Normally, I save this compilation until New Year’s Eve as the last rant of the year. However, this year my long-suffering wife and I will be spending the time between Christmas and Twelfth Night in Ireland visiting our grandson – – and his parents too of course. I will not be taking a computer with me and there is no way on the planet that I would try to compose something like this on a phone; ergo, it has been pushed forward a week on the calendar.
The basis for this annual happening is that the folks who pay for commercial time on TV are the ones who make it possible for me to see all the sporting events/programs that I enjoy throughout the year. I certainly do appreciate sponsors making all that programing available but that does not mean that I must think that the ads they put in front of me are meaningful and/or effective. In fact, lots of them are not very good and some are downright stupid. So, this gives me a chance to point out the ones that are the worst of the lot. It’s what curmudgeons do …
Let me begin with one ad that has been around for several years and is stupid on so many levels that I am shocked when they “bring it back”. I’m sure you will recognize this one.
- A young man and a young woman are out walking in the deep snow when the young man tells her that he has something for her; he whistles and a young puppy – looks like a Saint Bernard? – comes bounding through the snow from an unseen location to the young woman who picks up the puppy and hugs it. She tells her soulmate that she has something for him; she also whistles, and a driverless GMC pickup truck comes driving up to them in the snow – – stopping short of running them over to be sure. The young man ignores the attractive young woman and goes to hug the truck.
You know, it must be nice to live in an economic situation where one can buy a $60-70K present for one’s partner without him/her knowing the money was missing from the exchequer. Moreover, if in real life the guy ran and hugged the truck and not the woman, that puppy would be replacing him in the bed, and he would be sleeping in the truck bed. And they keep bringing that ad back year after year…
In the world of truly stupid ads, there is a new entry this year from a source of truly stupid ads in years past. Liberty Mutual seems to be “moving on” from a tight focus on LIMU the Emu – – and Doug – – which is a good thing. However, the company now has an ad showing “young people having a good time” at a pool party where they “have fun” looking at laptop computers and cell phones with the Liberty Mutual app on the screen. They have those devices in and around the swimming pool. Just what I need, an insurance company that thinks portable electronics and swimming pools go together. The person who came up with that needs to be in the deep end of a swimming pool just as someone throws him/her a plugged-in toaster…
Occasionally, you see an ad on TV, and you wonder what thought process led to someone paying for the airtime to show that to me. A prime example this year was GE Aerospace advertising on NFL games. Why? Can someone there possibly think that the next time I need a jet engine, I’ll remember this ad and go buy a GE Aerospace jet engine. Which exec in GE approved that advertising expenditure?
Old Navy continued their tradition of ads around Holiday Season featuring ugly clothing and annoying characters. This year it is a woman “playing the piano” and “singing” until she tries to feed a bunch of asparagus to a stuffed reindeer. This obviously makes me ready to rush out to Old Navy. How about you?
During March Madness in 2022, there were repeated live-reads by the play-by-play guys about Coca Cola where they urged you to “Debate the Goatness”. Those intercessions hit an exacta one should never seek; they were annoying AND they were stupid.
But wait; there’s more… The good folks at Coke also used ad time in March Madness to introduce me to a new product – – Coke with Coffee. And wouldn’t you know it, they added vanilla to that concoction. That gets a strict “I’ll pass” from me…
Also during March Madness, the folks at Dell chose to take some time to inform us of their product line. To highlight the fact that Dell technology allows people to work from home or the office or just about anywhere, the ad shows hundreds of people in an “office setting” moving their desks out to the middle of the streets in an urban area. That blocks traffic completely since the desks are proximal to one another. So, the message here is that Dell technology creates the potential for urban gridlock and creates problems for anyone who might be trying to get somewhere for some reason. Not a good message…
In the world of beer advertising, we can always count on these two competitors to come up with something dumb:
- Miller Lite tells us that it has more taste and only one more calorie than Michelob Ultra. The “calorie part” can be objectively measured; I assume it is true; and simultaneously, I know that one calorie is irrelevant. Regarding Miller Lite, the “taste part” is like choosing if you would rather be hung or shot.
