Narm: Advertising

Have you ever seen those advertisements that are so over-the-top you wonder, "Wait, what were they selling again?", or commercials that attempt to be serious, but end up just hilarious? These are those commercials.

In general, you've probably heard "sad puppy-dog commercials" as a rather new derogatory term for sappy commercials.

  • This UK ad from Think! Road safety is definitely narm territory. The narrator (Christopher Eccleston) keeps saying "Now you see him. Now you don't." While the driver of the car looks in the rear view mirror at a motorcyclist who keeps disappearing from view when the obvious impact happens Eccleston's narration tries to be dramatic "Now you see him! Now you see him!" As the camera slowly pans in on the unconscious or dead driver but fails.
    • Another Think! ad was dropped when market research showed that audiences found the ending (in which a pizza splatters against a car windscreen in imitation of a human body) funny rather than shocking.
  • This glorious Ad. It confused everyone when it came out. It is an ad for a lawyer and has heavy metal, fire and scene where he hits a tombstone with a sledge. Priceless.
    • And here's the follow-up: involving government class in high school, a scene where the lawyer literally interrogates injustice, and a scene where an angel forges the sledgehammer in the previous video.
  • Dark and Lonely Water was likely scary back in the day but hilarious now mostly because of the kid at the end going "Euw 'orrible thing!"
  • This UK ad from safety on the move is a healthy mix of horror. A young woman crosses the road when she is mowed down by a speeding driver. She lands heavily on the tarmac blood streaming out of her nose and her ghost bends down over her own corpse declaring "You've killed me!" This is where it gets into the narm territory because she is generally trying to communicate with the driver despite knowing she is dead even though he obviously can't hear her.
  • At one point, Edmonton-based radio station The Bounce aired ads which mashed together songs it plays. These were hilariously awful and mashed together Katy Perry's "E.T.," Ke$ha's "We R Who We R," Lady Gaga's "Born this Way," Martin Solveig and Dragonette's "Hello", etc. None of the choices fit together, and it was simply hilarious.
  • The WaxVac infomercials that advertise a vacuum that removes earwax from your ears. As soon as the scenes with the couple practicing ear candling and the guy yelling "OW!" while barely poking a Q-tip into his ears come on, it's no longer possible to take the commercial seriously. (Though it's worse in that it dampens the seriousness of anything said by the experts that follow in the commercial. It's hard to take the words of a doctor seriously on the risks of using Q-tips when people are too distracted by the unintentionally humorous agony of a man from the result of a Q-tip. Unsurprisingly, the narm factor is made fun of by The Soup.)
  • There used to be a Canadian ad about getting tested for colon cancer. As serious as the topic was, it's hard to take it seriously when there are see-through bodies and one telling the other "Looks like you've got colon cancer." in a casual tone you would use when talking about the weather.
  • Anna Blue, a CGI girl who sings a song called "So Alone" in a Jamster commercial. The repeated mirror throwing, mixed with the over-dramatic, stereotypical emo behavior makes the song hardly anything to take seriously.
    • As if the emo appeal weren't cheesy enough, Jamster took the liberty of making a second song called "Your Heart," sung by a Twilight-esque CGI vampire guy named Damien Dawn. Not only does it use the same Stock Footage from "So Alone," but it also adds its own cheesy clips. Like Damien climbing up and singing on Anna's roof, and him jumping in the moonlight.
  • The 2010 TV ad for Cirque du Soleil's winter production Wintuk has this narration:
    This is the magic of Wintuk. This is the thrill of Wintuk. This is the season of Wintuk! ... Don't miss the final season of this wonderful, winterful show that The New York Times calls "a family-oriented holiday extravaganza"!
  • In 2009, an Alberta based carpeting company called End of the Roll issued a series of ads with images of people buying carpets, laying down carpets, people smiling over their carpets and what not. The song in the background? "The Look" by Roxette. Furthermore the ads having the over-excited narrator saying "Give your house... THE LOOK!!!!" followed by "Na na na na na, she's got the look..." just heightened the narm up to 11.
  • This ad for a CD called "Cheers to You". The very fact that such a product exists (each of the CD's tracks consist of words of encouragement towards the listener) is depressing enough, but the "HOORAY FOR YOU!" at the end of the commercial really push it off the edge.
    • Parodied by this video.
  • Almost every American anti-drug PSA. Worth special mention is an ad in which a girl's dog tells her to stop smoking marijuana. Left unsaid was that if your dog is talking to you, then you have bigger problems than marijuana. Like the powerful hallucinogen you obviously took. Marijuana does not work that way. While it wasn't their intent, it was a non-anthropomorphic dog who does nothing in the body of the ad but disapprove of marijuana — and all the dialogue is written on-screen, not spoken. The whole thing is surreal.
    "Deeyus... eeyus kreck."
    • In another anti-drug PSA, starring Henry Rollins, he compares the feeling of using meth or speed (they're closely related) to driving a powerful car very fast. The car in the ad explodes.
      "The difference? You can't rebuild a human heart."
      • His voice also cracks as he says this, adding to the narm.
    • And here's this PSA with some good ol' concrete diving.
    • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' foray into anti-drug PSAs (and, for added value, some nerd's foray into witty comebacks).
      "I'm not a chicken, you're a turkey!"
    • The granddaddy was the fried egg "This is your brain on drugs" spot, which was the endless subject of parody for sketch comics from the mid-80s well into the 1990s.
