Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Year In Horribleness

It’s been long while since I have written a real post, but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t thinking about you out there.

As usual, this year has been filled terrible, god-awful, and downright crappy advertising campaigns of all shapes and colors. Let’s have a look at a few of the worst things that came across my radar this year.

McDonald’s “Not Before I Had My Coffee”

This was a pretty good year for McDonald’s overall. Their smoothie campaign in the spring and summer was beautiful, refreshing, and successful to the point that they were attributed as the reason for a quarterly sales bump. (See story here.)



As someone who goes out of his to see as many ads as he can, I can honestly say that if this person existed in real life I would not miss him should he be in a terrible accident and wiped away from existence. If I were the girl behind the counter I would have thrown the coffee in his face.

What were the people at DDB and McDonald’s thinking?

To me the message is simple: McDonald’s coffee is so good it will soften up the worst of assholes. But, I don’t want to drink coffee for assholes. That’s why I don’t go to Starbucks.

I Hate Julia Roberts

Sorry kids, I never liked her and I never will.



It cost them $1.5 million bucks to get her in this spot. My skull is caving in.

The Psycho Target Mom Black Friday Spots

This year Target either hit a homerun or struck out with their advertising; there was no in-between. During the Lost series finale, we saw them at their best with brand and product tie-ins to popular images from the television show. When Black Friday began to close in upon us we got the crazy, emaciated gift-shopping mother.



It’s okay to absurd in creative. In fact, it’s my preferred style of humor. While the “Montage” spot echoes of Rocky IV and all its idiotic glory, I cannot help but cringe at this spot. (Plus, it would have been cool if there was an Ivan Drago character to juxtapose against the current one.) This woman is the exact opposite of likable. Had they recast the ad with an actress who didn’t look like she was munching on amphetamines all day, maybe it would have been better received.


LeBron Rise



It was a tough year for Nike. First they has to try and rehabilitate their Tiger Woods related branding, and then came “The Decision.” Hoping a little humor might ease the tension, the producers the spot never really gets to the point.

What should you do LeBron? You should not have announced your departure on national television in a fit of masturbatory self-importance. You should have done it in a press release and left town quietly. Now, LeBron, you need to win. Steal a page from the Kobe Bryant image recovery and do nothing but focus on your game, and maybe people will start to forget what a jerk you were.

Oh well, at least we got South Park to mock his horrendous exit.



Miller Lite – Man Up

I can see the conversation at DraftFCB going like this:

Account Manager: How can we hammer home the middle-class, blue-collar success that we had with the High Life campaign?

Creative: Well the simple answer is create an anti-douche-bag meme.

Account Manager: Yeah, but this is Miller Lite; we need hot chicks without being mysogenists.

Creative: (Sarcastically) Well we could have a hot chick as the middle-class, down-to-earth character dissing every bad trend in male fashion.

Account Manager: Brilliant! Let’s run with it!



Every 5 Hour Energy Spot

Oh where to begin? The actors who cannot act? The shoddy video production? Not since the introduction of Head On has any one product made such a large media buy with ads that cost less than used 1987 Nissan sedan.



Every Side Ad on Facebook

FB is getting smarter with each passing day, but, for the life of me, I cannot stop being pelted with asinine ads that someone purchased for my demographic. As much as I would love to have a career as a videogame tester or have a whiter smile, these ads are a waste.

It’s not FB’s fault. Advertisers need to get smarter and they need to leverage the sophisticated targeting tools that FB offers. The give you a jackhammer and advertisers try to use it to put a nail in the wall.

Tim James for Alabama Governor

I don’t have too much to say about this ad. It’s just flat-out racist. This man should be ashamed of himself, and we – as Americans – should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing our society to become so uniformed that people believe this argument in this context.



Every Insurance Spokesperson Spot (Except Mayhem)

Whether it’s Flo or the Creepy State Farm guy or the Nationwide Greatest Spokesperson, this year was filled with too many crappy, uninformative campaigns in the insurance industry. Every company is looking for their own Aflac Duck or Geico Gecko/Cave Man and it’s not going to work.

What’s really said is the fact that my wife had Progressive Auto Insurance a few years ago, and when she had an accident they were on the scene and helpful from the get-go. Those are the stories that consumers want to hear about their insurance company, which is why the Mayhem spots work so well. By personifying the negative things that eventually happen to our cars, they humorously express the need for their product.

2 comments:

Benwa said...

My vote for the most horrible is Target's Black Friday campaign. W + K missed the mark by a long shot. It's Target, not Bud Light!

Matt Koppel said...

Notice how they cut the campaign after Black Friday to introduce that strange hip hop themed Christmas spots? I'll bet that was a last minute change.