What's your least favorite commercial?

Asked by Josh Board

May 6, 2009

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Lisa Meyers

From Cardiff (Book Publisher)

I forget what company it was. I think maybe Target, but they used the song “Baby Got Back” for some back-to-school things. I didn’t think that was very appropriate. And now Burger King is also using that song, and again, it’s for a kids’ meal. I don’t care for the DiGiorno ad that shows a group of friends at a bar and an attractive woman is sucking an ice cube really seductively. It might be a three-way tie for worst commercial, including this one for gum. This young teenage couple starts making out after chewing it. The parents start kissing, too. It’s so disgusting.

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Peter Fortin

From Linda Vista (Mechanical Engineer)

I should have a strong opinion about that. I just can’t think of them all. The caveman commercials for Geico insurance. It almost made me switch my insurance away from Geico. Those commercials are just awful. Probably the worst are the ones for an STD product. If you’re watching TV with a girl over and it comes on, you say, “Oh, what’s this?” It ends up killing the mood.

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Rafael Hernan

From San Diego (Engineer)

Well, in Mexico I would say the government-produced commercials are all bad. They’re always telling you what they’re using your money for. They should show politicos buying a yacht with your money. When I was a kid, the government there owned all the TV stations, and 60 percent of it was government filler. That’s not the best entertainment.

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John Davidson

From Downtown (Waiter)

I hate the freecreditreport.com spots. The song sucks. They’re bad all the way around. They’ve all gotta go.

Photo of Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

From Downtown (Dry Cleaner)

I recently saw one for a college. They kept talking about it being free. The entire thing was just irritating and plain stupid. I believe it was an online college, but I’m not positive. The main reason I hated it was because of that song. So, maybe the key is that there shouldn’t be singing in commercials.

Photo of Alan Percy

Alan Percy

From Santee (Construction Foreman)

I suspect we all hate commercials. It seems in the ’70s and ’80s they were more fun. Remember all those beer commercials? “Tastes great!” “Less filling!” What happened to fun spots like that? My big pet peeve with commercials that I dislike is probably that they sometimes come up with a catchy concept. For example, the ones that mention all those things you did with your grandmother before she died, and then the voiceover says, “Priceless.” Those were interesting at first, like a lot of commercials. But they keep the theme going too long. The Budweiser frogs weren’t funny after the first one. Neither is the gecko lizard.


SDaniels May 8, 2009 @ 1:42 a.m.

"It had something to do with these chickens, and how some companies make them look bigger by pumping water into them"

Just in case you weren't joking, Ron..:)

Is that the commercial with the "most interesting man in the world" who says "Stay thirsty, my friends?" Haven't seen the one with the lucho libre, but surely I will. I think they are trying to go for this idea of a cosmopolitan kind of guy with a Hemingway-adventure appeal.

Nice detail about the cans. You must think of soundtracks as sometimes being like characters in film, then. I know I do.


SDaniels May 8, 2009 @ 10 p.m.

I would disagree with a wholesale statement that you aren't supposed to notice soundtracks and sounds. Many films make use of them as part of the fabric and texture of the filmic experience, just as subject to analysis as anything else about the film, including the kinds of camera shots--there is a whole language to be discovered being spoken in films that doesn't necessarily have to do with the actors or the visuals, though each level communicates its own set of interwoven messages. Sitting in on some film classes could open up this kind of world for a film lover?


Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 11:07 a.m.

SD...you bring up good points about sound effects and songs in a movie. I just meant most of the time, you aren't supposed to notice when someone is punched, if it sounds real...or wonder if it's someone hitting a melon in a studio, with a claw hammer.


SDaniels May 6, 2009 @ 11:14 p.m.

I'll join you on that roll, andrea!

I thought the freecreditreport.com guys were kind of funny each time the new one came out. However, the problem is that anytime you turn on the tube, they seem to be on every other commercial. It is relentless!

What about local commercials with those bad, hazy soundtracks?

Mossey Nissan, Mossey Nissan, Mossey Nissan MOVES YOU....Whoo!

Or, some might remember, if you grew up in OC:

"It's Cal Worthington and his dog Spot!"

When you need a car or truck Go see Cal... When your credit's out of luck Go see Cal... When you need a car or truck and your credit's out of luck, Go see Cal, Go see Cal, Go see CAL!



