Sunday 15 September 2019

'Rachel and Steve, Steve and Rachel' and 9 other insufferable Irish TV adverts

Rachel and Steve were axed. Lets hope the rest follow suit
Rachel and Steve were axed. Lets hope the rest follow suit
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Occasionally TV ads are clever and engaging and inventive and you almost forgive them for trying to infiltrate your mind and part you from your hard earned cash.

Mostly, however, they are simply to be endured with their 'catchy' ear-worm jingles, over-zealous acting, and abysmal attempts at wit.

Thankfully, with the advent of series record we can gleefully fast-forward our way through them and avoid having our blood pressure needlessly raised.

Here's a little reminder of some of the worst Irish ads to grace the small screen in recent years.  By 'worst' we mean insufferable.  The very fact you remember them for their awfulness probably makes them successful in the brands' eyes...

'Steve and Rachel' or 'Rachel and Steve' (nobody cares) - Bank of Ireland

We're not sure why Bank of Ireland thought that featuring two idiotic 'annoying neighbours' wrecking the head of a young man who has just moved into his new home (presumably bought with a mortgage from BOI) would encourage anyone to get a mortgage with BOI. 

The ad was thankfully axed last year and at the time Director of Customer Analytics, Insights and Marketing Kelvin Gillen said: “I’m sure that I speak for many people when I say that we bid farewell to Rachel and Steve, or Steve and Rachel, with a heavy heart.

“While they certainly weren’t the best housemates or neighbours, whether they entertained or annoyed, they certainly seemed to resonate with consumers."

If by "resonate with consumers" you mean "incite the wrath of consumers" Kelvin then you're right on the money.


Niamh and her tiny babies (VHI advert)

What is so annoying about those VHI ads with real people doing the voiceovers on animated videos?  We can't quite put our finger on it.  The one featuring Niamh and her twins seems to be the one most people call to mind first.  In theory it should pull at our heartstrings.  Here's a woman telling us about the emergency c-section delivery of her twins.  Is it the fact she's worrying about her husband when really we're pretty sure he can probably look after himself?  Is it because tiny babies can be delivered by c-section on the public system without health insurance at all? 


The creepy millionaire baby ad (Lotto Millionaire Raffle ad)

Okay, we get it.  He's a newborn millionaire, having just won the Lotto's Millionaire Raffle.  But.... there's something a bit off about this one.  There's a grown man with dodgy sideburns posing as a baby, tucked up in a bed, surrounded by several young nurses who are gazing upon him adoringly.  Is he wearing a nappy under there?  We don't want to know. 

Honourable mention: The other Lotto ad with the guy in body paint leaping about to that nerve-jangling jingle.


The 'Cheep-Purr' ad (Energia Cheaper Home Energy)

The actors in this one look just as perplexed/bored/agitated as the viewers at home.  Why is it so slow?  Just be over already.  Cheers.


That annoying banking ad (AIB We're Backing Brave)

Since Rachel and Steve left us, AIB have taken up the most annoying banking ad mantle.  The bank is 'backing brave' apparently.  A soothing voiceover talks about what it means to be brave.  "Brave gets up at six, zips up its fleece and is on the road while it's still dark," it begins.  "Brave fixes gutters, fills tanks and coffee cups.  Brave keeps going through weekends and evenings and as a result of brave wages get paid, families reared and main streets bustle."  Bring back Rachel and Steve...


The singing toilet ad  (Bank of Ireland Mortgages)

Actually, Bank of Ireland have already stepped up with a Rachel and Steve replacement ad which is arguably just as eye-gougingly awful.  Not only is the toilet singing Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' but the young couple are checking out a house which looks like it might have featured on a current affairs show expose of slumlord properties.  At least it's a fairly accurate reflection of the types of properties many of us with tighter budgets can expect to be presented with at viewings.


The talking canary ad (Carbon Monoxide Awareness)

We understand it's an important message - fit and check your carbon monoxide alarms lads - and a tough one to get across and make memorable.  So, in that respect this ad is possibly one of the most successful Irish ads on TV.  It's also hands down the most annoying.  The canary voice is grating enough, but then Tommy McAnairy (for that is his name) 'sings' and delights in taking a cheese grater to your eardrums.  He also resembles something from the mind of Guillermo del Toro.  It's enough to put you off your tea.


Yer man boasting about the gym (Lyons Tea All Talk)

Speaking of tea, the Lyons Tea All Talk ads trump all other tea ads in the annoying stakes.  "So I said to my trainer, 'put on more weights'.  He said, 'there are no more weights'." is probably the worst of them but we'll give the 'Girl Talk' version with its 'Small talk, diet talk, old wives tales' (because these are the main topics women talk about, don't you know) eye-roll inducing script an honourable mention.


The chips curry ad (McDonalds curry sauce)

Foil Arms & Hog are a very funny Irish comedy trio but Conor McKenna (Arms) is the guy who spends this ad stomping about a farm pointing at chickens, vegetables and spuds before delivering the line that McDonalds curry sauce "makes chicken into chicken curry and chips into chips curry" as though it's some sort of punchline.  In fairness it was 2014.  Conor, we know you can do (and have done) better than this. 


The stupid talking tastebuds ad  (Jacobs Fig Rolls)

Another very funny dude, Dermot Whelan, arguably sold out when he donned that shiny tastebud costume for the Jacobs' Fig Rolls ad.  Onwards and upwards though Dermot.  At least you've the second leg of your sold out nationwide A Sure Lookit comedy tour and the 3000 extra listeners for Dermot & Dave on Today FM.  We'll almost forgive you.  Almost.


Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top