wrigley advert

wrigley advert

Mad Men has taught us that advertising is glamourous, cool and faintly misogynistic. It’s also taught us that people who work in advertising are debonair, suave and likely to die of lung cancer. These adverts will lead you to very different conclusions. We’ve trawled the web to find the 14 of the worst skiing adverts yet unleashed on the world’s television screens.

Don Draper’s crown is safe.

[part title="Head - One For All"]

There’s a long and distinguished history of athletes turning their hand to acting - just look at the career of Vinnie Jones. Here we have Head collecting a bunch of their most elite skiers and putting them in front of the mountain.

I’m unsure what my favourite part is, the bizarre faux-family dynamic with Julia Mancuso and Aksel Svindal as the parents (Jonas Olsson as the sleeping dog in the boot), the incredible surprise on the faces of the elite professional skiers when they see a mountain seemingly for the first time, the inexplicable but seemingly high stakes game of rock-paper-scissors or the dastardly actions of Bode Miller at the end. A real ensemble piece.

[part title="Barclays - Alan Whicker in the Alps"]

The distinguished and respected journalist, Alan Whicker turns corporate shill for a free Alpine holiday from Barclays. He doesn’t mention the age-defying effects of skiing as he pulls some impressive flatland stunts with a full head of immaculate coal black hair.

[part title="Visa - 1994 Winter Olympics"]

This advert for the 1994 Winter Olympics looks like an episode of 1970s Doctor Who. Our dystopian hero emerges from his subterranean lair to face the barren post-apocalyptic wasteland. He then proceeds to ski through a small, Spanish mountain town on clearly obvious rails.

He pulls off an emergency stop to prevent himself from running down a priest and an elderly woman (maybe his mother - who knows). Upon removing his helmet he receives a cuff round the ear from the woman who is wholly unimpressed by the whole experience.

P.S watch after the end for the European version with extra 80s music.

[part title="Direct Ski - Frank Bruno and a Yeti"]

These guys have a track record of unusual advertising ploys, including insulting the entire North East of England. Here they’ve recruited Frank Bruno, a man in a yeti costume and someone who may or may not be the father of the two founders to challenge a fellow ski holiday provider to a fight. It’s all a bit tragic to see a former global heavyweight boxing champion reduced to appearing in this. And the poor yeti too.

[part title="Renault Clio - Nico and Papa in the Alps"]

Before compelling modern day dramas like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and R Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet, previous generations got their dramatic fix from a series of adverts for the Renault Clio. Ask your parents.

In this episode the young French mademoiselle, Nico, drops off her parents before heading off to meet her beau. Meanwhile her protective father races down the mountain to disrupt the romantic rendezvous. Sadly he overshoots terribly and nearly dies.

[part title="Audi Quattro - Ski Jump"]

The lingering, voyeuristic camerawork, the sparse, atmospheric synths. No, this ad is more art house movie than an attempt to get you buy into Vorsprung Durch Technik.

What the advert does not show is the driver’s death as the car falls backwards down the ramp into the air before exploding in a fireball against the mountainside.

[part title="Eagle Bitter - East Anglia Downhill Skiing Championship"]

The excitement and daring-do of downhill skiing hit rural - and flat - East Anglia in this advert for a pint of bitter. Sadly the opportunities for slalom are pretty limited in the east of England so it’s unclear if the East Anglia Downhill Skiing Championship exists to this day - we fear not. This advert also highlights the unexplored difficulties of going to the pub with skis on.

[part title="Gilette - The best a man can get"]

Adverts don’t get much more earnest than this. Such is the grandiose voiceover and music of the advert you’d think they were advertising a vaccine for polio rather than helping man trim their facial hair. The visuals make you think they’ve dubbed over someone’s family video.

[part title="Ice Magic - The chocolate avalanche"]

Beware the chocolate avalanche! I’m told that Ice Magic was all the rage in Britain in the 1990s and with advertising like this no one should be surprised. The visual FX are enough to make Industrial Light & Magic blush.

[part title="Martini - Make the right choice"]

We’re moving into the musical portion of this article. A sixty second ode to sort of distinguished folk who enjoy the twin pursuits of holidaying in the Alps and drinking Martinis in the snow - it’s enough to inspire your inner class warrior. Can’t help thinking the spandex crotch shot was a little much.

[part title="Ski Yoghurt - Skiing and Spandex]

There is a very clear and obvious link to be made between skiing and Ski yoghurts and the advertising agency for the latter has made it. What’s less obvious, to me at least, is the abysmal jingle and abundance of spandex. Do yourself a favour and avoid.

[part title="Pepsi - Skiing"]

Much like Japan’s lost generation of the late 20th century this advert serves as a reminder of the lost ‘Pepsi generation’, may they rest in peace. This advert features all the hallmarks of a gay old time, clumsy children, snowball fights, that unwanted guy who brings a guitar to every social occasion. Strangely most of the skiers in the ad aren’t very good, spending most of their time trying not to fall over. Oh the Pepsi Generation we hardly knew thee..

[part title="Juciy Fruits - The taste will move you"]

This advert serves as a reminder as to why adverts don’t have jingles anymore. The taste may move you but the advert almost moved me to break off my own angles so I could never go skiing again. The dayglo snow-wear, ‘wacky’ tricks - this is why some people think skiing is lame. The less said about the man ‘taking a sniff’ of his girlfriend's pack the better.

[part title="Subaru - Furry ski trip"]

I have no sarcastic comments to make about this video. I’m fully behind dogs going on skiing trips. I'm still not buying a Subaru though..