The Most Senseless Ads of 2019

Mark Duffy
3 min readDec 2, 2019


Ad creatives — at least the good ones — are always trying to “push the envelope” on their concepts, continually challenging themselves: “It’s good, but could it be better?”

But sometimes creatives, particularly art directors, don’t just push the envelope, they put a letter bomb in it and ram it into their brain’s right hemisphere. The result: Incomprehensible Insanity.

On rare occasions, the result is great senselessness, like the Skittles “Touch” ad (and several subsequent Skittles ads.)

Usually though, the result is inane senselessness, like so…

Aruba Tourism (Colombia)

Headline: You Know It’s Time. Two men in need of a vacation: one from traffic, the other from a drummer neighbor(?). OK. But: What The Fuck are they doing as heads of matches? I don’t have the slightest fucking idea. Agency: TXT Agencia Transmedia, Bogotá.

Samsung FlexWash (South Korea)

Unbeliebubble” Scene: Tense operating room. Patient: stained white sweater. Patient flatlines. Family freaks. Doctor employs defibrillator paddles that deliver not electrical shocks but soapy laundry detergent, the result being “cleanness with fast absorbing rich bubble(sic)” (what the Samsung “FlexWash” delivers, I guess). Woman weeps with joy. Sweater is “saved”.

Makes absolute perfect sense. Agency: Cheil, Seoul.

Alfa Romeo (Israel)

Defibrillators again! The paddles are…pieces of Alfa Romeo grills? (OK, art director) Come Back To Life? What, am I dead on the side of the road? And a doctor driving an Alfa stops, pulls out the defibrillators from his grill, and saves my life? (No silly, you’re driving a car that’s boring you to death and buying an Alfa Romeo is just the “shock” your system needs.) Note: Death and driving never belong in the same ad. Agency: Lead Ogilvy, Tel Aviv.

Yummi Gummi (Ukraine)

Since Skittles ran the brilliant “Touch” ad 12 years ago, many, many other snack brands have tried (but mostly failed) to mimic the Skittles creative work. This Yummi Gummi ad features a cave man riding his stone chair down a hill. Then comes the line: “Fooling around since the Stone Age.” That’s it. No payoff, no brand connection whatsoever. It’s random unfunny senselessness. Agency: Bark&Fink, Kiev.

Alexandria Cure Center (Hospital in Egypt)

Loose translation: “Don’t Let Your Body Organs Get Involved In Wars”. Good advice! Let’s see: We have Monstrous camouflaged colon and stomach on urban battlefields. Visuals certainly match up nicely with the headline. But the concept is currently off the shoulder of Orion. Do they sorta?…make sense as anti-war posters? Yeah no. Art directors? Easy on the Acid. Agency: Marklinica, Alexandria.

Coca-Cola (UK)

The Magic Taste Of Coke”. A giant disembodied body-surfing skiing dancing partying bungee-jumping tongue? As soon as the words “giant disembodied tongue” left the creative’s mouth, the creative director should have killed the idea DEAD. Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, London.

(Yes, there’s a month left in 2019, but it’s just all bad Christmas ads.)



Mark Duffy

Copywriter/Copyranter. My hockey wrist shot is better than yours.