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!