- Bud Light has an ad with the music and song lyrics, “I believe in miracles, you sexy thing…” Who greenlighted that juxtaposition? A glass of Bud Light – – the visual in the ad – – is neither sexy nor miraculous. It is merely swill…
In 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine caused food commodity prices to spike to the highest levels ever since global stats began to be kept. The food price index jumped 10.6% year over year. There was also a spike in the number of bad ads perpetrated on US TV watchers in 2022 by restaurants and other food purveyors. Are those two things conjoined? It doesn’t matter; here are some of the bad ads from that group.
- Taco Bell ran a series of ads where two people are engaged in some sort of social interaction when a “gong” rings and one or both march off like zombies to a Taco Bell. The screen graphic says, ”When you need a taco …” And then the visual shows the yutzes proceeding to eat a burrito.
- Sonic had a mind-bending ad saying that when something is half-price, it is twice as good. Really? Think back to the fourth grade when you were memorizing your “times tables”; now, remember from those days that twice times zero is still – – zero. Want an example? Would “half price” get you to try a burger adorned with mule snot? Hey, it would be twice as good since it’s half price…
- I’ll just throw this out there because I assume that you are – – as I am – – fed up to the earbrows with “The Antonellis” and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. I hope they both eat so much cheese that they are not regular until next year on the 4th of July.
In this cursed food category, there are two sponsors that contributed two separate ad campaign entries that were bad/stupid in the year. The deserve the scorn provided by a category of their own this year:
- Chipotle advertised that its new chorizo was its “best ever” and that it is “plant-based”. If you ever wondered how good Chipotle’s original chorizo was, you now know.
- Later in the year, Chipotle also told us that “real food tastes better”. OK, I agree that “real food” must taste better than “imaginary food”, but Chipotle are the same folks who just got through telling me that plant-based chorizo was the best chorizo they ever made. Now hear this! Plant-based chorizo is not real food!
- Applebee’s began the year with an ad featuring a guy in a restaurant setting saying that he had been making memories here since he was little. He has been making memories at Applebee’s – – where the motto ought to be something like, where you go when you are too lazy to microwave your food at home. My reaction was: You poor thing. I am so sorry!
- Then, Applebee’s appropriated the theme song from the TV sitcom, Cheers, in an ad campaign. Let me set the record straight here: Cheers was one of the best sitcoms in TV history; Applebee’s is an eatery that has never been one of the best of anything. This appropriation of the theme song is an abomination in the sight of God. [Luke 16:15]
So, there is my compilation of bad ads in the waning days of 2022. You may wonder how I convince myself that I have sufficient insight and/or stature to label these ads as bad ones and that would be a fair question to ask. Rather than pat myself on the back, let me close with this observation about advertising by David Ogilvy, known as the “Father of Advertising” and a founder of the giant international ad agency, Ogilvy and Mather:
“It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt that more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.”
Do you see any “big ideas” in the ads cited above?
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………
6 thoughts on “Bad Ads 2022 …”
Laugh out loud funny. Very good for read out loud entertainment.
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed…
thought the pup was a Bernese Mountain dog. Not quite as large.
You know more about canines than I do; I have never heard of a Bernese Mountain dog.
Great Selection…as a very satisfied Liberty Mutual customer I too find their ad campaigns very sad and irritating…first there is the urine yellow color scheme with the stupid Emu and that guy who looks like some Vegas crap hound…and then the other stupid attempts to best Progressive and Geico…sad, but their insurance has been good for us for over 47 years.
Late to the posting…but have a safe and wonderful visit to family on the Emerald Isle…
Gary in El Paso and Paris:
Good products can have bad ad campaigns; that is for sure.
Had a great time in Ireland; hope you had an equally good time in Paris.
Comments are closed.