#FakeTradie v Stoner Sloth: which bad ad achieved the biggest social buzz?

A Version of this article original appeared in mUmbrella June 25, 2016

A new contender has just hit social media, battling for most talked-about bad ad to air on Australian TV in recent memory.

Certainly the best of the worst from the Federal election so far (step up your game Shorten!)

He may or may not be a steel worker but his high-vis is certainly getting some high visibility. The new Liberal Party election attack ad went viral this week for all the wrong reasons.

Dubbed #FakeTradie by the Twitterati — who quickly pointed out that the grip on his coffee mug is totally wrong and the saw-stool is set up outside the fencing of the construction area. Where the hell is the OHS rep?

As it turns out, he might actually be a real tradie but he’s also real shit at delivering his lines.

Similarly, last December an ad went viral like a bad rash. You may remember the awkwardly groaning hairy abomination Stoner Sloth, who taught kids that smoking marijuana will lead to salt/salad confusion at the dinner table.

Both of these are great examples of authority figures missing their mark with poor creative communication to their intended audience, instead producing social media mascots for cringiness.

Like a b-grade movie. So bad, they’re good.

Using Crimson Hexagon’s buzz analysis we wanted to see who wins the title of Best Bad Ad. Apt timing, with the Cannes Lion festival paying homage to the best in advertising right now, we are here to award the worse.

So here’s our side by side analysis from the first 3 days of these trending topics.

Fake Tradie started trending on the 18th June 2016, and Stoner Sloth on the 18th December 2015.

Fake Tradie blew up on Twitter, which is reflected in the Crimson Hexagon data. Stoner Sloth featured heavily on Twitter, and went international on Tumblr — being reshared thousands of times on the blogging platform.

Below you can see how the conversation was structured, with Fake Tradie generating discussion around Negative Gearing (hands off his investment property!) and outcry from “Real Tradies”. Stoner Sloth immediately got parodied and mocked, and plenty of mention of it being a big fail for anti-drug campaigners in NSW.

National Epidemic Or Global Pandemic?

Which of these viral bad ads suffered the most mockery abroad?

Crimson segmented up the available geo-data and below are the top countries where the conversation trend spread to.

International Virality Award goes to: Stoner Sloth!

Stoner Sloth showed a strong presence in both the USA and UK. He got around fast for a stoner.

Ok, but who generated the most buzz to take out the crown?

The fired-up ocker Aussie or the mammal with the munchies?

Below we can see the conversation volume over the 3 day period. Both peaking in the second day of their social fame. Fake Tradie peaked strongly at 40k+ posts at it’s peak, but Stoner Sloth was more spread out over the period with the conversation staying strong for days afterwards.

And, the winner of Most Viral Bad Ad goes to…

Share of Voice


We raise our blue coffee mugs to you, and contrived Aussie Battlers like you, everywhere!

Brodie Evans
Social Analyst