      "This is your asshole before prison, this is your asshole after prison..."
      "This is your brain on drugs with a side order of bacon."
      • Even more so the sequel, depicting Rachel Leigh Cook using a frying pan to destroy a kitchen while rambling about what drugs will do to your life.
    • This gem:
    • "Now let's see if I can still make a straight line!" This ad is an exercise in attempted scare tactics.
      • Adding to the narm is the "whatever, as long as I get paid" expressions worn by the rest of the OR staff as well as the narrator, whose attempts to sound threatening can come off as a bit silly if you recognize him as the friendly sounding announcer for the Wendy's fast food chain in the 90s.
    • "I looked down at my hot dog and there was a face on it."
  • "I've fallen and I can't get up!" — originally supposed to be a shocking opening line in an ad for "Life Alert" ads depicting a helpless elderly woman who had fallen from her wheelchair, it quickly descended into farce. There were even T-shirts once. Life Alert now has the phrase trademarked, and it appears at the bottom of some ads.
    • From a later commercial:
    • Then there's the scene where an elderly woman is lying on the floor and trying to reach a phone that's sitting on a desk a few feet away — sort of. She doesn't try to move towards it; she just reaches for it as if she believes that she can make her arm stretch the rest of the way.
    • AAAAND there's another one, which tries to go for a dark and serious tone but ends up being somehow even narmier than the other examples; dark and moody music is heard while a camera pans through different rooms in the house and a woman can be heard yelping "HEEEELP!!! I've fallen... It hurts!!! Help me... HELP ME!" and the elderly woman can be seen at the foot of the stairs sobbing with a laundry basket dropped on her. There seems to be nobody home, making it even more hilarious. Then...Mood Whiplash time!
    • Bonus narm points for the weird shift between blue and amber tints, and the fact that woman doesn't even try to look like she really took a fall; she's laying on her back in the Chalk Outline pose with her feet resting on the stairs.
    • The newest Life Aert commercial? This time a little girl happens to be home with her grandmother and actually HEARS the crash! Seeing her on the ground she asks "Grandma, are you OK?" Honey hasn't your mom taught you to call 911 when you see someone in this situation?! It's one of the few times in these comemrcials a person didn't actually need the product advertised!
  • This video on the quite serious effects of drowsy driving has its impact (no pun intended) taken away at the end of the video...
  • A PSA about the example parents set for their kids had this unfortunate effect. The video showed children copying their parents (almost) exact actions right alongside them: the Narm takes over when some of the examples include a young girl smoking, a young boy throwing rocks at the neighbor's dog, a five-year old flipping off a driver, and a little boy helping batter his mother. The tagline "Children See, Children Do" didn't help.
  • All of the commercials for Michael's Furniture in Los Angeles. You can tell that the producers of the commercial didn't bother with trying with costumes, advertising, and even special effects.
  • The ad for the movie One Missed Call is unintentionally hilarious, with an ominous announcer voice saying, "When your call goes straight to voicemail, your world goes straight to Hell." Bonus points for the victim saying "That's not my ringtone" in a terrified almost-whisper. With skill, it's possible to make nearly anything scary; but it seems cell phones are a rare exception.
  • The ad for the movie The Darkest Hour, Holiday Mode! Watching something unrelated, just seeing the super-serious "Survive (beat) The Holidays" and seeing the dog disintegrate, was just hilarious.
  • Any PSA involving the Power Rangers. It makes it look like the Rangers are more afraid of fast food hamburgers than Omnicidal Maniacs. It's also a Broken Aesop; an ad had Jason and Xander (fully suited; sorry, no return of Austin St. John) at McDonald's, and that back in the 90's, they promoted fast food both in the show and for McDonald's.
  • High school Scare 'Em Straight campaigns against drunk/distracted driving often veer into this:
  • One mimicked a real drunk driving accident in varying levels of detail. A movie was also made so that students who didn't see the actual crash scene could still get the gist of it - unfortunately, it opened with a line from the actor playing the drunk driver about getting drunk on wine. People invariably laugh at the idea of a sixteen-year-old getting into a drunk driving accident because he ditched school to sip a bottle of Cabernet, and the opening line ruined the tenor of the movie. (The line was recorded as a joke along with the "real" dialog, but the editors who worked on the video threw it in anyway.)
    • In another similar campaign at another school, the sophomore playing one of the injured passengers was screaming in a way that was definitely too over the top for someone who got his neck broken. And then the girl who played the victim that died was reading the "don't take me, I'm only seventeen" poem with her hand sticking out of a body bag.
    • In another one for distracted driving, most of the Narm was provided by the principal and vice principals just standing near the scene, without a care in the world. No staff member pretending to be angry and shocked, they were just watching over like "yep, that's a problem".
    • In a Madd drunk driving movie called "Smashed" the crash victims appear to be bleeding purple. Takes the tension and seriousness right out.
  • Call Liberty Medical and ask them about your DAHH'BEETUS. This message brought to you by Wilford Brimley (a.k.a. the "Quaker Oats" guy).
    • "Ah haet prickin mah fingahs! With Liberty Meter, it's much less painful. And it even talks to me." This is ridiculous because testing one's blood sugar levels via any regular meter that's been introduced to the market since 2000 has become so refined that it requires one tiny little finger prick that you barely feel. The insulin jab hurts a heck of a lot more. Granted, the hospital meters still require the old fashioned ginormous pricks that would hurt, but...
