Eight of the most irritating TV ads ever?

I happened to see the TV ad for We Buy any Car last night and whilst it is incredibly irritating, it is one where you have to remember the domain name and know immediately where to look if you want to sell your car in desperation. I actually went on the site last night and went through the valuation process to be offered a value that equated to almost exactly 80% of the trade price of my car according to Parkers price guide. I may not forget the domain, but I reckon even I’d buy my car again if I could get it at that price. No wonder they will buy anything, they pay rubbish money for it – But as a last resort, I suppose they have their place.

I got to thinking that TV advertising itself has become a whole lot more desperate too, with two appalingly repetitive examples around on our TV’s as we speak. The simply dreadful ‘Go Compare‘ with the chunky flying singer just saying the domain name over and over again.

And the equally irritating Compare the Market ads. Whilst they are hateful, I do again, remember their domain name, so they are working.

Insurance is obviously a very cut throat market, with everyone just trying to get remembered as we all assume that their products are equally bad. This classic from Michael Winner for Esure, isn’t the worst in the series, but the best one seems to have been removed. (probably due to be really irritating in the extreme)

There was a new entry for me this Christmas with perhaps the most shite ad ever produced for Safestyle. The people behind this should be ashamed of themselves. I hope it worked for the client, because it doesn’t seem to do a huge amount of good for the reputation of the advertising and design industry.

And then three absolute classics through the ages, which probably go to prove that there have always been a few really annoying ads that we all remember, the first of these is our old favourite Cillit Bang with Barry Scott. Its a bit of a low res version but as far as I can tell, it’s one of the oldest around on the net, from when Barry was a boy. Enjoy.

And another all time favourite. If I say ‘Oh Ambassador you’re spoiling me’ you’ll probably know who it is. One of the worst dubbed, internationally transplanted ads ever made, but again, one we all still remember. Does that make it a success? I guess it probably does.

And to end on the ultimate.

The irritating ad that gave birth to the entire genre. Shake and Vac.

Sit back, enjoy and smell the freshness of your carpets washing over you.

If there are more irritating ads out there at present, or of old, i’d love to see them and add them to this compilation.


I saw this film last night and I have to concede that it is a touch of genius. They’ve taken an irritating idea and built a real brand around it.

I can see this story running and running and being the ‘Shake and Vac‘ of this generation.

Canadian call Centres – It’s the future

It’s the future for me! I was genuinely quite nervous about moving my car insurance for the first time in years and did the usual of going onto the price comparison website www.gocompare.com which I have to say was remarkably easy to use and offered me some prices that seemed much lower than when I had been insuring it previously (like nearly half price!)

The one that came out on top for both my car and my wife’s was Admiral Insurance (http://www.admiral.com) who also seem to offer a multi car deal. This sounded a little complicated, so with some trepidation, I clicked the button to allow me to speak to a real person. I presume at this stage, Go Compare’s business model charges Admiral Insurance for me as a very hot lead. Many companies we have dealt with in the past, still seem to exercise massive sales prevention techniques – even at this stage.

But I spoke to Cathy Arnold in their sister company call centre in Nova Scotia and she was quite superb. Nothing was too much trouble, she was keen to do things right, apologised for some of the (required) bureaucracy and was overall a lovely person to deal with.

If this is the way of the Canadian Call centre operative generally, I can only see it being a very large growth industry for them in the future.

Admiral are trying very hard to build a brand in the UK and they are backing up lots of expensive advertising with brilliant service, excellent prices and smart people to deal with. I can’t believe I am saying it about an insurance company, and I may change my opinion if I ever have to make a claim, but we could all learn something from these people.