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Gadgets

Ten more hilariously terrible tech adverts

In our previous look at the worst tech adverts we uncovered some stinkers, but we only scratched the surface. Here we present another ten -- and these are some proper howlers


The original 10 laughably bad tech ads got a great response -- and loads of suggestions for more. It seems people got a huge amount of enjoyment from watching technology being sold in the most undignified and embarrassing ways. Hopefully you'll enjoy these as much as the first ten. -Ian Morris

Atari Jaguar
This advert is the usual games console fare in that it doesn't really make a huge amount of sense. For some reason, computer games must always be advertised in the most abstract way possible. This is also true of mobile phone adverts -- see the 3 Jellyfish (next page) for proof of that...

It also features a man who can't pronounce Jaguar, a common problem in the US. To clear the problem up here is the pronunciation guide: JAG-u-are -- correct; JAAAAAGwaaaaaaaaaaaar -- incorrect.


3
This advert is pictured in the dictionary next to the entry for 'abstract', and it's also cross-referenced in the entry for 'crap'. The story is as follows. Two men are suspiciously lurking around in a desert for reasons that are unclear, but seems to be the result of a tip-off from someone called Eric. They discover a gigantic jellyfish, and drag it back to their trendy loft apartment.

Once home, they feed it some booze, and it dances like a wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubeman. And that's it. We would wager anyone who doesn't know what '3' is would really struggle to work out what that advert is for. Believe it or not, 3 is a mobile phone network, so that explains the, erm, well nothing. It doesn't really explain anything.


Sony PlayStation 2
Like the Jellyfish and Atari Jaguar adverts, this one from Sony, for the PlayStation 2, makes about as much sense as a David Lynch movie played backwards at half speed. The thick Glaswegian accent means it's about as easy to understand as a backwards half-speed Lynch movie too.

The message the ad agency is trying to get across is simple: buy a PS2. Sadly they didn't really manage to convey that message with this advert, and most people who saw it either in cinemas or their own front room looked around at their friends/family/dog and said simply, "WTF?"


DVD piracy
This advert is irritating and laughable in equal measure. It's irritating because once again, the anti-piracy lobby must insult our intelligence by implying that 1) people would rather pay for a crap copy of a DVD than rent a proper copy, and 2) don't have the common sense to hop on the Internet and download it for free.

It's comical because everyone knows, in real life, every bloke in that pub would be asking to borrow his dodgy copy of Harry Potter after him, "'cos it will keep the kids quiet on Saturday morning when I'm trying to have some special time with the wife," not chastising him for being a cheapskate.


Rabbit phones
We've included the Rabbit phone advert here not just because it's awful and a horrible stereotype that's been done to death, but also because Rabbit was an abysmal service that thankfully died quite rapidly after its launch. It later became what we know and love today as Orange, a real mobile network.

The idea was simple, a Rabbit phone would work at your home, as a house phone. But you could take the handset out -- and deprive whoever was at home of using it -- and it would operate as a mobile phone. Neat, I'm sure you're thinking. Well no really, because to use it outside your home, you'd need to be within 100m of a Rabbit sign, of which there were about three in the whole country. In total the service lasted a little under two years before being beaten into the ground by rapidly improving cellular phone networks.


General Electric
The 80's, eh? A time of lycra, leg warmers and bad hair. But it was also a brave new world of exciting technology and as we all know, technology sets you free. In this case, it sets a city imprisoned in silence free. Although we question horrific electro-pop being responsible for the unshackling of a whole city.

Sadly their liberation only lasted until digital rights management was introduced, at which point they were re-shackled and only allowed to enjoy music under certain, highly restrictive conditions.


Sega Mega-CD
This advert for the Mega-CD is slightly obscure, although it's not nearly as strange as the PlayStation ad. The idea here is that you're supposed to think a rogue broadcast has hijacked your TV. Don't worry, it hasn't really, it's just an advert for possibly the most ill-conceived and overpriced console add on ever.

Mega-CD added a CD-ROM drive to your Sega Mega Drive, at a bargain basement cost of somewhere in the region of what an Xbox 360 costs these days -- and they say modern games consoles are expensive. It enabled you to play more enhanced games than a cartridge-based system would usually allow.


Intel Core 2 Duo
We're giving Intel our award for 'most pointless celebrity endorsement in a commercial of all time'. Seriously, they must have paid Mariah Carey a boat-load of cash to appear in this commercial and it's RUBBISH.

We also find it quite annoying that we're expected to think Mariah is some sort of sex symbol. But can anyone look at her good skin and pleasant figure and not find themselves thinking about how annoying ALL her songs are? And check out how she shuts her eyes to sing, and that little hand wave she does -- is she trying to make people hate her?

Plus the man deserves a slap from his girlfriend for fantasising about Mariah when she's sat right there. Unless she's having a similar fantasy about 50 Cent, in which case he's off the hook.


Nokia
It's not just Intel who seem to think all men have trouble focusing on one woman at a time. Here we see some sort of Casanova who picks up a bunch of flowers dumped by a man who can't seem to arrange anything because he doesn't have a mobile phone. Casanova, obviously a man about town, does however have a mobile phone, and as such has a woman for every day of the week.

But even if the stereotyping doesn't annoy you, surely the fact that Nokia clearly spent about £12 making this advert does. Check out that background, it's clearly painted on. Why in the name of Thor's hammer couldn't they go out to a real park and shoot it? At least then it would have a touch of authenticity.


Apple Newton
You'd think we'd learn, wouldn't you? Our first worst ten list got us blasted in the comments section for having a go at Ellen Feiss, the geek icon of her time. Well, as much as we should avoid mentioning any Apple product in a negative light, we can't let them off the Newton adverts.

If you don't know what the Newton was, allow us to fill in the gaps. It was a PDA released in 1993 and to give Apple its due, it was seriously ahead of its time. And like all products ahead of their time, it was a dismal failure. (Otherwise it would be their time.) In this advert we get an explanation of what Newton is, except you could quite easily walk away still not having a clue what it actually does. Oh, and the idea that a man with a black suit and sunglasses on is cool is so funny we actually did laugh our arses off.