As I watch television or listen to the radio, too often I am assailed by ridiculous commercials and ads, or ones that make me question whether those who make these “pitches” actually watch/listen to the end results before we have to endure them.

One such ad, by Mitsubishi, which played last year, I found to be odd.  It went on and on detailing all the awards and accolades they have garnered only to conclude after each – “it wasn’t enough”. And then comes the revelation that this has been going on for 80 years. Well my immediate reaction was to say to myself – guess they just can’t get it right – and not that they strive to improve over time, as I assume was the point of the ad.

Then there was that oldie but goodie for Kotex pads.  Now I ask you – have you ever been to anyone’s house where they keep the Kotex box out on display in the living room?!  Really, how absurd (not to mention degrading to any “lady of the house”).

And recently, one of the commercials that really peeved and still peeves me is for Chanel No. 5 perfume, with Gisele Bundchen.  Have you actually stopped to listen to the opening phrase being sung as the commercial starts? “… you better shape up, ’cause you need a man….” Really Baz?  It’s 2016 – did it not occur to anyone that the target market (women) might be offended by this “suggestion”?  Guess not. I’m no feminist but this just rubs me the wrong way from the get go! I won’t be buying Chanel No. 5 anytime soon.

And let’s not forget about all those ads that make men out to be idiots and the targets of insults by their supposed better halves. They seen more like advertisements for divorce lawyers (which in my line of work would be okay), than for whatever product they are trying to sell. In fact, both sexes are often the subjects of derision.

Have you had the misfortune of seeing that DQ ad?  A little girl flirts with a boy to get a sundae and then says to her mom, “Like shooting fish in a barrel”, which would only be a useful statement if the sundae was supposed to taste like fish and gun smoke!

As for Worst Ads, at the moment, for me, they compromise all ads which sound disgusting, such as the two women who repeat, ad nauseum, “I feel yuck”, or that repeat more than three times a mantra or that are just plain stupid.

As for offensive, a recent ad on TV is for a car where it is soooooo wonderful that the woman says, “I could live in the car”. How callous of the car company to mock those women [and men] who, for whatever tragic reason, are forced to actually have to live in their cars. I am not necessarily a fanatic for always having to be p.c./“politically correct” (not progressive conservative) but my first reaction is to think this is surely not a singular phenomenon, and the ad men and women did a disservice to the product and their client.

Then there is a Trident gum commercial that is supposed to sell the idea that chewing this product fights cavities. Then why introduce a crotch biting squirrel? I have no idea either.

Is it time to “drop your pants” for Depends underwear?  “I don’t think so Tim”.

Of course there have been and continue to be great ads. I wish they would introduce an Emmy Award TV show for Best Ads not the Clio Awards, which I have never seen on TV.  In fact, there could be several categories, like there are on The Tony Awards. Best Ad-Comedy; Best Ad-Drama; Best Ad for an Old Product; Best Revival of an Ad; Best Animal Ad; Best Song in an Ad; and possibly my favourite, Best Ad for Meds. And so on.

These awards could even spawn an entire separate show industry with a well known Host and celebrity guests doling out the awards. That award show could lead to Canada’s Worst Advertisements Reality/Award ShowCanada’s Best…America’s Worst/Best Ads…, The World Ad Awards…, not only entertaining but all these shows would be job creators – and the Top Prizes; have your ad shown on a major upcoming sporting event show for free!

The Hammer Awards go to my fav’s, which include all Budweiser animal ads, the IKEA “Start the Car” ad, the 1972 Alka-Seltzer ad with the oft repeated, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” (Did you know it was The Good Wife star’s father who created this ad?) and of course, “Give it to Mikey. He’ll eat anything…He likes it!” from the 1972 Quaker Oats Life Brand cereal ad. Obviously, 1972 was a banner year in advertising.

These ads made us laugh and smile and did the products proud. Isn’t that the point of an ad?

Which ones do you like?  Which ones do you dislike?  Let us know by liking us on Facebook @ or on Twitter @ The Montrealer.

Me. Hammerschmid has practiced Family Law since 1982; Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates; founding & current member of Family Law Association of Quebec (past Secretary for 28 years). Inquiries treated confidentially: 514-846-1013 or [email protected] © 2016 Linda Hammerschmid

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