    • Or how about the poorly acted commercials for those "free" diabetic cookbooks? ("Free" is in quotation marks since there's always a catch to these things.) Poor Nicole Johnson tries her hardest, but puts across a creepy Sandra Lee kind of vibe, and the black woman sasses it up so much that it's almost worthy of giving the NAACP a conniption.
  • Multiple House Alarm commercials that play out pretend scenarios where a burglar, rapist, etc. would be scared away by the alarm. These scenarios, however, were frequently farfetched and downright funny.
    • One involves two burglars attempting to break into a house in the middle of the day by loudly breaking a window with a crowbar because they spotted overgrown grass and multiple newspapers in the porch. It turns out a single mother with her children were all in the laundry room (why they let the grass over-grow and didn't pick up the paper for days on end is a mystery), but they were gladly protected by the incredible threat of a loud noise.
    • A more ridiculous scenario involves a single woman coming back to her (two-story, full-sized, middle-class) house from a date, only to have another man spy on them. Immediately after the man on a date left, the spying man runs up to the house and kicks open the door in the most obnoxious and over-dramatic way, setting off the alarm that baffles him and causes him to run away. The kicker? The woman gets a call from the alarm system technicians to ask what's wrong, and she says her ex-boyfriend knocked down the door.
    • A third commercial of equal ridiculous nature involves a burglar breaking open a front door in the middle of the night in the most obnoxious and loudest way possible, then acts surprised before running away because of a house alarm. Narm moment indeed.
    • There's also "this" Broadview Security ad, where the man breaking in looks straight at the woman before punching through her window (which sets off the alarm), lets her run upstairs, and then runs away. It's even more narm-y and ridiculous because the commercial made it clear that he'd just been to this woman's house while she was having a party (probably casing the joint, as neither the woman nor her friends seemed to know who he was) - he could have easily gotten in with a lie about leaving his keys or wallet behind and then incapacitated the woman. Instead he seems to think that if he waits fifteen minutes she'll magically be gone from her own home and manages to miss the security keypad next to the front door.
    • Another security system ad has a jacket-wearing man in a neighborhood at about noon watch a jogger go past. Once the jogger's gone, the man in the jacket flips his hoodie up like a low-rent supervillain and proceeds to loudly kick open the door to a house, setting off the alarm and sending him running.
  • Oxfam's (a UK aid charity) current TV campaign, called "Be Humankind". Apparently, you can defeat poverty (depicted as a giant monster) with halitosis!
    • Another one of their ads shows analysis of handwriting with one of the loops apparently meaning that "you care deeply about the world and want to help". Even without knowing about the questionable nature of analyzing handwriting to determine personality, it seems like a lot of information packed into one little part of what is written.
  • London South Bank University has a poster campaign involving people with giant brains for heads.
  • "It Only Takes a Second", a video campaign by the Federated Mutual Insurance Company, depicts unfortunate and painful accidents through dramatization. What makes this safety video so narmy is that many of the situations are poorly acted and sometimes unrealistic. The final scene of the video is a good example of this.
  • "Our world is under constant attack". The start of a trailer for Mega Disasters on the History Channel's UK version.
  • In the 1980s, video games were given some narmful adverts. For instance, every commercial for an Atari 2600 video game, ever.
  • The ad for the horror film Mirrors had a scene at the end that features Kiefer Sutherland sitting in a car saying, "mirrors are everywhere." Then he looks at the rearview mirror, sees a monster in it, lets out the most narmy yells, and dramatically flinches away from the mirror. Ironically it's more or less correctly done as the entire film is like that, with the absolute peak coming from his vision of a burning woman in a large ceiling-to-floor mirror, and his then being afflicted with this condition himself. Nearly a minute is devoted to just him writhing on the floor yelling, "THE FIRE! IT BURNS! AAAAAHHHHHH!"
  • "We just finished level three, and need to tighten up the graphics a little bit."
    • Neatly put to bed in this strip.
    • Put to death by Alta, who took that video down for copyright infringement.
  • This driver's-ed video. It should speak for itself.
  • Have you been injured at home or at work in the last 4 years and it wasn't your fault? You could claim money. This line is normally given after a poorly acted reconstruction, though it sometimes is used on screens which should have people suing the law firms for causing epilepsy.
  • The protagonist yelling out "JUNNNIIOOOORRRR!" with added repetition and echoes in the trailer for the film "Waist Deep" at about 0:40.
  • There's an "Immigration rap" where two guys rap about how to become a U.S. citizen. The best part is probably "Are-you-a drug dee-al-er?" Who says yes!?
  • In Canada, there was a series of well-made ads with relatively high production values about the hazards of unsafe driving. The impact (pun intended) came from people not expecting to see the impact; while we don't from inside the car, we do get to see a Mack truck make hash out of one half of the little midsize car. The following ads show the aftermath: physical therapy (for the girlfriend of the driver), a funeral (for the driver's little brother), a trial for the driver of the car... All chilling. Then someone noticed that the guy playing the driver is the Villain Protagonist from an older commercial about how to avoid having your car stolen, and people started asking if the car that got smashed was the same one he stole.
  • "Thank You Sarah Palin".
  • The Magic Bullet To Go infomercial. While the first had the distinction of colorful, wacky characters congregating over a small machine after a party the previous night, it didn't have Dino. Dino makes his first appearance in the To Go infomercial, and the actor playing him is so bad that it makes every line top-grade Narm fuel. Just check out the way he says "Whoa! That is magic." at 3:49. Also, the background music at the start of the infomercial bears a strange resemblance to that of "We're All Dudes".
