What is the most annoying advert in history? An advert so bad that you remember it long after it has ceased being shown. My candidate has to be the AOL adverts. At this time the Internet was still a novelty and most people used a dial-up connection to get online.
To some people even connecting to the internet was a techie thing to do. AOL decided that they would guide people with a computerised Mary Poppins character called Connie that would appear, uninvited, in your house and take control of your computer. Much like the annoying bastard paperclip, ‘Clippy’ that used to appear when you began to type anything in Word except with an annoying bob haircut and whiny voice.
Unfortunately, the video can only convey a fraction of the patronising, annoying quality of the adverts as there does not appear to be a copy of the original ad on YouTube.
The reason why this advert is my nominee for the most annoying advert in history is Connie’s patronising attitude when ‘helping’ people. As I recall, I think that she tells the man in a rather stern voice, ‘click here’. For all she knows the guy could be a CPU designer with a PhD in computer science. (Although this does beg the question why he chose AOL in the first place.)
The other distinctive thing about this advert was her dress, which had scrolling screenshots of various different website. There was a parody of the advert in which the screenshots were porn websites.
Just like torture in a Chilean prison cell, the memory of this advert is still fresh in my brain even though the character was first shown in the late 1990s. If you can think of a better candidate for a more annoying advert then let me know.