The 5 Cringiest Uni Ads

AFS Team·13 August 2015·6 min read
The 5 Cringiest Uni Ads

If you didn’t get the results you wanted today you may feel like a desperate ex trying to get somebody to take you back after a breakup with all the desperate phone calls you have to make.

But this isn’t a one way street – more than ever unis are desperate to attract students, with a record number of places being offered. In their efforts to hoover up as many potential students as possible, some unis have even gone so far as to produce adverts to woo more wide-eyed school leavers, and, as you can expect, most of them are as cool as your dad on Snapchat.

Ranging from the outright patronising to the educational equivalent of John Cusack stood outside your window with a boombox, these videos are all united in two things – they really, really want you to go to their university, and they are almost unbearably cringey. Let’s get wincing.

1. Birmingham

This advert from the University of Birmingham, while not nearly the cringiest, is weirdly disconcerting. The constant references to ‘Your Name’ (i.e. you, the person watching it) start to feel like a particularly unsettling episode of Black Mirror by the video’s end. When the pretend news presenter begins directly addressing you, it becomes seriously weird, and you feel like you’ve been indoctrinated into some kind of bizarre cult. Perhaps the money spent on this video could have been put to better use, by which we mean used for literally anything else.

Best Bit: The girl at 0:33 sounds exactly like Merry from Peep Show.

2. De Montfort University

This advert is filled with so much hot air De Montfort might as well start offering a course in ballooning. Looking more like a montage of William Gibson’s Pinterest rather than an ad for the 54th best university in the UK, this video is all flashing lights, hi-tech, and hilariously straight-faced voiceover. Robot eyes! Microchips! Videogames! Babies! It has everything you could ever want!

‘The world is standing on a razor’s edge,’ declares the ad, and apparently we can fix that by going to De Montfort and learning to design… shoes? Whatever you say, De Montfort. Whatever you say.

Best Bit: The dancer at 0:22. It starts off pretty normal, but they zoom in and she’s got some weird hi-tech speaker sewn into here. What the hell have they been getting up to in the DMU labs?

3. Sunderland

Are you an idiot? Probably not. You’re most likely either at uni or about to be, which is generally an indication that you are not, in fact, an idiot. Well, just in case you are an idiot, Sunderland has mustered their animational might to produce this guide to clearing, which seems to suggest that they think you are as intelligent as the average seagull. A voiceless bird with cold, blank eyes is apparently the best anthropomorphic stand-in for your average 18 year old. The cooing, pre-school teacher voiceover just adds to the air of condescension.

Thanks for believing in us, Sunderland. Thanks a bunch.

Best Bit: The seagull's eyes at 0:12. Apparently meant to represent fear, instead they are just terrifying, swirling orbs. When he turns to face the camera, it is as though he is peering into your very soul.

4. Chester

Did you know that #hashtags are totally a #thing #right #now? Chester knows, unfortunately. Somebody in their marketing department heard that all the kids are using these new-fangled social medias they have now, and suggested that Chester should probably try and do that or something. ‘Great,’ replied their office in unison, ‘that sounds like a good idea.’ This video is full of definitely real tweets from people who are definitely not just made up, and might as well have just been a 2 minute video with somebody shouting ‘You are an idiotic narcissist’ at the viewer. Instead Chester chose to make this masterpiece, replete with Instagram style filters over what are certainly not just stock photos. Honest.

Best Bit: What could it be other than 0:21. ‘Lovely chester uni at dinner #yummy #beans’. There are no words to adequately describe this.

5. Lougborough

The pièce de résistance, the crème de la crème – Lougborough Students’ Union’s video has, quite rightly, caused columnists to ponder whether it is, in fact, the worst YouTube video ever. There have since been attempts to bring down the video for it’s audio track, a horrendous ‘parody’ of La La La by Naughty Boy, but, like The Thing, a famously awful YouTube video is all but impossible to destroy. By the end of the excruciating three minutes and fifty seconds of this video, however, we guarantee you’ll be screaming ‘Kill it with fire!’ at your screen.

Our boundless respect goes to anyone who can make it the whole way through.

Best Bit: ‘Best’ might be the wrong word. 2:22 is more like a horrible parasite clinging to your brain. We guarantee you’ll have ‘L-S L-L-L-L-L-L-S-U’ echoing round your mind for days on end.

For more of the cringiest uni ads, head over to The Tab.