  • This book ad from Jack Chick's homepage. Forget being ex-gay; this guy's an ex-Cthulhu-worshipping ex-vampire!
    "I needed blood! While other sinful men craved women’s bodies, I was only interested in their necks or femoral arteries"
  • This anti-global-warming PSA from Quercus, a Portuguese environmentalist group. It starts out visually striking with the shots of desolate wastelands and melting ice-caps; then the monkey hangs itself, and it runs shrieking into Narm territory. The CGI lip-quivering should have been a warning. And that was with the original sad piano score. The second version backed by Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" is even worse.
  • The Canadian "Home Front" domestic abuse PSAs. "You stupid BITCH!" Or better yet, "She spilled my coffee!"
  • This old British PSA from the late 1970s that warned children not to play in electrical substations could either be considered hilariously Narmy or pure horror.
  • A fairly well-known healthcare system in metropolitan Detroit has, as of late, become known not for the quality of their medical services, but for their horribly over-the-top commercials, which skip right past Scare 'Em Straight and into Narm territory. These gems come complete with dim lighting, silently frowning (or gowned and masked) medical staff, pounding Scare Chord music and a deadly serious voiceover actor reading lines like "Choosing a hospital could be the most important decision you'll ever make" and "It's your heart/eyes/life/whatever... Do you have a Beaumont doctor?" The general effect of the commercials has been to generate an epidemic of spontaneous gluteal detachment secondary to laughter overdose in the viewing population. And then they promptly go get treated somewhere that doesn't sound like a Vincent Price film gone wrong.
  • One anti-piracy advert (found at the end of UK Battlestar Galactica DVDs and the beginning of certain British Disney tapes from the era) features a man with a suspicious resemblance to Joshamee Gibbs branding a pile of DVDs with an "X" brand and somehow setting them on fire, while the flame is reflected in his eyes and he smiles evilly, giving him a demonic appearance. Remember, "Piracy funds organized crime!"
  • The anti-piracy ad Don't Copy That Floppy.
  • National Organization for Marriage's "Gathering Storm" ad, to some.
    • They, without irony, say that they're forming a "rainbow coalition."
    • Their initials spell NOM, and they use them. This may provide narm, especially to those familiar with LOL cats. How can the sound of a cat eating have any serious business attached?
    • And there's this one.
  • This Final Fantasy Tactics Advance ad. Their version of "Marche" is just... so... wrong.
    Feel free to call, otherwise I may become irritable!
  • One TV spot for the second Transformers film features Shia Lebeouf's character screaming "Bumblebee!!" in an anguished tone of voice — which may send viewers not familiar with the character named Bumblebee into hysterics. But heck, even if you are, it's still funny — especially if you have someone nearby who decides to snark, "Hey Shia, what's your favorite brand of tuna?" just before the line comes up.
  • Boys Beware, a horrible 1950s short film that equates gay people with pedophiles. "What Jimmy didn't know was that Ralph was sick. You see... RALPH WAS A HOMOSEXUAL." Delivered in a completely serious tone, while inappropriately cheery music plays on the soundtrack.
  • There are a number of comedic advertisements in New Zealand that involve housewives doing strange and unusual things. As such, when an advert aired that had a women talking about healthy snack food, only to trip over a toy car and plummet into a glass-topped coffee table, many people burst out laughing... only to find out, as the camera panned away and the woman lay there sobbing amongst the glass shards, that it was meant to be a deadly-serious PSA about the dangers of leaving toys about on the floor. "Most accidents occur IN THE HOME." Because negotiating toy-covered floors whilst filming muesli bar commercials in their own home is something that every housewife has to deal with.
  • On the subject of New Zealanders. Drop the lines "Ït's the same day David" and "Don't say sorry to me, say sorry to his kids" into casual conversation with one of them. Odds are they won't put on a grim face and talk about the evils of driving too fast.
    • Alternatively, you can try: "Eat your peas, Molly! You ungrateful little bitch!"
  • There's an old commercial that still plays late at night which encourages people to get tested for cancer. It would be admirable, but it features various elderly people who survived cancer — not actors. They don't even try to emote; they just squint at the camera and read off cue cards. The worst? Just imagine the following quote read in a nasally monotone by the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live:
    "Norma Ray. Breast cancer. Three years. Survivor."
  • The Australian advert for Sci Fi Original Boa is quite bizarre. All it shows is a factory at night, a guy looking at something, and a big snake. The narmy narration is apparently the result of a schizophrenic howler monkey who'd been handed various hallucinogens and a broken-down typewriter from 1935.
    Narrator: *ominously* If it had legs... maybe you could tie them together... and capture it. But it doesn't... so you can't. Boa.
    • Protip: Never argue against your own narration.
  • The ad campaign for the BIONICLE Piraka. The first ad is kinda cool, even with (or because of) Thok blowing a presumably Antidermis bubble; but as soon as the painfully gangsta announcer opens his mouth, it's hilarious. And even more hilarious is the Piraka Rap. The video isn't official, but the music is.
    • The following year, they had a promotional mini-movie for the Toa Mahri setline, in which the characters actually talked. Leading to the lines...
    Hewkii, as a giant Gadunka appears: Holy Gadunka!
    Matoro, ramming a sea-craft into it: Eat this, Gadunka!
