Keep Those Worst Ad In America Nominations Coming!

Last week, we asked you to start nominating the baddest badvertisers around for Consumerist’s Third Annual Worst Ad In America Awards, and you quickly responded with hundreds of comments and e-mails. But even if you missed that post, there are still four days left to vent your hatred.

Last year’s big loser was the “Poop, There It Is!” ad from Luvs diapers, which featured adorable cartoon babies competing in an American Idol-like competition — to fill up their nappies with as much excrement as they could hold.

We haven’t seen that spot in quite some time, so it’s time to find another ad that deserves the title of Absolute Worst Ad In America.

And there are other categories for those ads that may have particularly irritating features, but might not merit the big award.

Here are the categories from last year… We’re open to changing these and/or adding new ones, so don’t limit yourself:

Most Grating Performance By a Human
Group That Ought To Go Its Separate Ways
Trend That Needs To Stop Being A Trend
Most Irritating Animated Actor
Worst Abuse Of An Existing Song
Original Jingle That Should Be Junked
Celebrity Who Could Probably Use A New Manager
Creepiest Commercial Of The Year

In terms of eligibility, the rules are pretty simple. The ad must have aired on U.S. TV stations (cable or broadcast) in the last 12 months.

To nominate an ad, mention it in the comments below or send an e-mail to with WAIA2012 in the subject. You can nominate as many ads as you like, in as many categories as you see fit.

All nominations must be posted or sent by 5 p.m. ET on Friday Aug. 31.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Silverhawk says:

    Seriously, for whatever categories they’ll fit in, the ENTIRE Progressive/Flo campaign. It should have been retired a long time ago.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      Can we sue them for monetary costs? Their all-white ads cause my TV to use more electricity and probably burn out the screen faster. Even if it’s a fraction of a cent each time, multiply this by millions of people times millions of broadcasts and I think they owe America something back. Class-action, anyone?

      • T-Bone says:

        It depends on the TV and its settings but it is entirely possible that they are actually saving you money because your TV could be using more energy to display black than white.

        • dangermike says:

          While I suspect what you say is true, I also expect that the power usage of a type of tv that uses power to turn black is not significantly changed whether it’s displaying black or white (since the controller and backlights will be always-on) but that a tv that forms it display by direct stimulation like a CRT or plasma might actually require a measurably different amount of power. But that’s just a guess. I’d be mildly interested in seeing actual data about this.

  2. enabler says:

    I hate the Progressive/Flo ads, too.

    I didn’t read the previous nomination post, but I hope someone brought up the AWFUL new Ragu ad with the kid walking in on his parents getting busy, then being placated with spaghetti. Seriously thought it was a parody.

  3. Brynden says:

    Those Vonage ads with the creepy couple bother me. I hate talking animal commercials too. At first they were cute but now they need to all die in a fire.

    • alexwade says:

      I’m going to re-nominate my choices:

      Most Grating Performance By a Human: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama (Shared prize)
      Trend That Needs To Stop Being A Trend: Negative political ads
      Creepiest Commercial Of The Year: Any commercial that begins with or ends with “I’m [political candidate] and I approved this message”

  4. madmod20061 says:

    Not sure what the specific brand it’s for, but the commercial with female “Comedienne” talking about men must make maxi pad commercials is just plain terrible. I thought comediennes were superposed to be funny. I guess that could fall under Most Grating Performance by a Human and Creepiest.

  5. FirePuff says:

    Still not sure where it’d land, but I still recommend the Dr. Pepper TEN commercials. Rampant sexism, even if it’s a caricature of sexism.

  6. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Most Grating Performance By a Human (or Humans) — Toyota Prius “The Game of LIFE” commercial. Each one of them.

    “8 hours assembling Swedish furniture?”
    “My dolphin tattoo isn’t cool in an ironic way…”

    How’s about a slap? And not in an ironic way?

  7. HeisenMeg says:

    Belonging in both most grating performance by a human being (the blonde half of the pair) and Groups that should go their separate ways, I hereby nominate the Sonic ads with the two middle-aged dudes who just need to be pushed off a cliff, stat.

