For the second year in a row, we asked you, the readers of Consumerist to nominate and vote on the worst ads airing on American TVs. And after more than 115,000 votes, you have made it quite clear which commercial deserves the dishonor of being labeled the Absolute Worst Ad In America — Luvs Diapers’ “Poop, There It Is!”
The ad, which features an animated baby talent show where the only talent being judged is just how much fecal matter each of the three grunting tots can dump into their diapers, earned slightly more than 32% of the vote, beating out the AT&T ad (23.98%) in which a man’s wife decides to unload what appears to be decades of pent-up anger after he tells her he signed the family up for some sort of unlimited texting plan.
Perhaps that AT&T ad would have gotten more votes had it not been up against another AT&T spot, one starring a screaming arachnophobe who also seems to have trouble discerning a photo of a spider from the real thing. That spot finished in fourth place with 14.32% of the vote, just behind the Summer’s Eve ad (17.5%) that aims to equate female empowerment with douche.
In spite of being obnoxious, loud and too-frequently aired, Geico’s “Using Smartphones for Dumb Things” ad managed to only earn 11.97% of the vote to be the least-reviled of this categorie’s nominees.
THE OTHER WINNERS
Most Grating Performance By a Human
When we first asked for nominations this year, a number of readers told us they hoped this was finally the year that Progressive’s Flo would be recognized for her truly terrifying perkiness. But the eternally peppy insurance shill still has her defenders, meaning it was AT&T’s sad-sack wannabe flash mob dancer whose 32.45% earned the Death Star its one win out of three nominations this year.
Flo did trail very closely with 29.81% of the vote. Following a distant third with 21.2% was Metamucil’s unblinking, many-armed, multitasking exercise-biker. However, the actress in that commercial would eventually get her due when we tallied the votes in the next category…
Group That Ought To Go Its Separate Ways
You may not have been irritated enough by the woman in the Metamucil ads to single her out, but her and her banter-heavy cohorts in the Esurance office were just too much for 32.41% of voters. Sizzap!
The race for second and third in this category was literally a battle of the sexes. The gal pals who can’t stop raving about how the Trojan Triphoria apparently gives them troll-doll hair edged out the Miller Lite manly men who think that you’re not manly if you’re not drinking a light beer out of a bottle with a fancy, swirly neck.
Trend That Needs To Stop Being A Trend
This was definitely the closest race of all the categories, with just an eyelash hair over 2% separating the top three finishers.
But in the end, enough of you (29.24%) decided that ads featuring men who can barely tolerate the women in their lives — like the Klondike spot where a sweaty mess of a man is rewarded for (heaven forbid!) listening to his wife for 5 seconds — really need to stop being so commonplace.
Following an incredibly close second (28.91%) was the trend of playing candid-camera tricks on unsuspecting customers — like the Ford ads where Ford owners are suddenly ushered into a “press conference” full of people dressed like reporters who all want to get the inside scoop on how wonderful Fords are. Journalism!
And then there are the Old Spice ad rip-offs with dulcet-toned, deep-voiced pitch men who ramble on about absolute nonsense like blowing bubbles with kittens inside them. Considering that voting against this trend still scored 27.17% of the vote, we’re going to say that it’s pretty clear that Consumerist readers think all three of these trends need to grind to a halt post-haste.
Most Irritating Animated Actor
In spite of his appeal to Consumerist readers for votes, Blue Tax’s squeaky-voiced, computer-generated spokesperson Max wasn’t even able to crack the top two in this category.
Those slots went to the CarFax CarFox — the winner, with 32.52% — and another early frontrunner that eventually fell to second place, that latest avian newcomer to the AFLAC ad campaign, the rapping “major medical” pigeon (29.42%)
Worst Abuse Of An Existing Song
Two of the most decisive “victories” in this year’s voting came in the two song-related categories.
First, with 42.56% of the vote, Swiffer’s repeated use of Heart’s “What About Love” easily beat out all the other tunes in its category, including Old Navy’s rewrite of “Sister Christian,” which we considered to be an odds-on favorite given the sheer number of readers who nominated it.
Original Jingle That Should Be Junked
Meanwhile, Arby’s “Good Mood Food” jingle didn’t just put people in a bad mood, it had them rushing to change the channel. Its 45.8% was more than double the runner-up in this category.
Celebrity Who Could Probably Use A New Manager
Last year, the tag team of Hulk Hogan and Troy Aikman was only able to score a third-place finish for its Rent-A-Center spots, but the ads’ growing presence in the months since appears to have raised the level of dislike for this inexplicable twosome.
Their commercials for a store that effectively charges upward of 300% interest to customers handily defeated all comers with 44.24% of the vote.
Creepiest Commercial Of The Year
We here at Consumerist HQ had placed our bets (not really… gambling is bad) on Jello’s “Pudding Face” spots winning this category.
But we obviously didn’t factor in the WTF? factor surrounding the ads for a device none of us had heard of before (or at least none of us would admit to hearing of) — the Pos-T-Vac penis vacuum, which… well, the name is both very descriptive and still somewhat mysterious. Thus, the Pudding Face family will be forced to grin their horrifying grins while they accept a nonexistent runner-up prize.
So that’s it for the 2011 Worst Ad In America awards. While we have no expectations that the number of bad ads on TV will decrease between now and next year’s nominees, we can at least hope for a different kind of awful.