No one really likes adverts. From coffee couples, to people who want to have a poo at Paul's house, to the potential horror of Pants Man at breakfast time, they nearly all make you want to reach for the remote - or a handgun. But what are the worst 10 technology ads?
1. Do you have these in a 'get off my screen' size?
We've covered Bill Gates and his shoe shop advert in these pages before, but that doesn't mean that he's immune from further mention. Worse still, two more adverts followed in the series turning them into the unholy trinity of bad Microsoft ads. Why on earth did Jerry Seinfeld come out of semi-retirement to appear? If only his accounts were public. They may just contain some clues.
2. Do it to her! Do it to Jennifer!
Ridley Scott's Nineteen Eighty-Four-style advert for Apple is the stuff of legend. It cost $1.6m (£997,000) and was only shown once - a bit like Scott's very own Legend. These days it looks like a bizarre hammer-throwing sci-fi version of Flashdance, but at the time it created a lot of excitement. Which, if nothing else, shows how far we and our tastes have progressed. For one thing, people actually buy Macs these days.
3. Shuffle off!
Speaking of buying Apples, the firm's silhouette dancing series rolls on and on, bringing with it a huge number of spoofs and parodies as well as celebrity guest appearances. The roster includes an impressive list of spotlight shirkers, including Eminem, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and, er, Wynton Marsalis.
4. GoDaddy's little (big) girl
We've seen what happens when adverts are only shown once: they became infamous! Well what happens when you never - commercially - show your ad? Answer: it becomes even more infamous. This is the story of .com domain registrar GoDaddy.com's Superbowl commercial, an ad that tried to follow Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, and offered viewers the same sort of grubby thrill. The ad was banned and, as a result, became seen globally by millions.
5. Miami Vice?
Has there even been a worse Microsoft advert than the shoes one? Has Steve Ballmer ever done something more excruciatingly embarrassing than his monkey dance? Yeah, of course there is. And of course he has. Just look at this advert for Windows 1.0 and Ballmer's suit. Back then, a Windows operating system, or "advanced operating environment", would set you back $99 (£61). "And look at what you get for no extra! A clock!" Apparently it's an internal ad only, but that's no excuse in our minds.
6. C5? Say WHUT?
Imagine a nation of people using mobility vehicles. You can't? Visit the food courts of America then. Once upon a time, one man had such a dream - and not just for the morbidly obese. Sir Clive Sinclair - the man who gave us the Spectrum computer, helped bring about the PDA, and made beards cool - created the C5 back in the eighties with the hope of revolutionising travel. He didn't, but we found the ad that visualises the dream. Sadly, in this instance, the start and the end are missing. This is ironic as we imagine that they would be the only high points in any C5 journey.
7. I'm telling you - that is how long 8in is...
Men are not alone in overstating their claims. Apple too has been censured for such activities. When an ad for the iPhone 3G was proved to show the system running rather faster than it does in the real world, it was rapidly banned by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). Kudos to the chap who uploaded the comparison. We can't be sure, but we suspect that it didn't put off a single potential iPhone purchaser.
8. Speed too?
No Sandra Bullock - thankfully - but once again a case of overstatement in advertising. Or many cases. Has any single ISP not overstated its speeds in its ads at one time or another? We are struggling to find anything but a lot of 'he said, she said' complaints from all parties. Virgin has complained about BT, BT has complained about Virgin, and Vodafone has just been complained about. And what happens to these complaints? Funny you should ask. More often than not they are upheld by the aforementioned ASA.
9. No thank youuuuuuuuuooooooooooo!
Who likes yodelling? Come on, hands up. Oh, you dropped your goat. Yahoo thinks that people outside Switzerland like yodelling and exclamation marks, and as a result chose to spend much of the nineties celebrating both. In actuality, we like neither. This ad features a competition winner doing her best to both entertain and alienate people. What a winner!
10. Look! It's over. Just move on!
What is going on in the BT ads with Kris Marshall? They operate in a timeline more complicated than in TV series Lost. The relationship is on and off, and off and on again, with each new horrendous appearance, and to date no one has smashed through a window, placed Kris Marshall in a sack and thrown him in a canal, despite my repeated requests. I am just waiting for the final ad in the series: the Jeremy Kyle paternity tests for the 'mid-band cuckoos' he has apparently fathered. Surely they can't be far off.
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