For the second year in a row, we asked you to tell us which TV commercials get on your last nerve, and you didn’t hold back. After sifting through hundreds of comments and e-mails, we’ve finally whittled down all those annoying ads to the elite few worthy of recognition in the Second Annual Consumerist Worst Ad In America Awards.
We’re happy to note that there are very few repeat offenders from last year’s finalists. In fact, of 2010’s five Absolute Worst Ad nominees, only one campaign — Progressive’s Flo — remains on the air, and while Flo did get nominated this year in the Most Grating Performance By a Human category, she won’t be vying for the big title.
GOING FOR THE GOLD
The ads that will be scrapping and scraping to win the coveted Fast-Forward Button trophy cover a wide variety of annoyance. From the glass shattering screams of the woman screaming at the fake spider on her Samsung Infuse phone to the Geico geeks playing with the most irritating smartphone apps on Earth; from the wife who lets decades of pent-up hatred toward her husband spew out over his decision to upgrade to an unlimited wireless plan to Summer’s Eve misguided attempt at equating female empowerment with flowery scented feminine hygiene products. And then there is the Luvs commercial with animated tots competing to fill their diapers with poop.
As mentioned above, Progressive’s Flo is back in the competition this year, but she’s not alone. In the Celebrity category, both Activia shill Jamie Lee Curtis and the Rent-a-Center pushing team of Hulk Hogan and Troy Aikman have returned for another go at a WAIA.
Also of note is actress Suzi Barrett, who was nominated last year for being so irritating in ads for 1-800 Dentist. This year, she’s in the competition not once but twice! On her own, Suzi is nominated for her unblinking, crazy-eyed portrayal of a multitasking Metamucil drinker. And then she’s part of an ensemble nomination for being part of the cutesy staff at Esurance. She’s like a WAIA Kate Winslet!
The Death Star Dominates
AT&T isn’t just trying to take over the wireless market. The folks at the Death Star also seem intent on Worst Ad nomination domination. In just the Absolute Worst Ad category, AT&T has two noms, one of which is shared with Samsung. And then there is a third nomination for AT&T’s ad featuring the hapless and witless wannabe flash mob guy.
Another multiple nominee is Arby’s. The roast beef sandwich chain’s “Good Mood Food” jingle managed to annoy people to the point of singling it out. And then there is Arby’s Cravin’ Chicken ad featuring a fellow who uses his frog tongue to lick sauce of a co-worker’s face. That spot merited a nomination in the Creepy category.
Below is the complete list of nominees. Clicking on any of the names should take you directly to that ad’s YouTube video.
VOTING ENDS AT 5 p.m. ET ON SUNDAY, OCT. 16. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED MONDAY, OCT. 17.
Most Grating Performance By a Human:
Flo the Progressive Insurance Lady
The State Farm “Thanks for buying me a falcon” guy
The AT&T flash mob dancer
The Metamucil multitasker
Worst Abuse Of An Existing Song:
Old Navy — “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger
Honda & Tommy Hilfiger — “Holiday” by Vampire Weekend
Swiffer — “What About Love” by Heart
Value City — “I Want It All” by Queen