  • War Amps, the Canadian amputee organization, had the infamous PLAYSAFE commercials staring ASTAR, a robot from Planet Danger (the planet with No OSHA Compliance). The "I can put my arm back on—you can't" line was repeatedly parodied in Canadian pop culture.
    • There's also a 90's update which takes the first one and renders it in absolutely terrible CGI, along with rendering ASTAR's voice like he had developmental disabilities.
  • Book commercials in general, or at least the ones that try to adapt the contents to live action. They're often plagued by cheesy narration over exceedingly low budget footage that make them look more like bargain-bin DVD movies than literature.
  • This Orangina ad. Before, it was simply Furry Fandom hijinks ramped Up to Eleven. But this muscled puma looks silly.
  • There's a commercial that talks about a medical service that will give you a supply of fresh, disposable catheters. The first commercial showed a woman whining that she had to boil and reuse her catheters. This is amusing until you are informed about the reality of the situation, when it becomes a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. The second was for the same service and had an old lady and a handicapped man who delivered their lines in a ridiculously fake-sounding way.
  • Some old douching commercials were so narm that they seem like parodies... [2]
  • Any attempt by ABC Family to use their slogan "A new kind of X". It gets silly. Absolutely everything has to be described this way by the network. How it began: When Disney wanted to rename the channel to "XYZ" to remarket it to a different audience, it discovered that the contracts with the cable companies required that the word "Family" stay in the channel name. Disney being Disney, it went ahead with remarketing ABC Family; "A new kind of Family" was their way of explaining what they were doing (which would eventually be like The WB of basic cable). It snowballed (snowcloned?) from there.
  • A commercial for a Time-Life documentary of Those Wacky Nazis is hard to take seriously because the voice-over announcer is attempting a terrible Don LaFontaine impression.
    • It doesn't help when the end-of-infomercial voiceover guy cheerfully pipes up to instruct you how to "order your copy of The Nazis."
  • Even good old Adbot isn't immune. Every so often, a truly groan-worthy ad will pop up on the left on the screen. Notable examples are ads like the "Are You A Vampire? Find Out Now!", "Which Naruto are you?", and, of course, the Evony ads.
    • Some advertisements consist only pictures of actual screenshots from media like Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Phineas & Ferb... with nothing else added onto them!
  • South Dakota used to have state-issued radio ads during the wintertime with dramatic, heart-pounding music that is obviously meant to be frightening and a man who sounds like Peter Thomas who drags out the words "DON'T CROWD THE PLOW" in a menacing way. It's utterly hilarious. Sadly, they've realized that and stopped playing it.
  • Ads for the NBC show The Event before it started airing. They all take the same form: "(insert random, standard plot driving event here) is not the Event. What is the Event?" with a line from the show saying "he's going to tell people about the Event." The whole thing is so overwrought and so generic that many viewers find it impossible to take seriously.
    • Even better, they strung this series of commercials out so long that some viewers were actually sick of the show before it ever hit the air.
  • There's a Nesquik advert, and the gist of it is 'kids only grow up once, enjoy it.' This would be quite touching if it weren't for the Nesquik bunny's voice. With it, the advert becomes ridiculous and seems to be trying too hard.
  • Jamster has been running these advertisements for a "Ghost Camera" for your cellphone. It starts with a voiceover of a woman showing you pictures of various locales from her European trip. She gets increasing confused and edgy from the images of "ghosts" on each of her photos, but by the third photo she freaks out and lets out one of the most unconvincing screams of terror ever. Any iota of suspense built up to that point is completely ruined and turned into narm. To give you an idea, it sounded like the voice actor just flatly read the word "Aaaaaah" aloud from the script.
  • A notorious anti-drunk driving PSA from circa 1980 with a hysterical housewife chasing after her husband shrieking, “Don't use the car! You'll kill yourself!” And here it is!
  • An ad slogan for Tyson Chicken: "It's what your family deserves."
  • The 24-hour news networks have been showing an ad by the oil companies featuring people on the street talking about taxing energy. Naturally, these people are all smarter about macroeconomics than real economists, even though all economics is inherently uncertain. And they are so not reading from teleprompters; it's just natural to talk like a fourth-grader reading from his reader (i.e., flat and pausing at awkward times).
  • The Australian Grim Reaper AIDS PSA from the 1980s. Okay, maybe it was scary back in the day, and in some aspects might still be; but the way the people are suddenly falling over when getting hit by a bowling bowl is done in the most spastic, over-the-top way ever.
  • There is a Canadian road/ambulance safety ad, which starts out with an ambulance with a patient in it and some idiot talking on his cell phone and not paying attention to the road. It's serious up until the point the guy talking on his phone crashes into the ambulance, and you see his face afterwards. It was supposed to come across as the guy feeling awful about what he did, but the Dull Surprise on his face made it look more like he was thinking "Holy shit, that was AWESOME." Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be on Youtube yet.
  • The commercials for the St. Louis and Kansas City-based Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center have become a huge joke across the state of Missouri. You've got to wonder which poor saps were stuck with composing and singing the jingle. Not to mention the whole "don't suffer in silence" thing, which is probably more appropriate for victims of domestic abuse or something along those lines, not hemorrhoids.
  • This Kay commercial features some spectacularly Bad Bad Acting, as well as the gem (no pun intended) that the cold piece of shiny metal "captures the comfort found in each other's arms."
