Creme De La Crap: Consumerist Crowns Worst TV Ads
You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both and there you have... advertising, of course!
Often, the bad ads are more memorable than game-changing creative, thanks to an ad's spokesperson, jingle or the product shilled.
Last week, Consumerist.com announced the winners of its first annual Worst Ad in America Awards. The winners, if you want to call them that, were selected by consumer votes, totaling more than 100,000.
See if you agree with the majority.
Staples' "Low Price" ad was voted the "Absolute worst ad in America," beating Progressive's "Flo," Honda's Mr. Opportunity, Statefarm's "Pocket Agent" and the Quiznos singing cats. This "win" for Staples is a loss for Joey Slotnick fans, an actor I enjoyed watching in "Nip/Tuck." His portrayal of an over-excited consumer is annoying, but nothing's worse than the poor Quiznos cats subjected to bad outfits and bad lip-synching. This ad makes kittens look bad, a feat I thought impossible. If you're going to use animals in ads, stick with cuteness, like DirecTV's mini-giraffe in "Opulence" -- or give animals a British accent like this "Happy Breakfast" ad for Weetabix.
The award for "Creepiest commercial" went to Liberator Medical's "No More Used Catheters" ad. And rightfully so. Give me competitor ads from that category any day. The Old Navy modelquins are looking real good in comparison.
I've had the misfortune of watching this ad countless times. I am young, but love watching the "Golden Girls" in syndication. That means I watch Hallmark Channel, a network that runs ads skewed to a much older audience. Think Andy Griffith, Wilford Brimley and local funeral home ads.
"The General" from General Insurance ads won for "Most annoying animated spokesthing."
Other contenders were Geico's "Squealing Piggy," Omnaris' "Scientists from Uncanny Valley," Charmin's "Sticky-bottomed bears" and Michelin's happy roadkill. I've already opined about Michelin finding animals happy and content at becoming speed bumps, so let's talk about Charmin and its potty-trained bears. Oh, wait. Bears aren't domesticated and they don't use toilet paper, so what the hell are animated bears doing selling toilet paper? Right. We can't show a person with toilet paper stuck to his or her rear, but a bear is OK.
In terms of animated spokesthings, I'm haunted by this guy from Empire Today. The phone number is ingrained in my brain.
Jimmy Johnson was recently voted off "Survivor," but at least he can take solace in capturing top prize in the "Celebrity Who Must Have Lost The Most Money In Housing Crash" category. His ads for Extenze male enhancement pills are creepy, but you gotta give Extenze points for picking a spokesman with an apt name.
Check out additional categories and winners at the Consumerist's Web site.