    • dangermike says:

      Enter text…

    • dangermike says:

      Good call. They are unfunny in the same way the honda blueshirt guys are. It’s lazy sandler comedy. No setup-payoff punchline to laugh at. Just a bunch random garbage spewed by weird looking people. Are we supposed to relate to them? Laugh at them? Find their insipidly bland banter charming? Hell if I know. That kind of comedy was never funny and was beaten to death by SNL in the 90’s and beyond. One thing’s for sure, though, the one time I ever at a Sonic, the meat was old and slightly green tinged and then way over-salted in an apparent attempt to hide it. Looks like their ad agency is as adverse as their kitchen and management staff to acknowledging shelf-life warnings.

  8. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Trend That Needs To Stop Being A Trend — Infants doing unnatural adult stuff, like performing circus acts e.g. the obviously over-CGI-ed Gerber Yogurt Blends commercials. Babies are supposed to laugh, cry, make weird baby sounds and/or poop. I don’t find it cute at all. The only baby I that I accept acting unnaturally is Stewie Griffin.

    Worst Abuse Of An Existing Song — All the Old Navy (or was it GAP) singing commercials.

    Celebrity Who Could Probably Use A New Manager — Mike Rowe. He’s sold himself out.

    Creepiest Commercial Of The Year — The Target music teacher obsessed with denim.

    • legotech says:

      While I agree that the Commercials are annoying, Mike Rowe actually stood up to the Dirty Jobs producers….they were going to have a Japanese car company sponsor the show and he put his foot down and said that it’s a show about Americans and American jobs and should be an American car company. Not really on point, but all info is useful at some point :)

    • arkangel says:

      Agreed. That Pepsi Next commercial springs to mind.

  9. Rivercat says:

    The trend of white suburbanites saying “Boom!” needs to stop. Now.

  10. Brynden says:

    Here’s a local ad that gets on my nerves. They play it on several channels many times a day.

  11. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    For me it’s not a WAIA nominee, but I thought it deserves some mention — Alec Baldwin’s recent Capital One Venture Card commercial with one of the Vikings:

    Baldwin: “What’s in YOUR wallet?”
    Viking (points at Baldwin’s iPhone): “Can you play games with that?”
    Baldwin: “Not on the runway [mouths NOOO]”

    (I tried looking for the link in YouTube but I think they took down the clip).

    He clearly learned his lesson, but it was funny to have him be a good sport about it LOL.

  12. msmith6044 says:

    Amen to ending the Progressive Ads. Flo, ya gotta !

  13. Derwood Durmitz says:

    Pasty faced Flo has got to go.

  14. dangermike says:

    Worst abuse of an existing song, Target’s spot with the sad, soulless rendition of the B-52’s We’ve Got the Beat.

    • Joseph S Ragman says:

      Actually, I think that was the Go-Go’s

      • DuckNCover says:

        Indeed, the Go-Gos. And the woman who stars in it needs to be nominated for most grating human for every commercial she is in. From the dog treats to the hardware store to everything in between, she annoys the hell out of me.

    • Cyniconvention says:

      I actually look forward to those Target Back to School commercials each year

  15. dangermike says:

    I saw an ad last night for some USB device that… well… I don’t remember its name or what it does or much of anything from the ad other than seeing something blue and vaguely the shape of a computer’s mouse but with the the USB jack directly on it (maybe even flipping out from it) instead of on a cord. I wish I could remember it for the sake of nominating it, but I’m glad my memory blocked out the jingle, as I distinctly remember feeling as though something in my brain was about short circuit and cause some kind of violent outburst to end the insufferable noise. If I happen to see it again, I’ll definitely pop back in here because frankly, the jingle on the ad could be a shoe-in for that category.

  16. jacobs cows says:

    The Southern Comfort commercial with that flabby old man walking on the beach is the creepiest commercial of the year.

  17. Destonio says:

    Most Grating Performance By a Human: Flo on Progressive. They need to set her on fire.
    Most Irritating Animated Actor: That “WEEEEE” pig on Geico
    Creepiest Commercial Of The Year: The talking babies. It’s old and not at all humorous.

  18. Coelacanth says:

    Worst Abuse of an Existing Song:
    Nissan’s “Summer Savings” Event. Between being extremely annoying and overplayed during commercial breaks, I *hate* the advert.

  19. carlosdelvaca says:

    Worst Abuse of an Existing Song: Every time I hear the opening notes of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” in one of those Burger King “Let’s have a barbecue” commercials, I leap for the remote so I can mute the damn thing.