    • Strangely, the way the woman reacted to the lightning, she acted as though she'd never seen anything brighter than a full moon, or louder than a vacuum. Not to mention - a line that is supposed to be delivered as a sweet platitude comes off more like a threat.
  • The Belfast City Council embarked on an anti-litter campaign which features pop art characters expressing horror and disgust any time their companion litters. This results in ads like a picture of a crying girl thinking, "All I did was drop my chewing gum on the ground... and now he won't speak to me!"
    • And, speaking of Our Wee Country, lest we forget the mind-meltingly narmy "Walking" PSAs that helpfully extolled the benefit of doing just that while singing about it. "Give yourself MORE ENERGY and BETTER SLEEP!"
  • The trailers for the 2011 Green Lantern movie. Dramatic music, a dying alien dramatically intoning, "Become one of us... become... a Green Lantern!" If you're not familiar with the comics, that's a pretty bizarre request to make in a dramatic scene.
  • This early '90s road safety campaign from the UK starts off dramatically but rapidly dissolves into Narm: "This child needs help! Anybody!"
  • The otherwise pretty spooky trailer for the film The Skeptic ends with an intense montage of quick clips, including two shots of people... goofily tumbling down the stairs. Obviously they're supposed to be violently falling, but both actors (especially the woman) just drew their arms in and sort of roll in an un-alarming fashion.
    • Jump scares featured in the trailer quickly become predictable when you notice that they repeatedly use a stock Scare Chord which quickly loses its scare factor.
  • There is a commercial for Montgomery's Furniture (a local furniture store in South Dakota) that basically consists of music that sounds like it should be featured in an action movie... accompanied by random shots of furniture. Yes, the commercial is trying to make furniture seem "Edgy" and "Awesome", but the commercial is just too hilariously bad for it to work.
  • One of the trailers for the 2001 remake of Thir13en Ghosts was also quite Narm-ish. It didn't give us any hints or things to look forward to about the movie; it just listed why it was rated R. Not to mention the things it was rated R for were pretty much standard fare by that point in film history. You mean to say there's an R-rated movie that has violence, nudity, and colorful metaphors? Great idea, Thir13en Ghosts, nobody's ever thought of that before.
  • This ad for a furniture shop definitely qualifies, although there's horror as well; the man's awkward, stilted dialogue, his subtle threat about your credit and the fact that he talks to mannequins are quite alarming.
  • With T-Mobile's ads about its 4G network came an ad in which a man impatiently pounds on his cellphone for the "slow 3G buffering" occurring on his screen, unable to wait a few seconds.
  • This message from PETA about animal testing. That it's from PETA should already convince you that it's narm, but just in case you need further convincing, bear in mind that it's readily apparent that this is...probably an attempt at being scary, but their wording in trying to make it seem that way just comes across as laughable. note  The following line is especially hilarious if you say it in a dramatic voice:
    They get hurt. Bad. BAD. The kind of burning, needing, fear-producing, cage-circling, screaming, SCREAMING, screaming hurt we shudder to even imagine.
    • The "Testing... 1... 2... 3" part was hilarious too.
  • You Deserve The Redshirt Treatment. Not the sort of thing you want to hear at a hospital.
  • A PSA encouraging abstinence bore the tagline "Sex lasts a moment. Being a father lasts your whole life". This was changed from the earlier tagline of "Sex lasts a minute", likely because the only reasonable response would be "Not if you're doing it right".
  • This commercial shows that you probably won't see the arresting officer coming, especially if you're wasted. Well, it shows that to a serious-minded person. To anyone else, it shows: "Oh my lord! Invisible ninja cops!"
  • ''The Finishing Line'', a railway safety film, was regarded as very scary back when it first aired in the 1970s. However, by today's standards, the bad acting, lines such as "You're like a jellian" (According to Guru Larry, a jellian is "A mop-headed child from the seventies that gives pointless strategic advice") and the Captain Obvious Aesop (Don't hold sporting events on railway lines) propel it firmly into Narm territory.
  • Have you ever read the "Urban Legend" on the side of Paul Newman Lemonade cartons? Try to do it without cringing.
  • Northern Irish presenter Julian Simmons has a tendency to deliver hilarious, ridiculous introductions to the popular soap opera Coronation Street which cross into Narm territory. He's pretty much the single reason why UTV still uses continuity announcements.
  • This Anti drug commercial, featuring what seems to be a human, female version of Humpty Dumpty.
  • "The Devil Inside" looks like a horrific movie, except for one part in the trailer where the possessed mother motions for her daughter to come closer. After a few seconds of awkward silence, she lets out a hilarious scream.
    • The TV spot shows the rather Adorkable Father Ben letting out a hilariously girly scream as well, and his facial expression doesn't help matters either.
  • This Montana Meth project video. In spades.
  • Subaru's "Keepsake" ad. There was also another advertisement from Subaru where a hip young man delivered a forlorn narration as he put his old Subaru out to pasture... Literally.
  • If you ever took swimming lessons through the American Red Cross water safety program sometime during the last two decades, chances are you were shown "Longfellow’s Whale Tales". You didn’t want to laugh, but you did anyway.
  • The TV spots for the 2012 action movie Chronicle show a character being hit by a flying bus. It's hard not to laugh at it.
    • Likewise for the scene where the kid sits cross-legged, staring into the camera with a dead serious facial expression, clenching a fist, crushing a car.
      • And the "B-BLING, B-BLING!" at the beginning.
