Significant seven: biggest turkeys

Over the next few days, we are publishing highlights from this year’s Mumbrella Annual.

1. Coles, Down down
Before Ted Horton, the man responsible for this ad, picks up the phone to us, we’d like to make one thing absolutely clear. We’re sure this ad was effective as hell. But effectiveness doesn’t save it from sucking on a number of levels. First, supermarket singalongs should be banned.
Butchering Petula Clark’s classic song Downtown was criminal. The ‘Down down’ lyrics are an assault on the ears. And the big red foam hands are a moronic finishing touch. But we could be wrong. So could a Facebook group that was set up to slate this ad called ‘The disturbed feeling you get after seeing the new Coles ad’, which has about 27,000 members.

2. Virgin Money, life insurance
A couple are sitting together, but so far apart you could drive a freight train between them. The man grumbles that no one really needs life insurance, only to be shushed in a patronising way by his wife. Yet another lame, predictable wheeze where the man plays an irritating fool who is humiliated by his intellectually superior other half.

3. Jacob’s Creek ‘Together we sparkle’
How could Euro RSCG possibly follow its ad for Jacob’s Creek featuring ‘smug Dan’ – one of the most criticised ads of 2010 – with anything nearly as bad this year?
Well, somehow they managed it with a gathering of bland, screeching, ethnically diverse middle-class wine drinkers. The ad ends with the line ‘True character’ and an astonishing lack of irony.

4.Canon Pixma, Cliff Logan
Cliff Logan is a goofy entrepreneur who rises to fame and fortune while working from home,
thanks to his trusty Canon Pixma printer. Curiously, the Canon Pixma brand manager insisted that this very silly ad had done well in pretesting.
“People could relate to him and his journey to success. He’s not a dry cardboard cut-out character,” she said. Really? The ad’s worst sin is that it made its target audience look like complete losers.

5. The Yellow Pages, ‘Look at me!’
A row of little men, who look like Tellytubbies gone horribly wrong, appear in puffs of smoke and sing ‘Hey, look at me!’ one after the other in a very irritating and vaguely sinister way. The point being that it’s hard to get noticed if you’re a small business – so you’d better get some attention by advertising in a book most people now use as a door stop, to light a fire or prop up a computer monitor.

6. Microsoft Live, ‘Yay, cloud!’
The scene is an airport lounge. A man explains to his girlfriend how Microsoft’s cloud service can help them record TV shows through their PC and exciting stuff like that. “Yay, cloud!” the woman responds, as if he’s just told her she has a dose of genital herpes. This was the most played primetime ad for the week, invading our living rooms no less than 69 times. The agony. Incredibly, this is not the worst ad Microsoft has ever made.

7. Pizza Hut, Stonefired pizza range
Reality TV show chef Aaron Harvie is cooking pizza for an amiable mingling of enthusiastic fans. They sound almost impressed when Harvie reveals that the pizza they’re eating is from Pizza Hut.
“That’s amazing,” chirps one. “I’m impressed,” chimes another.“Go Pizza Hut!” Not one for the M&C Saatchi show reel, although only slightly worse than the agency’s work for Woolworths this year.


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