Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Old Navy mannequins

Just dumb. Except maybe for the "flexible joints", the first time. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Palm Pre

All the Palm Pre ads are creepy and pretentious. But here's a version that's not too bad:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Olive Garden

Just what every teenaged boy wants...a date with Mumsy. Olive Garden, this commercial is uncomfortable at best. At worst, it's just ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wayne's World "sponsors"

I love this scene in Wayne's World :-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dave and Busters

I guess I'm just not fun...these Dave and Buster's ads seem creepy to me.  Frankly, I can think of LOTS of other things to do on a Saturday night date...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Toyota Prius

We find this ad just plain creepy. Prius, we really think you could do better.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Castrol Edge

Think with your dipstick, Jimmy. Certainly doesn't make me want to buy this product from Castrol.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lectric Shave

The print ad on the Lectric Shave website is pretty hot, so what went wrong in the TV commercial? Yuck. A guy with his face imprinted on each of his little chin hairs. Yuck.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crystal Light

Women drink 20% more water when they drink Crystal Light. That's nice...they also drink a whole lot more chemicals!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Head On, the classic annoying ad

I can't believe that I've been posting for a month now and have forgotten to mention the King of all Annoying Ads, Head On. Here's the one that started it all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Years ago, it occurred to me that this type of ad was probably filmed in reverse. In other words, they probably pay nice looking people to put on weight. I really doubt that most of them actually use Xenadrine to take it off afterwards...

Monday, July 27, 2009

We do it all

Copeland Toyota is a local ad. If these two folks really "do it all", what are all the rest of the employees for? They seem like really nice folks, but most nice folks shouldn't do their own ads unless they have training.

Friday, July 24, 2009

AT&T's rollover minutes

A better job of editing by AT&T, please. Mom's mouth is moving but nothing is coming out. Or is that supposed to be the point? If so, I don't get it. Is it like a dropped call?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SciFi--->Syfy. Why?

Trying to shed your geek image? Not gonna work! Syfy can be copyrighted and Sci Fi can't? Now we might be getting somewhere...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cavemen and Geico

Great song from Three Doors Down. Not such a great ad from Geico. Is the caveman thing getting tiresome to anyone else?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Verizon Friends and Family Pinata

I really do love the Verizon guy. Most of the Verizon commercials are quite clever, but I'm not a big fan of any of the recent Friends and Family series. Maybe funny the first time, but not so much after that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Take pure natural soy beans. Mix them with pure natural fruit and bake it into something processed and gross. Oh joy! How about a handful of edamame and an apple instead?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cialis bathtubs

Overall, the Cialis ads are pretty ok, but the bathtubs are puzzling to a lot of people. And embarrassing to the rest!

I really don't believe that part about being able to respond to your partner ONLY when you're both ready, though. Yeah, right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Comcast rabbit thing

Annoying. Repetitious. Even the shortened versions were too long. And then having to hear them on radio was just too much.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Surely could find better examples to broadcast. These are funny, but they don't exactly make me want to run for the computer...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sham Wow

Offer Vince Shlomi, aka Vince Offer, is the pitchman for both ShamWow and the Slap Chop. Arrested in February 2009 for beating up a prostitute (looks like she got some licks in too), his pitchman future remains to be seen.

In the meantime, the ubiquitous Sham Wow ad is not only tiresome, but many many customers say it's misleading.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Skittles: Warped

Skittles has some pretty warped ads, but this is probably the worst.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bob's Furniture

I'm guessing that only those living in the New England area have to see these gems by Bob's Furniture. This is an example of people who shouldn't be allowed to do their own advertisements, a special treat that you usually only find in local ads.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Most people detest mimes. Maybe Trojans should have remembered that.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Omnaris...who are those creepy little men?

I haven't quite figured out who these tiny people are, or why they are sticking a pointer up this woman's nose. What I do know is that all of the Omnaris ads have more cartoon info about nasal passages than I want to see larger than life.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Burger King

The plastic-faced Burger King is horrible and creepy in all of the commercials, but the way he is integrated into this ad for a KID'S MEAL is beyond creepy.

Just in case you're wondering, I love Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back, but not for the grade school set. This is just sleazy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blipverts: the mother of all bad ad ideas

We loved Max Headroom and were so so sorry when it got canceled. Here is a clip from the original movie that was later slightly recast for the television series. It was all about an evil corporation that was trying to suppress the rather deadly results of its newest ad campaign...

I know, we're geeks. We can't help it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chi Chi's salsa

Chi Chi's salsa ad: annoying before the first time is even quite finished.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Geico money ad

has some really good ad campaigns. This doesn't happen to be one of them.

The only really good thing about this ad is the song.

Image: Geico

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Billy Mays, rest in peace

"Life's a pitch, and then you buy!"

Unlike many people, I never found Billy Mays's ads to be crummy. I always thought his over-the-top exuberant style was...well, kind of funny and kind of charming.

The thing is, his ads worked. You remembered what the commercial was for, didn't you? And unlike some other pitchmen, Billy never made me hate the product.

But not until I watched an episode of Pitchmen did I gain a deeper appreciation for Billy Mays's talent and personality. He was larger than life, and he was a warm and generous man.

I love Oxiclean, and I will miss Billy Mays. Here's my favorite of all his ads...not crummy at all:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fountain

What's the first thing you think of when someone starts to throw money into a fountain? Making a wish, right?

I understand that she's throwing money away, but she's doing it in a way that doesn't have any natural association at all with Sprint telecommunications. See? I'll bet most of us didn't even remember that was the product being advertised.

It's been pointed out that when she starts down the stairs towards the fountain, the wheelbarrow is only about 1/3 full, and when she starts shoveling it is suddenly miraculously completely full. That doesn't bother me at all, but the lack of relationship between the product and the illustration.

Image: Sprint

Very Crummy Ads

Hi, I'm Madison Aldwych, and I'm an ad junky. I've been fascinated by advertisements for as long as I can remember, driving my parents crazy by singing every jingle I heard at the supper table. I love ads just about as much as anyone can who doesn't end up becoming an ad professional.

That's right. I'm not an ad exec or illustrator or graphic artist or ad man of any type. I've created a few (very few) print ads for my own business many years ago, and I learned that it's NOT EASY!

Creating really great ads is probably one of the hardest jobs that there is in the business world. They must straddle many lines...memorable but not annoying, striking the right note of humor or poignancy or even outrage, clever and hip without alienating tradition. And most of all, the metaphor or illustration has to relate to the product being sold.

When the metaphor is off, the whole effort comes crashing down. Even if the ad has a great theme song and clever filming. That's mostly what we'll be looking at here at Very Crummy Ads, ads that failed, in my opinion. Sometimes it will be because the metaphor failed, sometimes because the ad is tasteless, and sometimes because it's just too annoying, not funny, not poignant, or otherwise ho-hum.

Hope you enjoy the trip!