The biggest turkeys of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the seven biggest advertising turkeys from the last 12 months.

1. Tip Top The One ‘Warren’

A man called Warren dressed as a loaf of bread bickers awkwardly with a mother and her child in a supermarket. This spot comes from DDB the agency that not long ago rebranded Telstra.

2. Big W ‘Everyone’s a Winner Baby’

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney’s first ad for Big W was, unsurprisingly, not press released. A bouncing blue blob made from Big W’s logo was the creative highlight. “Looks like it was put together in powerpoint,” suggested one Mumbrella reader.

3. Subway ‘Official Training Restaurant of Athletes’

Subway appeared to have blown its marketing budget on signing celebrities, with nothing else to spend on TV. Standing in front of a computer screen, snowboarding champ Torah Bright explained why the fast food was part of her training routine, picking a six-inch turkey sub as her favourite sandwich. “What a six-inch turkey of an ad,” one Mumbrella reader pointed out.

4. Buzz Insurance ‘Unbee-lievable’

Two men dressed up as bees are standing in front of a plastic beehive, one of them holding a small dog. Why? Because they represent ‘other’ insurance companies, where you pay for what you don’t need. Then came the inevitable line, “un-bee-lievable insurance”.

5. ANZ ‘We live in your world’

The Mentalist star Simon Baker returned to play a nosey American who randomly talks to strangers about home loans.

6. Clark Rubber ‘Better than a Beach’

An animated duck sings along to a jingle last heard in the 1970s.

7. QANTAS ‘You’re the reason we fly’

This gloomy Olympic-themed ad, which features athletes gawping up at the dawn sky as a plane flies overhead, is not saved by a soundtrack by Silverchair’s Daniel Johns. A mournful, uninspiring farewell brand campaign from Publicis Mojo, who were booted off the lead role in July.

mumbrella annual 2012


  1. Viewer
    1 Jan 13
    3:28 pm

  2. Those other ANZ ads with Simon Baker are just as bad and even more creepier. Staring at people at other cafe tables watching what they are doing with running commentary on what they are thinking. Is ANZ now sponsoring Orwell’s “Big brother”? Bad ads all-round.

  3. Mark
    3 Jan 13
    1:45 pm

  4. Being a frequent traveller, having the horrible refrain ‘You’re the reason we fly’ drilled into my head at least twice a week through increasingly-tacky in-flight safety videos delivered by an insincere and hollow Qantas ‘captain’ was torturous. I do hope they wind this up soon.

  5. KJ
    4 Jan 13
    2:18 am

  6. For future reference, everything is saved through a soundtrack by Daniel Johns. Didn’t hate that ad.

  7. Will
    8 Jan 13
    12:17 pm

  8. The Clark Rubber mascot is clearly a animated platypus, not a duck.

    Every other statement appears to be spot on.

  9. derrick
    8 Jan 13
    2:10 pm

  10. i actually liked the bees one

    different strokes…