Most people settle onto the couch and flip on the TV in order to unwind and relax. We have our favorite shows and there are even certain commercials that make us smile. (C'mon, we know you laughed out loud when you saw Old Spice's "I'm on a Horse" commercial for the first time or when Betty White was tackled in the Snickers spot.) But sadly, our tube time is not always without thorns. We often have our eyes and ears pricked by irritating commercials that make us want to turn the channel, hit the mute button, scream or leave the room.
One thing that can guarantee an ad will get on our nerves: an annoying mascot. Remember the Domino's Noid from the 80s? We still aren't sure how a spandex-wearing pizza villain who wanted to ruin our dinner was supposed to entice us to pick up the phone and order a pie.
But forget the eighties, we have plenty of our own annoying advertising mascots right now in 2010. Here are WalletPop's picks for the 8 most annoying ad mascots on TV today:
GEICO, please hear us. We can handle the Gecko. We don't even really mind the pile of cash with googly eyes. But please, please, retire the cavemen. When the spots originally launched in 2004, they were clever and they hit the point home: switching to GEICO is "so easy, even a caveman can do it." We got it. We really did. But after six years of watching the metrosexual neanderthals with major chips on their shoulders, we say enough. It's not funny anymore. We're over it. We suggest the cavemen get over it, too.
Quizno's Costumed Kittens ("Singamals")
This one just has us scratching our heads. Really, Quizno's? Did you not learn from your last freaky animal debacle? You know, when you were using that rat-like thing that looked like road kill to sell your subs. Now, you turn to weird little costumed kittens with voices that sound like nails on chalkboard? It even makes babies cry. No, literally. Here's video of a baby breaking into tears each time the kittens sing the "5-4-3" song. WalletPop's Ad Rant guru takes it one step further saying the Quizno's kittens give her nightmares.
Speaking of grating noises, this one makes us jump right out of our skin. How annoying is a duck loudly yelling "Aflaaaac!" over and over? Think of your child, tugging on your shirt, saying "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom" while you try to make an important phone call then multiply that by ten. While we appreciate Gilbert Gottfried's distinctive voice, we could do without his repetitive bleating during our downtime. (In all fairness, we must acknowledge at least one of our staffers really likes the Aflac duck. We promise we won't hold it against him.)
Burger King's "The King"
One word is used most frequently to describe BK's mute mascot: C-r-e-e-p-y. Considering his creepy oversized plastic head, creepy frozen grin and creepy Robin-Hood-meets-Pimp outfit, we wholeheartedly agree. This dude is way creepy. Not to mention he spends his time, sneaking into people's bedrooms, rapping about square booties to pitch kids' meals (What??) and escaping from an insane asylum. Sure, Ronald McDonald has the "clown" thing working against him, but at least he's not so, um, what's the word? Oh yeah, creepy.
Honda's Mr. Opportunity
Mr. Opportunity isn't hairy and angry like the Geico cavemen. He doesn't make our eardrums bleed like the Quizno's kittens or the Aflac duck. And he's not the least bit creepy a la BK's King. In fact, he's pretty much unremarkable in every way. And that's just one of the things that annoys us so much -- his absolute blandness and sheer dorkiness. That and the idea that an ad agency would go out of their way to create such a nondescript, barely memorable mascot. It seems people either don't remember him at all (some WalletPop staffers had no idea who this mascot was) or hate his guts. There's even an "I Hate Mr. Opportunity!" Facebook page (not associated with this article or WalletPop) and a search of YouTube will find a mash-up of commercials made to look like "Mr. O" got what he deserved in a nightclub fight.
Mucinex Mr. Mucus
My chest is congested. My sinuses are aching. I am miserable. The last thing I want to think about is some obese slimy green guy and his family moving into my nasal cavity. Eww.
The Energizer Bunny
What would a list of most annoying mascots be without the Energizer Bunny. Unfortunately for us, his commercials keep going ... and going ... and going ...
PLUS: HONORABLE MENTION - SPOKESMAN CATEGORY
ORBITZ Travel Guy
Orbitz wants its customers to know all about their hotel before they go. Cue the suited man (with a bizarre mustache and goatee) who also likes to know what to expect. In fact, he sees future events before they occur and narrates each step of the commercial before it happens ("Exaggerated slide, over-the-top fall, no harm done"). To this we say: no one likes a know-it-all and what's up with that facial hair?
We know. We know. You love some of the mascots we hate. Or we missed a biggie. Have no fear. In the comments section below or at this message board, tell us who would have made your list of most annoying mascots on TV today. If we get enough submissions, we'll follow up with a "readers' choice" version of our list.
The 8 most annoying ad mascots on TV today