Thursday, 12 June 2014

Scraping the bottom of the ad barrel: a new series of posts

Image credit: midiman

I haven't wrote about advertising for a while, and given I'd like to ramp up activity around here I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a new series of blog posts, something I could write about on a weekly basis perhaps.

It is pretty commonly accepted that 99% of ads are pretty boring, bad, run of the mill, etc. Just turn your TV on and see for yourself. Or walk outside and notice billboards, read a magazine, or pay attention to banners online. There is a lot of industry press and awards for the 1% of good work out there, so that's covered, but what about the wide majority of ads that allow admen to eat and pay bills every month? And what about the 1% at the other end of the spectrum, the very worst stuff, the boring bottom of the ad barrel? Sure the catastrophes get some press, like really stupidly offensive stuff, but how about the mind-numbingly mundane..? 

I feel not enough is written about bad ads and bad practices. Well actually, there are typically a few posts every year about the worst ads. I just want to write about it, I think it could be fun. So this upcoming series of posts aims to celebrate or at least provide some online coverage for the worst and most boring ad campaigns out there. Some of my commentary might be insightful, but don't hope for too much of that.

Of course given 99% of ads are pretty bad to start with, where do you find the really boring ones? It is going to be pretty subjective. Plus I work in advertising too so I might have to be slightly careful... (Perhaps a good time to remind everyone that this blog is personal and doesn't represent the views of my employer). 

This is one of the main reasons I'm starting with an opening post, if you have suggestions or ideas as to how or where to find these ads please tell me in the comments. In my experience and given I don't watch TV, Youtube pre-rolls are decent place to start - I'll pay more attention. If I keep at it properly, there could be some kind of small competition for vote for the worst ads... Maybe Ads of the World can help too? I'll be doing some more research.

If you have more ideas, please keep in touch in the comments, or Twitter, or you can send me an email via Thanks!


Steph T said...

This guy's blog is pretty good for bad ads:

Or follow him on Twitter:

Willem van der Horst said...

Good point, thanks! I haven't checked his blog in a while.