Experts, Critics, Other Loudmouths Sound Off About 2011 Worst Ad In America Nominees

For the second year in a row we’ve convened a round-table of cognoscente to discuss, defend, assault and insult the current slate of Worst Ad In America nominees.

Joining us for this go-around are:
Ken Wheaton, Managing Editor at Advertising Age and the author of The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival;
Jen Doll (@thisisjendoll), writer for the Village Voice’s Runnin’ Scared blog;
Sean O’Neal, News Editor at;
Lilit Marcus, author of Save the Assistants: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Workplace and Editor-At-Large at;
Zlata Faerman, of and owner of PR firm ZlataPR.

Here are their knee-jerk reactions to the nominees in our top category and a handful of other nominees… Scroll down to the bottom to vote if you have yet to do so!

AT&T — Infuse 4G “spider”
Sean: “It’s a bold move to create a Pavlovian association between your product and involuntary, irrational screaming, plus the sudden urge to smash the sh*t out of it. This is why those lesser 3G models haven’t earned their extra G.”
Ken: “I had no problem with this commercial — other than the irate letters from people sent to me at Ad Age declaring that the high-volume shrieking in this commercial demanded a boycott, the firing of high-level executives, a class-action lawsuit and congressional action.”
Jen: “I like that this guy has his shoe so at-the-ready (in his lap, maybe?), just in case of exactly this kind of first-world problem.”

AT&T — wife berates husband for choosing unlimited plan
Jen: “This is precisely why I’m terrified of settling down and getting married and owning a greenhouse.”
Sean: “‘I also got the unlimited stabbing plan,” Steve said, picking up her abandoned gardening shears. ‘It comes with free mobile dispersal of you in little bits, all around this greenhouse.’ As he advanced on her, for the first time in years, Steve felt truly alive. He couldn’t wait to call and tell someone.”
Lilit: “It’s great that the actors from According to Jim have finally found more work for henpecked husband and bitchy wife types.”

Geico — Using smartphones for dumb things
Zlata: “Can switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? Yes, but you will 100% lose credibility if you continue to make commercials idolizing dumbasses.”
Lilit: “This ad comes on every single f*cking time I watch a video on Hulu. The combination of bros, discarded dialogue from ‘I Love You Man,’ and the lack of the Geico gecko does not get any more endearing over time.”
Ken: “I give these tools a pass because I like a lot of Geico’s other work.”

Luvs — Poop There It Is
Sean: “This ad deserves to be commended for teaching children that sh*tting yourself is a competitive sport, and that it’s never too early to begin training.”
Ken: “Oddly enough, I don’t have a problem with toilet paper clinging to cartoon bear asses for Charmin, but I do have a problem with a “blowout championship” for cartoon humans. Go figure.”
Lilit: “I really wish that diaper commercials would be more like maxi pad commercials: completely ashamed of themselves and their product and reduced to using euphemisms for normal bodily functions. Either that or just go straight up Human Centipede.”
Zlata: “This commercial is pretty much like the diaper itself. Must be changed immediately because it’s full of sh*t.”

Summer’s Eve — Hail to the V:
Lilit: “‘Douche’ means ‘shower’ in French. And I needed one after this commercial told me that vaginas are the reason for everything bad that has ever happened.”
Zlata: “The only thing douchier than this commercial would be an enema.”
Jen: “I don’t even want to think about what medieval cootchies smelled like. Thank God and big pharma for Summer’s Eve!”
Ken: “I actually really dig this commercial. You SHOULD hail the V. Though I’m not sure how it can be both the center of civilization and the cause of wars. If I were the creator of this ad and saw it nominated here, my response would be, ‘Hey, YOU try to make a commercial for Summer’s Eve.'”

The State Farm “Thanks for buying me a falcon” guy
Zlata: “I think I went on a JDate with that guy holding the Moose over his shoulder.”
Sean: “I was all set to hate this commercial, and then I saw this comment on YouTube: ‘State Farm .. you are encouraging criminal activity .. You can NOT go buy wildlife. Very poor taste .. I will NEVER buy your insurance.’ And now I sort of love it on principle.”

Flo the Progressive Insurance lady
Sean: “I feel as though Flo constantly gets a raw deal from viewers who demand that people behave like recognizably human beings.”
Zlata: “I’m pretty sure I hate my Aunt Flo and Flo the Progressive Lady equally.”
Ken: “For the last time, LEAVE FLO ALONE! (Fun fact: Stephanie Courtney – or is it Courtney Stephanie – had another brush with insurance fame when she played the human resources person in ABC’s “Cavemen,” which of course, spun out of a Geico campaign.)”

The Metamucil multitasker
Lilit: “You see, when I spiked my boss’ coffee with Metamucil I was just trying to help her become more productive at the office.”
Sean: “It’s fairly obvious that any hope we might have of reviving the faltering U.S. economy involves removing as much backed-up fecal matter from our intestines as we can. And I’m also pretty sure Ben Bernanke has said as much.”

The Esurance Staff
Zlata: “BIZAM — weren’t you just in a metamucil commercial?”
Sean: “This totally reminds me of my office job that I quit once I realized everyone was unnecessarily, bitterly competitive about providing discounts on insurance.”

Blue Tax Max
Ken: “I had neither seen nor heard of Blue Tax Max until viewing your contest. I would like to thank you, your readers and the company and agency responsible for the nightmares I will now have. What is this, the bastard son of Chucky?”

The Orkin Blind Date Termite
Lilit: “The most effective abstinence commercial I’ve ever seen.”
Jen: “That termite was born to do radio. (Subtext of this commercial: the exterminator and the termite totally have sex.)”

Old Navy’s take on Night Ranger’s ‘Sister Christian’
Sean: “Actually, the original song’s themes about holding on to your virginity and dressing exclusively in Old Navy go fairly well together.”
Zlata: “Old Navy always has the worst commercials. Or was that a commercial for Dominos?”

The Truvia jingle
Lilit: “I guess this is what happens when you make your product’s name incredibly difficult to rhyme.”

Jello — Pudding face
Zlata: “My husband has ‘pudding face’ each and every night…but it’s not from the pudding.”

Jamie Lee Curtis for Activia
Jen: “Why would Jamie Lee Curtis need a new manager when she can ride the Activia plane all the way to a Hollywood sound stage with semi-realistic European backdrops?”
Ken: “I’m going to have to agree with one of your commenters who said that most of these ‘celebrities’ should just be thanking their lucky stars they have managers who can find someone to pay them for anything.”


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