The seven most gloriously bad Rivers ads of all time

rivers logoWhile most brands that create a bad ad will learn from their mistakes, there is one company where making crap commercials is on brand.

So notoriously terrible is the ‘creative’ work of Rivers department store, they have an online hate group in the I Hate Rivers Ads Facebook page which has over 150,000 fans.

But could so many haters be wrong? We think so. Here at Mumbrella House these ads are a guilty pleasure.

They gain cut-through using a death metal soundtrack vs the muzac of more vasoline-lensed ads.

They are the 15-second equivalent of so-bad-its-good films like Sharktopus or The English Patient. As the snobby art critic said of ‘The Kramer’ painting in Seinfeld: “He’s a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can’t look away!”

With that in mind, here are seven magnificent Rivers commercials:

7. Hyphy was a musical sub-genre derived from the Bay Area of San Francisco. To ‘get Hyphy’ is to get crazy. Perhaps the exact opposite of these generic men’s Tees.


6. Similar to The Ponds Institute, Rivers has ‘one of the most comprehensive testing sets in the southern hemisphere to simulate the act of walking. They also use moving images in this ad, as opposed to the others, which play like a ani-gif.


5. Rivers shows its delicate side by speaking to the inner Goddess in all of us, offering style advice via Cleopatra and Aphrodites but at the same time war-mongering Mongol Genghis Khan’s mistresses – sexy and classy.


4. Remember when cyclones took out Australia’s banana crops and suddenly bananas were really expensive? What many people don’t realize is our denim crops were also decimated. Hence Rivers using the scarcity tactic in the copy: ’14 and a half ounces of the best denim we could buy’.


3. These pants are so lazy, they’re not even worth… oh just watch the clip.


2. While Bonds opted for model and media personality Sarah Murdoch to advertise its delicates, Rivers decided an assault from death metal best sold the strength of its socks.


1. But of course, the final ad is so special, we’ve already featured it on Mumbrella. The butt-ugly rubber clog, sue-ably similar to the Croc, sensibly attacked itself before others could. “Even for $4.90 we wouldn’t be seen dead in our butt ugly clogs.” Simple, effective but most of all, honest. If only all advertising could be like that.

(With thanks to Ebiquity.)

Colin Delaney



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