Picking the five worst ads of 2013 shouldn't be so much fun.
But it is.
Eachof these ads rightfully earned this moment of infamy. It's not justthat these ads are bad. Each, in its own special way, is a stinker.Some are stupid. Some are gross. Some poke fun at folks whom theyshouldn't. Some use unacceptable stereotypes. And virtually all of theminsult the intelligence of viewers - even mine.
These picks are the polar opposite of another list I compiled that ranks the Top Five Ads of 2013.That one wasn't nearly so simple to write. Picking the best ads of2013 required lots of thought. Lots of introspection. And a process ofelimination. But picking the five worst ads of 2013 required none ofthat.
The bottom of the barrel easily rose to the top. I've listed them in descending order, from least worst to most worst.
Weexcluded political ads because, for the most part, they're all bad. Seeif one of your least-favorite ads isn't among these bottom five:
5. Kmart: "Ship My Pants" (DraftfcbChicago) 30 seconds. Never mind that this very same ad is all butdestined to appear on the lists that some critics compile for 2013'sbest ads. After all, it got Kmart back in the news. It propelled thebrand's TV and social media exposure. And it woke up a very sleepybrand. Ah, but for all the wrong reasons.
What brand, after all, wants its name to be so indelibly linked with a four-letter word that rhymes with sit? Thead features various Kmart customers crowing over the fact that they cannow ship - for free - their pants, drawers, nighties and even beds, ifit's not in the store when they shop.
But the manycharacters in the commercial all speak so fast, it takes keen ears tohear if they're saying "ship" or that other nasty word that rhymes with"sit." And that's the whole joke. Over. And over. And over. Think I'llship, err, sit, this one out.
4. Hyundai: "Pipejob" (InnoceanEurope) 60 seconds. There's absolutely nothing funny about suicide.But in this British ad, which Hyundai and its European agency eventuallypulled and both apologized for, suicide is the big punch line. A guytries to commit suicide by locking himself in his garage with hisHyundai ix35 and breathing in the fumes. What's so funny? Well, itseems the ix35 is a fuel cell car that basically emits water vapor, notcarbon monoxide. So the guy doesn't die. He turns off the car andopens his garage door, defeated. That's the big joke. He lived.Worse than bad, this ad is cruel.
3. Poo-Pourri: "Girls Don't Poop" (The Harmon Bros.) 2:15. This ad is literally a stinker. It's for anhonest-to-goodness product that folks are advised to spray in thetoilet, before they poop, so they don't stink-up the joint. As wackyas the product itself sounds, well, the ad for it is even worse. Itfeatures a sprite, well-dressed young woman with a bit of a Britishaccent, sitting (legs spread) on the toilet, bragging about the uniqueability of Poo-Pourri to mask the stink that she's just made. Ick.
Thead begins with the sound of the toilet flushing as she brags, "Youwould not believe the mother lode I just dropped." How quaint. Makesyou really want to listen further, no? A handy-dandy, animated visualin the ad even shows the image of a stool plopping into a bowl that'spre-sprayed with the stuff. Oh, did we forget to mention the "stinkfree" money-back guarantee that the ad promises? In a nation of wackyproducts, maybe there's room for Poo-Pourri somewhere in themarketplace. But nowhere, in a civilized society, is there room forthis ad.
2. Mountain Dew "Line Up" (Tyler, The Creator) 60 seconds. Every bad ad needs a goat. No, notjust the naughty goat that actually appears in this ad, but a scapegoat.Mountain Dew ultimately had no one else to blame, so it finally blameditself when it pulled this offensive ad with a tweet that said, inpart, "Made a big mistake." That's an understatement. The ad featuresthree, sinister-looking African-American guys - and a tough-talking goat- in a police lineup. With that imagery, some talking heads on cableTV speculated if it was the most racist ad, ever. Ouch.
Notexactly the perfect image that the coolest-of-cool soft drinks wants tofeed to its Millennial target. Just as bad, a woman whom the goat hasapparently beaten up - and whose job is to identify the suspect in theline-up - is swayed by the goat's threats of even more violence."Snitches get stitches," the goat goads her. This ad is offensive on somany levels that it's hard to count them all. It's racist. It'ssexist. And it's dumb. If ever there were an ad that should never havebeen made, this is probably it. In act of saving grace, the goatshould have mercifully eaten this ad before it aired.
1. GoDaddy "Perfect Match"(Deutsch, New York) 30 seconds. The best television commercials -particularly the best Super Bowl advertisements - should be loads of funto watch. So much fun, in fact, that after you've seen them once, youwant to see them again and again. This one, however, is incrediblyhard to watch - the first time. It features a supermodel (BarRefaeli), who represents the "sexy" side of GoDaddy, and a geeky guy(referred to in the ad as Walter), who represents the techy side. Shelooks gorgeous in her low-cut, pink dress and matching shoes. He lookstotally nerdy in his white shirt, crooked tie and glasses. And then,they kiss. The mismatched couple spend about 13 seconds of the spotembraced in a ultra-close-up kiss. But you don't just see the kiss. Youhear it, too. In fact, that's all you hear for way, way too manyuncomfortable seconds.
Theissue isn't that Walter looks goofy or that Bar looks beautiful. Theissue is the utterly forced nature of this marathon kiss. It looks andsounds yucky. When the commercial mercifully ends, Bar looks beat andWalter looks weary. So how's the poor Super Bowl viewer watching thead supposed to feel? The ad ranked dead last in 2013's USA TODAY SuperBowl Ad Meter rankings, far below the rest of the pack. But why limitthis to being the worst Super Bowl spot of 2013? It sealed its fatewith that kiss: Worst Ad of 2013. Let's shake on it.