SDaniels May 6, 2009 @ 11:20 p.m.

How about the Snuggy! Giant red or blue Druid or Klanner-style blankets with sleeves!

Or the "Tweezy!" Agggh.


SDaniels May 6, 2009 @ 6:11 p.m.

It's late at night, and you're juuuusst now feeling those good sleepy chemicals seeping gently through your brain, when...

suddenly the frequency changes on your television, and a high-pitched, grating, reedy, obnoxious voice bellows:



magicsfive May 6, 2009 @ 6:21 p.m.

i know right, or what about the shamwow guy...what's his name...tony schlomi....


Josh Board May 8, 2009 @ 9:30 a.m.

Well, in movies I never, ever think of the sounds. Probably because if they're done well, you really aren't supposed to. But yeah, I'm usually good with details regarding cans.

Yes, those are the commercials...Hemmingway type of dude. Exactly.


Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 8:58 p.m.

Bad commercial update: on the radio, I heard Mathew McConoughy (sp?) doing a spot for beef. I couldn't believe it. The dude has gone from crappy movies to crappy commercials.

Later on in the afternoon I heard Sam Elliot doing a commercial. Now that I didn't mind. He has a cool voice. And he does cool films. And hell, that voice was made for voice-over work.


magicsfive May 10, 2009 @ 9 p.m.

i love sam elliot's voice.....voice-over talent right there :)


beatriceYK May 6, 2009 @ 9:30 p.m.

I'm with you SDaniels! If I never hear BILLY MAY'S voice again it'll be too soon! I can see him talking to his wife and kids at home talking in the same loud, 'grating against my nerves' voice. The teen couple getting all hot from chewing gum in the same room with her parents chewing + kissing? definitely creepy....Viva Viagra's gotta go....not sure Elvis would appreciate it.

The AT+T 'cable vocabulary' guy's voice is awful. I know it's deliberate but it's still a downer to listen to...and so often! BUT!.....The AT+T Asian guy and his clearly tech.challenged friend ROCK..KEEP'EM COMIN'. ....OH YEA and the pre-SuperBowl comm...The Queen song sung by the nuclear family returning home w/groceries....I must have seen/heard it six times/hour...do they really have to shove it down our throats like that? It could work against them.


beatriceYK May 6, 2009 @ 9:42 p.m.

I guess I'm on a roll now...I love "Real Men of Genius". First time I heard them was in VA visiting my brother so maybe that nice memory tags along for me. I think they sh ask for public submissions and give people ... say..200 bucks if they use their entry. I think you'd have to be pretty creative to make one up.

What's wrong w the 'freecreditreport.com guys? It's a catchy tune and he's cute to boot. Of course, I haven't seen the furry animal one yet.


SDaniels May 6, 2009 @ 11:04 p.m.

You caught my drift, beatriceYK! I too have pondered how "Billy Mays" could possibly have a personal life, and if so, does his family jump for the remote, too, heh heh. I have also wondered whether or not he's ever had a hit out on him.

We went over the Viva Viagra guys in another thread--forget which one.

I kinda like the Sham-Wow! guy, magics. Especially when he sells the "Slap Chop" and starts babbling about "tetrazzini, bikini, martini,..." Then he starts pitching the "Graty" with a straight face. He is unabashedly sleazy. "Ya followin' me camera guy?"

There used to be a late night infomercial for a product called "Slam Man." A big person-shaped thing with red targets to indicate eyes, nose, etc. Testimonials from all of these meek looking souls, who say how satisfying it is to pummel the "Slam Man."


magicsfive May 6, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

sheesh. finally ;) ok thank you john davidson, freecreditreport.com is definitely on my list. now they have a new one where the credit score is a furry pet, and if you have a bad score, this pet (in the form of say 550) pees on the floor or chews up the furniture. give me a break. there is a commercial for a bikini trimmer, and every time a woman walks by a little bush or tree, it is "trimmed" into a neat triangle, a circle, a "landing strip" (you getting the picture?) we have already discussed the tampon in the boat and viva viagra, so i will let those go. JG Wentworth....the horrible opera singers sing the whole commercial. god if only my whole list didn't get washed lol... i have so many more but let me just say this: IMO, the WORST commercial has GOT to be the one where the little blue woman icon jumps off the bathroom door, follows a lady into the bathroom and urges her to have the Detrol discussion with her doctor. i'm so sure. i HATE that one. That's all for now, but rest assured i WILL be back.


daviddiamond56 May 6, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

Come on the Free Credit Report.com commercials are great!

The band you love to hate!

Yeah I guess I do hate those commercials even though I like them because I find myself with that free credit report song in my head for days after... bad as that is - isn't that what good advertising is? Name recognition?

If I ever want a credit report I would think of them first and immediately!


SDaniels May 7, 2009 @ 2:38 p.m.

Oh, yes. I think I've seen Smokey Robinson on one of those "Don't you miss the [insert era here] and don't you need this 50-CD collection to help bring it and your youth back?"

I averted my eyes in shame.

You remind me of the Ron Popeil infomercials, Josh. Everyone has got to have seen one of these at some point--even the B-52s have a song about him!

Ever seen the "flavor injector" he goes on and on about? They show maybe 20 syringes filled with different things, and how you inject it under the skin of the bird: Garlic! Parsley! Garlic and Parsley! Butter! Garlic and butter! Etc.


Josh Board May 7, 2009 @ 1:45 a.m.

You guys are mentioning commercials I've never seen. But, for late night, I always feel a bit sad for the old musicians that are doing the Time-Life series of classic 50s or 60s songs. It's like...well, if it's Air Supply, they deserve to be a couch peddling crappy music. But I've seen super talented folks like John Sebastian, Graham Nash, and other great songwriters doing those. Even Who singer Roger Daltrey at one time.

My mom was telling me about a commercial a few days ago, and I saw it last night. It had something to do with these chickens, and how some companies make them look bigger by pumping water into them (I probably got that all completely wrong, but just go with me). They ask if it looks natural, and a nurse turns around and says how it does, but she's had these horrible botox type of injections and bad face lift. It's great (the only thing that would've made it better was if it was Cher as the nurse).


Josh Board May 8, 2009 @ 1:25 a.m.

I'm confused. How do I remind you of Ron? Ron Perlman, maybe. Ron Silver, more so. But Ron Popeil???

There's been a commercial on the radio for the last few days. It's a beer spot that deals with that guy they say is the coolest person on the planet. They do print ads with him, too. These commercials talk about how Cinco de Mayo parties he throws sometimes run two days long (or something like that). Well, they list all these reasons why he's cool. One thing they say is "Lucha Libres remove their masks out of respect, when he walks by." My girlfriend pointed out (and how she knows this, I have no clue), that that form of wrestling is called 'Lucha Libre', but you call the wrestlers "luchadores".

And that made me wonder, how much research do they do when they write a commercial? It doesn't seem hard now, with Google and everything else.

I remember a clever Pepsi or Coke commercial that first aired during the Super Bowl. The delivery driver of one soda, tried to sneak a can of the other one at a liquor store. All the cans fell to the floor and gave it away. The only problem is...the sound effect they used was of empty aluminum cans (maybe I just noticed that from my days in radio when we were always working with various sound effects).


itsmechuck May 10, 2009 @ 12:47 a.m.

I wondered if "Off the Cuff" was a Reader Re-run; Billy Mays has been obnoxious forever, I haven't seen the GEICO caveman or been offended by "Baby get Back", chewing gum, ice cream cones or STD ever. I'm most irritated with the ERECTILE DISFUNCTION (ED) ads on networks that conversely bleep out ass, bitch and other minor expletives 24 hours a day. How do you explain ED to a kid who doesn't understand the commercial while watching TV with dinner?
The saving grace is the standard F*** and it's derivatives (now more common meaningless parts of speach in most demographics than "like", and "you know" in public conversation has not been replaced by something more repulsive.
What happened to 'TV network Family Hour regulation' that limited today's current 'parental discretion' shows to later in the evening: now it's available on TIVO or the DVR until the kids teach parental blocking to the parents.


SDaniels June 28, 2009 @ 12:20 p.m.

UPDATE: Billy Mays dead.

I for one will admit I am relieved to hear...

Cops: TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead Mays best known for his hawking of products such as Orange Glo, OxiClean.



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