TV Viewers Were Asked To Pick The Most Annoying Commercial Mascots And Spokespeople, And The Answers Are Perfectly Infuriating

TV Viewers Were Asked To Pick The Most Annoying Commercial Mascots And Spokespeople, And The Answers Are Perfectly Infuriating

For many cord-cutting entertainment junkies out there, part of the streaming revolution was about avoiding the plethora of commercials, since it seemed like having a Netflix subscription and others would allow for an ad-free life. That hasn’t exactly been the case, since even the best streaming services have fully embraced ad-based programming, whether by standalone ad-based plans or across all programming. Which means no matter where we try to run, we’ll never truly get away from awkward and awful commercial mascots and spokespeople.

Over on the TV-focused side of Reddit, one user posed the question “​​Who is the most annoying commercial spokesperson/character?” and seemingly every answer that’s offered speaks directly to my lack of patience for overplayed and under-thought ads and the personalities that drill them into our skulls. Let’s go over some of the best (by which I pretty much mean the worst) of the options suggested.

Celebrities Hocking Products

Actors, actresses, musicians, reality stars, YouTube personalities and more can all be perfectly beloved when they're in their proper professional lane, but as soon as someone signs on as a celebrity spokesperson for a company or product, audience favor can sometimes go right out the window. (An exception to this can be that year's best Super Bowl ads, though even those can have a limited shelf life.) The list below is just the tip of the iceberg, too.

  • Christina Hall (Jacuzzi Bath)
  • Selena Gomez (Pantene)
  • Pete Davidson (anything)
  • Kevin Hart (anything)
  • Heidi Gardner & Dan Levy (
  • Rob Lowe (Atkins)
  • Kristen Wiig (Target)

While some of those ideas are just based on disinterest in the star involved, with Pete Davidson being one that people just actively want to dunk on, some of the issues that viewers are taking is just simply not believing that, say, Rob Lowe is actually that eager about eating his Atkins-friendly snacks, or that Selena Gomez readily has Pantene at the ready in her shower.

The no-longer-current PC vs. Mac ads were also called out as being annoying, though pretty much everyone involved agreed that both Justin Long and John Hodgman are splendid people.

Mascots Who Appear Across Multiple Commercials

Not that it's only famous people that grind viewers' nerves by way of TV ads. Sometimes it's the commercial actors who end up gaining fame from those very commercials that get the most flak. Not that professionals or even real people have to be invovled, as evidenced by the limited selection of mascots below.

  • LiMu the Emu and Doug (Liberty Mutual)
  • Flo / Jamie (Progressive)
  • The Geico Gecko (Geico)
  • The Capital One guy (Capital One)
  • Poppin' Fresh (Pillsbury)
  • Charmin Bears (Charmin)

Just in case anyone thought Reddit users were suffering from any form of recency bias, that was somewhat disproven by mentions of Pillsbury's Poppin' Fresh doughboy, Charmin's Mr. Whipple and the animated bears, the Sugar Bear, and other more "classic" characters. There's definitely recency to consider when it comes to not liking Suits' Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht reuniting for a T-Mobile ad, but not so much when it comes to Domino's Noid. I take personal offense to him being hated on, but I digress.

Man in orange sweater standing in front of people sitting in bleachers on Consumer Cellular commercial

(Image credit: Consumer Cellular YouTube)

More Randomly Awful Ads

Often, some of the worst ads will be the ones that aren't so widespread and airing during every break. I'm sure anyone reading this can think of at least three different highly localized commercials that suck worse than anything a fast food restaurant has ever produced. And while most of these are national ads, they don't quite fit in with celebs and traditional mascots, and often suffer from being way too loud (which the FCC finally started calling out a few years ago) or awkward in other ways.

One such example, pictured above, is the guy in the orange sweater for Consumer Cellular, with a Reddit user expressing completely understandable frustration over the dude not perfectly standing flush with the human-sized gap that the people sitting in the bleachers made for him. One has to assume there were so many prior takes that it was the last straw. And here are other examples:

  • Kars4Kids Kids (Kars4Kids)
  • The Singing Purple Headphones Woman (Allegra)
  • Gillette Labs Father And Son (Gillette)
  • The Jardience Singers (Jardiance)
  • The Lume Lady (Lume)
  • Basically Any Ads Filmed Like A TikTok Or YouTube Video (anything)

Similar to celeb spokespeople, even if someone is extremely famous on social media or YouTube, as soon as they bring that same vertical filming style to TV, viewers want nothing to do with it, as several other companies who utilize such approaches were also called out, such as Safelite.

Ads aren't going anywhere, and will be all over the rest of the 2024 TV schedule, regardless of whether you're watching linear TV or signed up for Disney+'s ad-based subscription plan.