Read our new manifesto
22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

Can ads that grate be great?: Haribo and Gocompare in the spotlight

With the new Haribo Supermix advert plaguing the ears of the nation recently, The Drum takes a look at if adverts that get on the nerves of viewers can actually boost the brand.

From our Twitter message asking for what you thought were the worst commercials on TV right now, we discovered that the adverts which make you want to change the channel include Haribo, Gocompare and Harvester. Adverts for Compare the Market, and Lucozade also received votes.

It raises the question: if some companies can’t come up with a great idea, do they instead make an advert that will get the attention of the public for being bad? Some cringey adverts certainly make it seem that way.

Or do some advertisers aim for the so-bad-its-good tag? The Gocompare adverts have won the most irritating advert award two years in a row, and yet the opera singer is still warbling annoying rhymes on our screens.

At the time, Nick Hall, marketing director at Gocompare, told Marketing Magazine, who ran the awards: “The strategy and objective of the campaign is to raise awareness of the Gocompare brand and ensure that it’s front of mind, and we have certainly achieved that.”

Jonathan Hemus, founder and director of reputation management and communication consultancy Insignia, told The Drum: “In general terms, the adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ is not true. There are many organisations that have received bad publicity that wish they hadn’t.

“However, one of the main purposes of an advert is to be memorable and get it talked about. It sounds like Haribo have succeeded in that term.”

Hemus also explained that a serious or luxury brand could face challenges if it had an advert that was ‘naff’, but that Haribo was not that type of brand.

From our Twitter straw poll, we found that adverts with songs were the ones that annoyed you the most. But do these adverts annoy you because they are bad…or because despite thinking they are bad, you still get the song stuck in your head?

Despite the ‘squidgy…squidgy baby!’ tune driving people to the point of violence (if tweets we have received are to be believed) Haribo is the largest manufacturer of gummy and jelly sweets in the world, so it must be doing something right.

Some of the tweets we received:

ScottNeilson9: @TheDrum DEFINATLEY the new #Haribo advert, it's unbelievably terrible! Please somebody get them told before the madness continues! #shitads

falconsallies: @TheDrum Harvester - 'Bring out the Best' by a country mile. #shitads

Brad_On_Bass: @TheDrum By far the worst, bring back ads such as the 3 minute Peugeot 406 'M People' from the nineties!

matpayne: @TheDrum lucozade one, awful and also the Halifax ones, shocking

data_monkey: @TheDrum Easily the Aviva ads. 28 seconds of Paul Whitehouse doing funny accents, followed by two second logo. Who are they for again?

SharonMills67: @TheDrum I hate those ruddy Meercats. I realise I am in a minority ;o)

Didn't see our tweet and want to let us know which advert you find the most annoying? Answer our poll on the homepage asking which of the three adverts named the most in our Twitter feed you find the most annoying.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis