It’s often the most annoying TV adverts that stick in your mind and make the biggest impression. From those earworm jingles that you can’t get out of your head, to the irritating characters that just grind your gears – irritating and annoying TV ads come around every year!
We’ve put together a list of some of the most annoying adverts to grace our screens, for an irritating and mildly infuriating trip down memory lane…
Price comparison brand Go Compare has become a household name thanks to their UK TV adverts starring Gio Compario. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many who don’t find the Go Compare advert annoying. The character is an opera singer, whose trademark “go compare!” song has been irritating UK viewers since 2009.
Welsh tenor Wynne Evans plays Gio, who for the first few years of appearing on these annoying TV ads typical serenaded unsuspecting characters discussing their various insurance woes. Following public sentiment, a 2012 series of ads saw Gio captured and ‘tortured’ by various celebrities in cameos – including Stephen Hawking, Sue Barker and Louie Spence.
Churchill Insurance’s nodding dog mascot may star in some of the most memorable dog TV adverts of all time, but he’s also known to be an irritant to many viewers. Churchill the dog was first introduced to UK TV adverts in 1996, as a nodding toy voiced by comedian Bob Mortimer. The character was rebranded as a CGI animated dog in 2019, though that didn’t stop viewers finding Churchill adverts amongst the most annoying TV adverts. UK viewers have long been irritated by the cartoon canine’s “ohhhh yes!” catchphrase, which was a stape of prime time TV ad breaks for many years.
Launched in 2020, leading sweet brand Haribo’s “Children’s Voices” commercials are often considered some of the most annoying TV adverts UK viewers can’t stand. The Boardroom Haribo advert first aired in 2014, and features a scene that on its own isn’t all that unusual at first – a group of colleagues sit around a boardroom table, sharing a bag of sweets.
When the group start speaking, however, their voices are provided by an unseen cast of children. The adults on screen alter their mannerisms and facial expressions to match the juvenile voices. While at first it might have been funny or cute, over the years the various different versions of the advert, along with their repetitive showings, have become a little tedious for some viewers.
Cillit Bang’s fictional Barry Scott spokesman has become infamous in UK TV ad history. His loud, exuberant and over-the-top delivery of catchphrase “Bang! And the dirt is gone!” first appeared on the annoying TV adverts UK-wide in 2005, and has become both extremely quotable and effortlessly annoying.
The fictional character terrorised terrestrial channels for over a decade, appearing in household scenarios to demonstrate the cleaning prowess of Cillit Bang. The character was retired in 2016, to the relief of viewers everywhere.
Safestyle UK might not be a household name brand, but their Buy One Get One Free offer has become part of the nation’s cultural heritage. The (for some) annoying TV advert featured Jeff Brown, Burnley FC’s home stadium announcer, some very 90s graphic design, and repetitive dialogue about the “BOGOF” offer on window glazing.
Although it’s simple – featuring Brown talking to camera, surrounded by windows – it’s effective, with memorable lines and Brown’s loud, distinctive accent blaring through the speakers. Impossible to ignore… unfortunately.
Which UK TV adverts do you think are the most annoying? Let us know any we missed off our list below!