windows, than to have to hear this jingle ever again.

Well, that's my list. Any additions (or angry words of criticism) are, as always, more than welcome in the comments.


  1. That surprises me about the speeding ad. Traffic ads are usually of a much higher standard here i think. It shocks me that they'd stoop to State Swim style jingle writing. Shudder.

    Totally agree on the Metropolitan Plumbing ads. It's like, do you advertising execs even WATCH the ads? I wrote a thing a while back about ads on my blog and puff also got slammed. Fucking corporate fat cats trying to infect MY vernacular.

    I really like the SGIC ad where the guy is talking about how he likes to fix all the things around the house while his wife looks on resignedly. Such hilarity!

  2. That traffic ad: Christ that music was bad! Make the demonic hellspawn choir stop, please! What's with the couple in the one car telling other folks in other cars to put on their seat belts? Anyone wondering where road rage stems from need only watch that commercial!

    And PetStarr -- your remix of the Yarra Valley commercial? Two words for ya:

    Fucking. Brilliant.

  3. Hm ... I think I remember singing that traffic song in grade six in the South Australian Primary Schools Choir thing.

    Ad's I really hate right now are the Subway ones during The Biggest Loser. I have a thing against Subway being "healthy" anyway, though, so I might be prejudice.

  4. Ack! The speeding add one. Is it just me or does it seem to come on at EVERY SINGLE ADD BREAK??? I wanted the truck to fecking well CRUSH that dickhead. What about how he kicks the car. WTFness is that about? He's a twat who deserves to be roadkill. That Add makes me WANT to speed and look for retards like him to run over.

  5. Krystle, are you trying to suggest that's YOU singing on that ad in Primary School? If it's a Government campaign, I can see how it would take that long to be approved for television. :-P

    Anyway, the new White Stripes album kicks major ass. That aside, I haven't seen ANY of the advertisements you're talking about, with the exception of the "Puff" one, and dear God is it fucking annoying.

    I saw a guy walking down the street in a T-shirt that said, "It's so puff!" or something. I was horrified, until he walked past, and realised he was an actual Domino's employee. Phew.

    We need more shock-tatic road commercials.

  6. Ooo I remembered the other ad I hate ...
    The series for Aami, with the red screen and the talking guy and girl. What the hell is going on there??

  7. Your remix of the Yarra Valley soundtrack -was- absolutely brilliant! Hey, I thought all those things while watching those ads, so clearly you have a unique connection to our consciousness, and should immediately be employed by ad execs to give us something worth watching.

  8. Keep an eye out for Giddy Goanna as referenced on this site. I caught the ad tonight on Channel 9 and it's the worst cess pool of advertising that I've ever seen

  9. I love your version of the Victoria Tourism ad - really creepy.

    I hate the ads for a certain toilet cleaner - I can't remember which one it is, but it literally blinds the user with its whiteness. Why on Earth would a company want to make a connection between their product and a serious injury?

  10. "Run to the TV and pull the plug"?
    Pick up your remote control and find the mute button, blessed silence, plus you don't spill your chips/coke/whatever in your mad dash across the living room.