Matt Williams: tweeters track world’s most terrible ad

I have no idea why anyone follows me on Twitter. While I promise lots of controversial opinions on the advertising industry, my daily dose of 140 characters mainly consists of moaning about First Great Western trains, Reading Football Club, or tweeting about an American sport that no one really cares about.

So whilst most tweets only capture the imagination of angry football fans or fellow irate commuters, imagine my surprise when one tweet I sent earlier this year picked up around 100 retweets in an hour.

OK, that’s not exactly groundbreaking, and there’ll be many a social media expert snorting with derision at my excitement of simply reaching a ton, but it was certainly remarkable for me.

What’s more, despite sending the tweet in May, I’m still getting retweets and favourites for it today.

Why? Well I’d stumbled upon an ad (via Twitter, I’ll admit it wasn’t my own original discovery) that was so incredible it just had to be shared.

My take on it: “this is what happens when art directors and copywriters aren’t working in sync.”

Because this is a serious ad, right, just with a misguided picture? Or is it a tongue in cheek ad, with copy that’s so text-heavy that the comedy gets lost?

Either way, it’s an incredible piece. And judging by the comments on what is now clearly my global phenomenon of a Twitter account, has completely divided opinion when it comes to its intentions.

Some people are staggered that such a terrible ad got through so many levels of management, others are staggered that people don’t realise that the creatives behind this always knew what they were doing.

And despite my initial reaction, I’m trying to remain open-minded. Is it an attempt at humour? Or is it a serious ad gone wrong? If so, is it the worst piece of marketing ever committed to print?

I’m assured it’s a real ad. So as yet another retweet comes through, I thought I’d throw the question open on here. You’re the experts, so how does it stand up?

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