  • A trailer for the horror film House at the End of the Street uses a "rewind" gimmick a la the Dead Island trailer, to show how fine and dandy everything started out before the horror stuff happened. A couple of shots — such as a teenager backflipping out of a swimming pool and a child flying back onto a swing — merit at least a chuckle.
  • The anti-tobacco ads running in the US qualify as Narm, if only because the ill effects shown are rarely connected to smoking, and are much too Anvilicious to be taken seriously.
  • The Above the Influence commercials, showing "testimony" from people who have refused to do drugs (or people who have stopped). The whole thing is goofy, but what really seals it is the footage of the group's Facebook page, which is littered with self-righteous comments (presumably from people who have never been around or offered drugs). It ends with a close-up of several posts, the best (funniest) being: "WE RISE ABOVE. TOGETHER" (caps included in original post).
  • The commercial for James Patterson's new novel, I, Michael Bennett, is pretty funny. It starts with a little girl asking if her dad would take a bullet for her, then cuts to a little boy asking a similar question, followed by a man awkwardly leaning toward the camera and saying, "I will," as slowly and dramatically as possible.
  • The British NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) ran a television advertisement that showed a Drill Sergeant Nasty ordering a woman to cook for him and read him stories, in imitation of a young child. It's trying to make a point that having a child can be really demanding. But the fact that a US Marine is shouting things like "Pay me attention!" and "Read me this story!" kind of ruins the effect. And then there's the ending, where the marine literally reverts back to a child while demanding water, resulting in the mom yelling "AIVEAD ENOUGH!" and charging at the poor child, before we Smash Cut to NSPCC's hotline.
  • Singapore's "Mentos National Night", urging Singaporeans to have more kids. Yes.
  • This advertisement for the Accu-Check Nano blood testing machine. The song sounds like something meant for advertising a My Little Pony doll, not a diabetes-management device.
  • The Narcotics Task Force of the New York City Housing Authority would like you to know that "smokin' crack... is like... puttin' a gun in your mouth... and pullin'... the trigger!
  • The "Think Before You Speak" commercials. Sure, the intention is good (telling people to stop using the word "gay" as an insult) but the way they go about it is pretty damn funny. Having Hilary Duff pop up and say "You shouldn't say that!" probably isn't the best way to go about it. Neither is the passive aggressive "Knock it off!" at the end.
  • An old commercial for debt recovery featured low-quality footage and Bad Bad Acting. It opens with a woman with some papers in her hands and others strewn in front of her and saying, in the blandest, most monotonous voice possible, "Bills, bills, I don't know how we're gonna pay them," then pursing her lips and shaking her head. It was very hard to take the rest of the commercial seriously after watching that.
  • The actors in this advert for The Money Shop, especially the petrol guy:
  • This Totally Radical ad from The '80s, which features two nerds rapping about The Legend of Zelda.
    Yeah, go Link yeah, get some!
  • The second ad has no painful rapping, but makes up for it by being certifiably nuts, featuring a spastic young man in what appears to be an abandoned loony bin hallucinating monsters from the game and calling out for Zelda repeatedly. Pe-pe-Peahats! For bonus geek points, horror-loving boils and ghouls may recognize the kid in the ad as none other than John Kassir, the voice of the Crypt Keeper himself!
  • An RSA ad trying to show the dangers of ignoring the stoplight on a railroad crossing featured a man performing all sorts of near misses such as getting on his crowded train just as it starts to the tune of happy music and then he crosses a railway crossing on a moped only to get hit by a train while the music is still playing and getting sent flying into the air along with the moped.
  • A DIY book commercial at one point runs down pest species you can repel with tips from the book. It inexplicably decides to show this by pasting up a picture of a screaming child's face with wasps photoshopped onto him.
  • In the mid-90's, Duncan Yo-Yo (like just about everybody marketing to kids at the time) tried to make their commercials hipper and more modern by depicting a stereotypical "cool kid" enthusiastically playing with a yo-yo, while comparing him to a Hollywood Nerd sitting at home playing... a Sega Genesis with Atari 2600 sound effects. As if that (both the whole comparison and its execution) wasn't crazy enough, the ad ended with this classic line: "You want speed, action and excitement? GET A YO-YO!!!"
  • Another 90's toy commercial: A board game called Ask Zendar. During the ad, one of the players asks the plastic toy in the center "Am I going to the prom with a geek?"
  • This British road safety ad, where a man appears to be using a dead kid as a draught excluder.
  • This TCF bank commercial with polka dancers and a singer on an accordion. The narm should speak for itself.
  • This "End The R-Word" PSA is no doubt well-meaning, but its comparison to other slurs comes across as amusing when the site it's posted on is one where all those other slurs are popular as well.
  • Everyone knows you're not supposed to use your phone during a movie, making this video's annoying and condescending tone all the more grating. Apparently, there's no technology in movie theaters... or something. And this plays before every movie at a Cinemark theater. If you go to a place where the local movie theater is a Cinemark, expect anyone who goes to the movies regularly to have this memorized by heart.
  • This really goofy MPAA rating PSA depicts the ratings as different beings (i.e.: G is a teddy bear, PG-13 is a superhero, R is a soldier and NC-17 is a Fanservice-ish lady) getting dropped off from a bus at certain places.
  • This NPD (German neonazi party) ad from 2012. Content: Three industrious German dwarfs find some gold during digging, "Aah" and "Ooh" about it - but then some sleazy Ambiguously Jewish (or foreign) guy enters the stage and takes the poor dwarves' gold away, just like that. Fortunately, the NPD guy on a horse (yes) enters the scene to kick his ass (offscreen) and bring justice.
