campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 13 December 2012 08:00AM
Quiet Storm seemed to take inspiration from last year’s Yeo Valley ads (which, being last year, is bad enough) and managed to get it spectacularly wrong. This was poorly executed, cheap, unfunny and, worst of all, the sight of naked flesh in close proximity to sliced cold meat left us feeling more than a little disturbed. The client grandly described the ad as "game-changing for the ham market". We describe it as the Turkey of the Year.
Peter Andre, a man not known for his acting abilities (or indeed his singing, come to think of it) plays his part in giving younger members of the industry a masterclass in how not to make a TV commercial. In the spot, Andre helpfully tells us that he is shooting an ad for Galabingo.com, with faux cameramen filming him in the studio. He subsequently and randomly appears to be floating in a mock-up of the Gala Bingo website. It makes you think that perhaps Jordan had a point, after all.
In possibly one of the most bizarre ads to be seen this year, Forever Beta came up with a bunch of middle-aged women dancing around a supermarket singing a version of Britney Spears’ 90s debut single Baby One More Time while hugging packets of Bahlsen’s Hit biscuits. And, in a twist on the original, the lyric has been changed to: "I love Hit biscuits, it’s killing me." This spot was so bad it was almost funny. Almost.
VCCP plumbed the depths of humour in this "myth" ad for Müllerlight Greek Style yoghurt. A pair of vapid females stand around chatting on a Greek island before the denouement reveals them to be centaurs. See what they did there? Yes – a spectacularly unfunny and naff ad.
This "focus group" spot prompted some nostalgia for an older and worse time in advertising. A group of irritating people (although they might actually be real people, given that the acting is so bad) sit around in strident denial that they suffer from gum disease. Fortunately, a particularly hateful Colgate scientist/toothpaste salesman is on hand to convince them that they are wrong, and they end up cheerfully accepting that they do in fact have rotten gums.
As a piece of overblown and pompous guff, Facebook’s debut TV campaign, called "journey", didn’t disappoint. With a litany of tenuous similes, the fun really starts when, after talking about chairs, the narrator asserts: "That is why chairs are like Facebook." He then goes on to tell us that Facebook is also like basketball, bridges, doorbells and aeroplanes, which leads us to believe that Facebook doesn’t really know what it is at all (if it helps, it’s just a social networking site). The final scene, in which hands are seen embracing, is a particularly nauseous and tacky moment.
AMV, which had done such a stellar job for Mars in other executions this year, let itself down badly with this spot. What was particularly disappointing is that video games, such as Fifa 2012, provide a better visual simulation of "soccerball" than this tawdry effort. The idea itself is rather limited and unambitious – a bloke in the crowd who has chewed on a Mars bar performs like a world-class "net-minder" – but the direction and post-production manage to make it worse. Once again, it confirms that old adage that US corporations manage to get soccer wrong again.
When this ad broke in October, it provided plenty for people to snigger about, even in the context of the famously rubbish fragrance advertising market. With over-egged sentimentality, school-play direction and a dreadful script, in one short ad Brad Pitt manages to lose all of the credibility he has earned in a two-decade-long film career that saw him appear in, among others, Thelma & Louise and Fight Club. The final shot that cuts from the perfume bottle to Pitt saying "Inevitable" shows that the obsession of associating perfume with profound adjectives in a meaningless way lives on.
As a way of creating a greater degree of dislike for a brand, Grey Toronto really nailed it with this spot. Four egregious men create lame and unbelievable diversions for their female partners so that they can all go out together and drink rum in a bar and perhaps share the reading of a copy of Nuts. The cast becomes even more irritating as the spot progresses, showing that crude laddishness really isn’t much of a strategy.
Euro 2012 spawned some particularly dodgy advertisers jumping on the football bandwagon, but this "’96 team reunion" for Nivea for Men was among the worst. The panting, grunting and grimaces that the likes of Terry Venables, Les Ferdinand and Paul Ince are forced to make during the spot were embarrassing to watch, making the whole experience rather painful.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk