Copyranter: The worst ads of 2016, so far

It’s time to give sponsored content architects and native advertising scribes a break, even though the stuff y’all create amazingly continues to be completely useless. This week is about “traditional” ads — terrible, appalling, dreadfully offensive traditional ads.

Replens and Avery, both USA

Sources: Tumblr and Imgur.

One of the worst things brands do is make up a stupid Ad Word about their product. They’re always cringeworthy. (In 2011, Durex actually trademarked “Wegasm.”) Above are two of the worst in the history of language.

American men, especially old white politicians, are deathly afraid of the “V” word. Replens, a “feminine moisturizer,” is a Church & Dwight product. And this new “V” word is already being overheard ad infinitum at Upper West Side cocktail parties, I’m sure.

Avery, at right, is a soda company based in Connecticut. “Sodamazing” is an ad word that looks like — and is two vowel changes away from — a sex act that doesn’t involve the aforementioned vaginas.

Audi, Spain

Using sex to sell cars? Fine. Using sex to sell Audis? Eh. Using people sexing each other to very literally say that the rather chubby looking AUDI A1 equals sex? Put it back in your pants, DDB, Barcelona. (And yes, of course, this spot was created by men.)

Miller High Life, USA

The executions in this insufferable #IamRich campaign by Leo Burnett are getting even more bluntly, well, blunt. The effort started in 2014 with two spots now long deleted from Miller’s YouTube page. In those, the “hero” was actually named “Rich.”

In the new spots (here’s the second), the two heroes are nameless but still end the ads sitting in a throne, in case the heavy-handed “irony” hadn’t fractured your skull yet. Everything here — the strategy, the awful copy, the purposely disinterested V/O — is an embarrassment to the ad industry, and the world at large.

Oh where have you gone, Errol Morris?

Huünen Beer, Chile


“Beer For Men” is the tagline on these new ads by Prolam Y&R, Santiago. And the men here — one ironing in a girly robe and the other washing dishes in pink gloves — are getting “instant menstrual relief” from having to do wife work by getting shitfaced. I see nothing wrong here.

(Not included in this roundup, but definitely some of the worst advertising of the year, so far: Suitsupply’s ridiculously sexist ads from February.)

If you think I missed something heinous, add it in the comments.

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