The Worst Adverts of the 21st Century

From faux-beat poetry to sentences that flat out don’t make sense. I will shake anyone who bought the product as a result of watching these...
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From faux-beat poetry to sentences that flat out don’t make sense. I will shake anyone who bought the product as a result of watching these...


We all find adverts annoying, that’s a given. Radio ads, TV ads, the ads before a movie, pop-ups, posters on the tube. They’re insidious, that’s what advertising is. A relentless bombardment of images and slogans designed to trick you into wanting something you don’t need. When it’s done well, it’s genius, undoubtedly, but appreciation for that genius carries with it a full-blown hatred for adverts that are just...well, wank. These 5 are the worst offenders

Levi’s – Go Forth

The commodification of beat poetry continues in earnest with this celebration of new levels of bullshit. Various people, all of them bellends who look like they’ve just stepped out of a themed night in Williamsburg, go about New York owning life all thanks to their fucking jeans. One woman’s well good at the cello, another girl can hop from bollard to bollard without falling meaning she’s all kooky and stuff, there’s a guy about to boss a meeting and another who’s going to teach the absolute shit out of some college students who’re all collectively hanging out of their arse. All the while, a truly abominable beat-style poem is relayed over the top, the kind of faux-stream-of-consciousness that would make Ginsberg, Kerouac et al turn in their graves. Anyone who thinks they’re “the next living leader of the world” after buying a pair of jeans needs to be immediately disenfranchised.

Alfa Romeo – Giulietta

Uma Thurman appears in this utter trash and in doing so manages to erase any memory you ever had of her doing anything even remotely good. Seriously, I mean, I’m aware she’s been in films I liked, but after seeing this I honestly can’t remember them. Car adverts are generally abysmal, selling you the idea that you’ll be driving through canyons and across deserts and generally having a great time, not stuck in rush hour or running a hosepipe from the exhaust into the front window as is more likely.


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This one though contains not one, but TWO of the worst slogans in advertising history. If “Without Heart, We Would Be Mere Machines” wasn’t bad enough, before that dear old Uma says: “I am Giulietta, and I am such stuff as dreams are made on.”...Nope, not a fucking clue.

Davidoff Adventure – Ewan McGregor cocking around

“Och aye! I’m Ewan McGregor! I spunked up Kilimanjaro and banged a Mayan lass up Machu Pichu. I ripped the head of a stick insect and fed it to my cat. This leather jacket is harvested from animals that haven’t even fucking evolved yet. Buy this fucking aftershave, it smells like wet panda shite.”...Well, that’s what I heard him say, didn’t you?

Activia Danone Feeling Good – Gok Wan

Gok Wan, what does he do? I honestly don’t know why he’s still a thing. You knew where you stood with Trinny & Susannah. They’d ball up, see a mess, call her out, make her cry, slap a dress on her and send her out to the wolves, a fragile, quivering husk, but one who’s learnt to celebrate her curves or something. Gok Wan is like a more insidious version, saying “it’s ok that your fat, but it would be MORE ok if you weren’t.”

This advert, which let’s not forget is about making women shit more, contains classic advert speak that literally NOBODY knows the meaning of: “Not only does Activia contain exclusive Bifidis Acta Regularis, it’s also completely delicious!” – how can a supplement or a vitamin or whatever that is be exclusive to a yoghurt? And what dieticians are out there saying “Y’know what, there’s a distinct lack of Bifidis Acta Regularis in your diet, which explains your constipation. I don’t know why you smell so much though.”

McDonalds – We All Have McDonald’s In Common

Hoards of twats populate this monstrosity of an advert which not only makes you never want to go to a McDonald’s ever again, but also manages to have a cloying, mawkish message at the centre. There’s a shit kid who hates his mum because she’s asked her new shag, named Dave, to move in, and he’s gutted because he wanks late at night and doesn’t want to do it whilst listening to someone having a good old go on the very same hole he came out of.

Fair enough, but to top it off he acts a right cunt to Dave which is clearly spoiling his horn. He won’t let him help with his bike, take him to school or know that he secretly enjoys his vinyl collection. Dave, being a feckless, lazy shite himself, decides to go to McDonald’s for dinner, at which point the kid is all fucking ears. They eat, the kid offers Dave his gherkins at which point they’ve reached some kind of mutual understanding. If I were Dave I’d have rammed the gherkins down his throat, as far as possible, then shouted at the top of my voice “YOUR MUM CAN TAKE IT BETTER THAN THAT LAD,” then ordered something off the saver menu.