The Worst Ad Copywriting of 2019

Mark Duffy
3 min readDec 17, 2019

Writing good ads is not hard. You do not have to be a good writer to write good ads (See: Me). And yet there are many, many writers — many of them very good writers — writing ads who shouldn’t be writing ads. See below (in no particular order).

  1. Dasani (USA)
No, that’s not me in the reflection.

Water you saying, Dasani? Does the bottle say “water” when you open it? Does “Dasani” mean “water” in a language from another dimension? And anyway, shouldn’t it be “No other water says “Semen” quite like this water”?

2. Dior Sauvage (USA)

Ignoring the tasteless Native American appropriation, let’s take a guess how the pitch meeting for this ad went. Depp: “I want to play my fucking guitar in the desert while some young Indian babe checks me out. Stick whatever stupid words you want in my mouth.”

Those stupid words? “WE ARE THE LAND.” That’s it, that’s the ad’s copy. Deeep.

3. Absolut (USA)

“Earth” could not be reached for confirmation.

Says who, Absolut? God? Mother Nature? Earth’s official spokesperson? I don’t think you should be putting words into our Earth’s mouth. Agency: In-House.

4. Terrible Taglines x 4

Which one is the worst? Tough call. I’m awarding the “boobie” prize to Yellow Tail wine. Tastes Like Happy…Ending? Tastes Like Happy…Gilmore? Or is it Tastes Like [any fucking word you want to put in here]? Tastes Like [Kangaroo Piss]?

2nd place? Milk. Be Morer? Be More Best? “Be More” leaves one wanting More. Under Armour — I WILL. Sounds like an undiscovered Ayn Rand title. RELAX HARDER? EAT ME HARDER.

5. Sephora (USA)

Calling potential customers’ lipstick “boring” isn’t very Female Positive.

Sephora tried usurping Feminism without authority or purpose. THIS LIPSTICK IS FEMINISM…BECAUSE WE FUCKING SAY SO.

6. Delta & Coke (USA)

And use this handy napkin (Ask for 4 or 5!) to clean off your penis when you’re done masturbating.

Delta collaborated with Coke on these in-flight napkins. A second one read: “Be a little old school. Write down your number and give it to your plane crush. You never know...” Cue drunk, creepy AF guys’ heads swiveling, searching, sneering, hands down their pants…



Mark Duffy

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