  20. ironflange says:

    Aw, come on, Flo is sweet. I can’t diss her, it would be like kicking a puppy.

  21. LochNess says:

    I can’t stand those U-Verse ads with the young old farts giving a “Four Yorkshiremen”-style “you never had it so good” speech. I suppose they’d fall into the first category.

  22. osiris73 says:

    The Accu-Chek Nano jingle grates on my nerves. The worst part? I occasionally catch myself singing it. OUT LOUD. Ack!

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Oh come on…23% more accurate just feels so right. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    • dangermike says:

      yes, this one definitely. The airing I saw the other was on a channel with really tinny sound and got that feeling where the back of my shoulders lock up and the base of my skull gets ready to explode. I have a feeling that if it was a 60 second spot instead just thirty, I might just have turned green and torn a city down.

  23. pezjohnson says:

    Kit Kat. I’m not a big fan of hear other people eat, especially when it tries to make music. Ick

    • garyt says:

      Please end all Gieco campaigns, caveman, pig, all of them for the love of god

    • These Are Not My Pants says:

      Yes, thank you. The rhythmic crunching of people biting into something? That’s one of my “I can’t find the remote fast enough to mute the TV” ads.

  24. CosmosHuman says:

    How about the football players wearing adult diapers? Or the well dressed woman wearing an adult diaper? Gross me out. Would you try on an adult diaper just to see how it fits? Really? Is that Depends or Teena?

    Is it Toyota or Honda abusing Judas Priest metal classics?

    Anything about a “shifting maxi pad” worn by a very active woman.

    Remnants of toilet paper on bears’ tushies.

    The “Baconator” from Burger King? Anything with than much bacon on it should come with a side of Plavix.

  25. CosmosHuman says:

    OK, one more to add to the list” “The Hopper”.

  26. DuckNCover says:

    Cars dot com, the extra head “confidence” ads. Any of them really. But the one with the woman has been showing more lately and is very creepy:

    And in the course of finding it online, I accidentally paused it just as the second head was coming out. Now I will have nightmares.

  27. DuckNCover says:

    There’s a Vonage ad where people stand in from of a pile of bills and tell why they are switching to Vonage. One of the men says somethi8ng about, “…the white elephant in the room.” I don’t believe the people who wrote the ad know the difference between “elephant in the room” and “white elephant,” but it always makes me think of when I was little. I went to a white elephant sale with my mom. I was absolutely pissed there were no actual elephants for sale, in any form. She bought a white vase so until I was a bit older, I always thought the vase was what a white elephant was.

  28. madcatcasey says:

    The nationwide guy with the blue telephone. Every time I see him, I want to roundhouse kick him in the face.

  29. kenwaldmann says:

    My most annoying commercial is the KitKat ad that features one person after another loudly quatching, chewing, etc. with their mouths open. I hope advertisers realize that I turn the sound off and it remains off for all of the following commercials!

  30. KTrenholm says:

    Wow there’s a lot of hate on Flo.
    That’s actually one of the campaigns I really don’t mind all that much.

  31. hjc628 says:

    Trends that need to stop being a trend: Retro anything.Targets ads making a mockery of 80s music, Old Navy using the original cast from 90210 in both of their back to school campaigns. One of the big car retailers doing a creepy rendition to Summer Lovin, I mean, just stop.

  32. twocutetx says:

    I still maintain that the Sensa “Shake Your Sensa” commercial fits into basically ALL of these categories! LOL!

  33. ovalseven says:

    I don’t know. Does EA Games currently have any commercials?

  34. SilentAgenger says:

    Trend That Needs To Stop Being A Trend: dudes with lumberjack beards.

  35. Dagny Taggart says:

    Trend That Needs to Stop Being a Trend: Commercials that portray anyone over the age of thirty as a technology idiot.

    I am fifty, and not in an IT career, but I have shown up my college age kids more than once when it comes to computer issues. In our family, if your laptop isn’t working, it gets handed to me to get fixed. And I know I am not the only one like me out there.

  36. missminimonster says:

    Group That Ought To Go Its Separate Ways- the Free Credit Score guys. They need to go their separate ways again.

    I wish there was a category for those “car insurance taste test” commercials for Geico.

  37. stranger than fiction says:

    Creepiest: The bearded baby out on the town with a woman in the ads for the anti-gray hair potion. Bonus creep factor is the “I want you, baby” song playing in the background. If the genders were reversed, it would never have made it off the story board (and still shouldn’t have, regardless).

    I also second the nomination of the SoCo ad of the pudgeball strutting on the beach (wha…?), although I’d probably put it under “most grating performance”.

    • stranger than fiction says:

      Most irritating animated actor: the set of headless boobs in the Axe commercial.

      The irritating song needs to be nominated too, but I don’t know whether it’s original or borrowed.

  38. These Are Not My Pants says:

    Most Grating Performance By a Human and Original Jingle That Should Be Junked: the “Mid-grade, dark roast, forest fresh…” Discover commercials. The guy’s voice and accent really bother me and I hate the fact that it’s a jingle without actually being a song. And seriously, “cake donettes?” Ugh.

    Trend That Needs To Stop Being A Trend: Male products being advertised as being for manly men. Old Spice did it well and it was fairly original then, but now other products (Axe, Edge) are using that same exact style and making it a cliché.

  39. Easily Distracted says:

    Creepiest Commercial:

    I nominate any of the ads with the strange succubi appearing out of people’s
    heads and backs. I shudder just thinking about them.

    • ZPrime says:

      While these things are creepy, the one with the guy singing falsetto has kind of turned into a running joke in my house… especially if you change his wording to “hey baby I want that fuckin’ car”.

  40. dysey says:

    Accu-chek nano diabetes testing instrument. Something this serious does not need an uptempo, moronic jingle being sung throughout the commercial. My mute button is in pain from being punched so hard.

    • ZPrime says:


      I think I saw that commercial something like 15 times over 2 hours of Top Gear on BBCA and it has been stuck in my head on and off for the past two days. >_<

  41. susan says:

    Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cereal ad with the obnoxious “superhero” guy in yellow. The song in this commerical is horrible to listen to and the superhero guy is just goofy looking as is the boy eating the cereal, esp. when he grins…kind of scary looking. Overall, this commercial is so bad, I have to immediately change the channel.

  42. yankinwaoz says:

    Flo HAS to go. God she creeps me out.

  43. Scot Boy says:

    It is not abuse just a bad decision. Michelob Light using “Cough Syrup” as the back song in its commercial.

  44. Dadaluma83 says:

    Here are my nominations. These commercials truly are duffers.

    Most grating performance by a human: Easy winner for me, that mother and daughter in the crying Verizon wireless commercial. A nice honorable mention is that one Ford commercial where the narrator tries to make us think we are cutting back on gas and saving the environment by driving a full size pickup that gets like 22 mpg.

    Group that ought to go its seperate ways: The free credit score band needs to be dumped… again.

    Trend that needs to stop being a trend: Babies doing unnatural things, looking at you specifically E-trade.

    Most irritating animated actor: The general and his penguin. No question.

    Worst abuse of an existing song: That Honda minivan commercial where the family inside sings Crazy Train by Ozzie. Horrible offense to my ears.

    Original Jingle that should be junked: The rhyming 5% cashback Discover commercials. Discover has a great ad with Peggy, however the rhyming jingles are just absolutely horrible and should be killed and Discover would do good to forget they ever happened. “Chinese takeout, Taco truck”

    Creepiest commercial of the year: Easy the ads where the deformed head comes out of that guys back and the girls hair. Disturbing.

  45. wabewux says:

    5 hour energy ads.
    Pick one….the Jack Palance cowboy wannabe or the stretch the twisted results of a bogus survey to the max one implying 73% of doctors recommend it.

  46. George says:

    The fake switcheroo on customers (you’re at a fancy restaurant but eating meat from wal mart!) is extremely old. Nobody screams and laughs over cheaper food.

    And then the ones with obnoxious kids. They’re not cute.

  47. DuckNCover says:

    I don’t know if it’s too late to nominate, nor do I know if anyone had already nominated it, but I just saw it for the tenth time today and it has to be the most annoying ad ever: the V8 commercial with the guy hooked up to some kind of brain scan device. Every so often he gets excited about V8 and makes obnoxious, cartoon-esque noises. It makes me want to hurl the TV off the balcony.