Top 10 Commercials the Internet Tore Apart Immediately

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Top 10 Commercials the Internet Tore Apart Immediately

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
These are the commercials the internet tore apart immediately.
Transcript
There are some things we love to hate. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 commercials the internet tore apart immediately.

For this list, we’re looking at controversial ads the internet couldn’t help but mock.

#10: “The Gift That Gives Back”
Peloton


Exercise company Peloton found themselves accused of sexism when their holiday commercial launched in 2019. The ad features a woman getting a Peloton exercise bike for Christmas, and then vlogging her experiences with it over the course of the next year, before presenting her husband – who got her the bike – with the vlogs as his Christmas gift. People have said that her husband getting her the bike implies that he thinks she needs to lose weight, as well as the fact that her vlogging her entire experience is a little unsettling. Peloton’s shares fell by roughly a billion dollars following this, and it was even parodied by Ryan Reynolds.

#9: The Memer
Wendy’s


Nothing good will come from companies trying to incorporate memes into their commercials, which was proven by this Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken ad from Wendy’s that aired in 2015. If you, too, eat spicy chicken like a boss, then this product is for you, but the internet did not see it that way. Using an old joke and the Impact meme font was Wendy’s trying way too hard and the ad was widely mocked, with people coming up with better jokes than a fast food outlet ever could. It wasn’t just “memers” who showed up in this commercial, either; they just had to take a stab at selfie culture, too.

#8: iPhone 5 Cheese
Apple


The entire purpose of this commercial was to show off the iPhone 5’s brand-new panorama feature, but they did it in the worst way possible. A man decides to take a big panoramic photo of a group of kids wearing silly costumes, and to get across how big the range of the feature is, he says “cheese” the entire time he does it. The result is an ad that’s just Jeff Daniels saying “cheese” for the better part of ten seconds, ending in a picture that doesn’t look anything like the wonky mess you’ll often end up with when trying to take a panorama of moving subjects with an iPhone.

#7: “What’s a Computer?”
Apple


While playing on her iPad Pro, the girl in the commercial is asked by her neighbour what she’s doing on her computer, but she doesn’t appear to know what a computer is. While the implication that the iPad Pro is so good it’s rendered computers useless is definitely there, people were quick to point out that kids these days are definitely familiar with computers. The campaign made even less sense combined with the fact Apple are a major manufacturer of computers as well – are they trying to convince people that Macbooks are useless, too? Apple eventually deleted the commercial from its YouTube channel as frustration mounted.

#6: “Facebook Here Together”
Facebook


In early 2018, the Cambridge Analytica data scandal hit the presses, revealing that millions of Facebook accounts had been illegally accessed and then targeted for political gain. In response, Facebook issues a minute-long commercial vaguely apologizing for “data misuse” and “fake news”, and promising to be better in the future, off the back of Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional hearing. People were not pleased with the weak apology for one of the biggest data scandals in living memory, and some accused the company of not truly taking responsibility for what happened. Or they would, had Facebook not tellingly switched off the comments.

#5: “There You Are”
Chanel No. 5


Perfume ads are usually trying a little too hard to sell a smell to people, but this one takes the cake. People had lofty expectations when Chanel netted Brad Pitt to be the first male face of Chanel No. 5, and the company failed to deliver on all of them. The commercial primarily – and by primarily, we mean entirely – consists of a black and white Pitt giving a spacey, nonsensical monologue to the camera for all of thirty seconds. The ad was widely parodied, including by “Saturday Night Live”, in a move that some might say was inevitable.

#4: Racist Facebook Ad
Dove


In 2017, skincare company Dove posted a brief commercial on Facebook that was intended to showcase how their products were for all women of all different skin types and colors. Unfortunately, it wasn’t received that way by most. A screenshot went viral seemingly showing a black woman turning into a white woman, which people were definitely not happy about since this was a body wash commercial. Dove publicly apologized for this tone-deaf move, though the black actress who featured, Lola Ogunyemi, has said that the ad has been misinterpreted by people who didn’t watch the whole thing.

#3: “We Believe”
Gillette


2019 began with a controversial move from Gillette, with an ad criticizing the “boys will be boys” mentality in the wake of the #MeToo movement. While many celebrated the commercial for acknowledging the changing social and political climate, others did not, and there was no shortage of people online threatening to boycott the company. Despite people praising the campaign and Gillette going on to do similar, socially aware ads, it’s estimated that the company lost $8 billion as a result of the commercial, and one person even made a viral tweet of them throwing their razor in the toilet.

#2: “Sonic the Hedgehog” First Trailer
“Sonic the Hedgehog” (2020)


Going the exact opposite direction to the adorable “Detective Pikachu”, the first trailer for Paramount’s live-action “Sonic the Hedgehog” was the stuff of nightmares. With small eyes, no gloves, and human-like hands and feet, this was Sonic as we’d never seen him before; it didn’t take long for people online to rip the trailer to shreds. The backlash was so intense that Paramount since delayed the movie, pushing back its release to 2020 in order to completely redesign the titular character. It’s been estimated that this cost the studio an additional $5 million, but anyone will tell you it was more than worth it.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few Honorable Mentions:

“Game of War” Kate Upton Ads
“Game of War: Fire Age” (2013)

Make Safe Happen
Nationwide

I Am Autism
Autism Speaks

“I’m the Cash Man”
Oliver Jewellery

Talking Pandas
Salesgenie

#1: “Live for Now”
Pepsi


Pepsi’s attempt at sending a message of “unity, peace and understanding” to the world severely backfired in 2017. Their “Live for Now” campaign featured Kendall Jenner attending a protest march about nothing in particular because it’s the cool thing to do, and then handing a police officer a can of Pepsi while people cheer. It was slammed online for co-opting real protest movements and trivializing Black Lives Matter, especially for the scene with the cop, which mirrored genuine events at protests in the US. After just one day the ad was pulled and apologies from both Pepsi themselves and Kendall surfaced, but people still haven’t forgotten.
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