  • This UK Iceland advert circa Christmas 2009. The whole thing qualifies.
  • This Anti Crack PSA is part of Jeffrey Witotsky's mid to late 1980s series of anti drug spots. While the others in the series were obviously going for cheesy cinematics, this one simply has a spokesperson who appears to be imitating Christopher Walken's intense style of delivery. Very badly.
  • Christine O'Donnell's infamous "I'm You" political ad. Even if you know the reason behind the statement, it's hard to take anything she says seriously when she starts off by informing the viewer "I'm not a witch." Saturday Night Live summed it up well in their parody of the ad:
    Isn't that what the people of Delaware deserve? A candidate who promises first and foremost that she's not a witch? That's the kind of candidate this country hasn't had since 1692.
  • An anti-smoking PSA that states that "cigarettes are bullies". The statement itself is pretty ridiculous because you know cigarettes aren't animate. But the PSA doesn't stop there. It features a itty bitty schlubby looking man that is meant to be an anthropomorphization of a cigarette that seems to have 10 times his own strength. The PSA ends with a narration spoken in a deathly serious voice that doesn't seem to fit because the ridiculousness of the whole commercial. One can't help but feel like the people who came up with this ad thought that it was clever but it's all really silly.
  • This trailer for RPG Maker VX has some truly awful lines such as "Wow! Check this out! Pixel art is awesome!"
  • Principal Wilson has an epic breakdown over someone parking in his spot.
  • This PSA for Michael Bloomberg's gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. We have a crazed, armed ex-husband banging on his ex-wife's door as she is on the phone with the police explaining that he is outside and has a restraining order against him. As she continues to speak he finally breaks in the door and a brief fight ensues. Finally he grabs her son, points the gun in her face, and a gunshot is heard as the screen fades to black. Even though this ad is being used to push Bloomberg's gun control agenda, gun rights advocates and Conservatives were quick to notice the exact situation in the ad actually pushes the message as to why women should be armed and trained how to use a firearm—She followed the exact protocol "gun grabber" advocates wanted her to follow but still wound up shot dead!
  • Remember that horrific Northern Irish drink-driving PIF in which a car smashes through a garden fence and crushes a young child? In 2014, the DOE decided to ramp this concept Up to Eleven with this PIF, in which a speeding driver loses control of his car and rips through a hedge, killing an entire class of schoolchildren. It's too over the top to take seriously, and, in contrast to the earlier one, there is no blood or injury detail. None. The ad was meant to convey the fact that 28 children (roughly the size of a primary school class) have been killed by speeding drivers since 2000. But surely there are better ways of illustrating that?
  • In 2014, Arby's introduced a new slogan. "ARBY'S: WE HAVE THE MEATS." Obviously this includes a rather healthy serving of ham.
    • This one in particular takes it even further over the top. "Do the meats scare you? Are you intimidated by the meats?"
  • Whilst I imagine none of the men in the audience have ever found these funny; a lot of women tend to find tampon adverts unintentionally hilarious. There are quite a few that try to claim that their product is so amazing, stress-free and revolutionary that after using it you will like nothing more than to go roller-skating or rock climbing or dancing in a packed nightclub (and more often than not whilst wearing a huge contented grin upon your face.) What makes this scenario so funny is that A) Tampons have historically never lived up to their claims and B) They fail to take into account that its far more likely to be the cramps and the aching muscles that stop you from enjoying yourself on a period rather than your lack of a God-like tampon that can solve all of your worldly problems for you.
  • Value Village is a Canadian chain of second-hand stores that were once infamous for selling clothes that were clearly gotten rid of for a reason, and not just for being several years out of style but also for things like visible threadbare patches or stains, because they would literally accept all donations and actually attempted to sell them. At the height of this infamy, it released a commercial wherein shoppers would gleefully proclaim "Funky!" "Bargains!" "Value Village is stylin'!" (said by a young woman who was dressed like she was in a Tiffany video) or a little girl, holding up a piece of clothing that her grandmother might wear, and proclaiming "excellent" as though heavily sedated).
  • If you thought Bloomberg's anti-gun PSA was bad check out This one put out by a California Gun Control group. Here, a kid literally steals his mom's gun from her dresser and places it in his backpack. At the end of the school day he places the gun on his teacher's desk and asks "Can you take this away? I don't feel safe with it around my house." The screen fades to black before we see the kid getting arrested for crimes including carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds and conspiracy to commit a felony. Not to mention that the gunman in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting did so by stealing his mother's gun and bringing it to a school.
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special is generally considered either narm or too awful to even be considered narm. However, the commercials that were preserved on some bootlegs of the special are narm in their purest form. Highlights include:
  • This short bus safety PSA from the 90s informs kids that "It's very cool to follow the rules."
  • A possibly intentional example with the Perfect Bacon Bowl. The over-the-top singing, overwrought reactions to people eating it, the general presentation of it as if were the most epic thing known to man. Just all of it.
  • This SPCA ad, which was listed under "Isn't It Ironic?" because of its song choice. As one YouTube commenter put it, "This is so close to satire it's ridiculous. Why do all the animals look like they're going to cry? Why does the voice over sound like she's going to cry? I feel like there should be a kitten at the end of the video with a cg mouth that asks, 'Are you going to let the bad people kill me, mister? I just want to wuv you...'"