I’m stuck in jury duty today, so I thought I’d share some awful stuff with you guys — feel my pain!
These are the ten worst commercials I can think of right now that I hope I never see again:
1. Geico’s “Piggy” commercial: Fair warning — Geico shows up a few times on this list. They’ve recently introduced a new ad campaign featuring the fifth “little piggy” that went “wheeeeee” all the way home.
2. Education Connection: Ugh, they’ve made so many of these terrible, terrible ads, each featuring a slight variation of the jingle lip-synched by a slight variation of the brunette for the previous ones. This is the one I hate the most, though.
3. FreeCreditScore.com: I actually don’t hate the newest band they got to do their commercials — they have sort of a harmless OkGo/Fountains of Wayne-on-a-bad-day power-pop thing going on that masks the jingle-ness of the stuff they sing. But the FIRST band they had — those guys sucked.
4. Eastern Motors: Anyone who grew up in the DC-area back in the mid-90s through to today is familiar with these commercials, but the one that sticks in my mind is the one featuring comedian John Witherspoon acting like he’s happy to be doing a local business commercial.
5. Geico’s Caveman commercials: The irony of these is that despite their awfulness, some TV exec thought this was a pervasive-enough meme to warrant an entire sitcom based around cavemen trying to make it in the modern world. Hopefully they have since been fired, or at the very least become better at their job.
6. Burger King’s “sexy” Paris Hilton commercial: My issue with this ad is the conflation of cheeseburgers with sexiness. Das not comput. I’m not a huge fan of Ms. Hilton, but even if this same ad concept were applied to a lady I did find sexy (say, Jennifer Connelly or the red-headed version of Scarlett Johansson), them making out with a Whopper would turn me off pretty damn quickly.
7. Geico’s Gecko in NYC commercial: For the most part, I’ve found the Geico gecko to be the least offensive “pitchman” in the Geico stable of crap. However, two ways to erase any hint of that
goodwill indifference is to force the limey voice actor to try and sound like he’s some sort of mutant from the Bronx, and to give yet another pop-cultural BJ to New York City.
8. Verizon LG Spectrum commercial: Let me get this straight — given the option to choose between a phone that will be outmoded in less than six months that does NOT send holographic messages or make repairs to X-Wing fighters mid-flight and a functional R2 unit that DOES, we should opt for the phone because it doesn’t require opening a user’s manual or, y’know, THINKING?
No, David Blaine.
9. Geico’s money with eyes commercial: WTF, Geico? You’re not even trying here, are you?!
10. Miller High Life’s one-second commercial series: This is actually a decent concept from an execution standpoint, and also helped underscore High Life’s brand positioning as a blue-collar beer during the aftermath of the economic crash in late 2008.
That said, it also is advertising Miller High Life. No, David Blaine.
Dis-honorable Mention: KFC’s Cheesy Bacon Bowl, only because I couldn’t find the ad on YouTube. I know this is an un-trendy position to take, but no, “add bacon” does not always mean “made better”. And the way the dude says it, it just sounds like KFC’s not really trying:
“Sir, we really need to get some new product out there — Wendy’s is killing us with that Big ‘n’ Juicy, and the Double-Down was a flop!”
“Eh? Jeez, man, do I need to think of EVERYthing? Just throw some bacon on it!”