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Ricky Gervais’ hilariously honest Optus ad

Advertisements aren’t always honest, but that can’t be said for a series of ads from Australian cable company Optus which star cheeky British comedian Ricky Gervais. Optus enlisted Gervais to be honest and upfront in promoting Netflix coming to Australia - and that’s exactly what he did.

Watch Gervais admit “I’ve never heard of Optus.”

He shills his series Derek, while mentioning it’s Emmy and Golden Globe nominated, with said awards in hand.

Here he is again listing all the projects he’s in which just so happen to be streaming on Netflix.

“I’m Ricky Gervais, and I have five seconds before you skip ad, don’t skip ad,” Gervais tells viewers in the most aware of the five spots. Eventually honesty seeps through, as he admits “skip ad, I don’t care, you’re probably watching something illegal on YouTube anyway, you disgust me,” as he gives one of his trademark shrugs.

The final spot just has Gervais flubbing lines, laughing and being charming - and it works.

Optus did very well in getting Gervais, giving him a “shedload” of cash, and let him do his own thing - I mean, what are the chances anybody is even talking about Optus without these ads? it’s very effective. We often see celebrities joylessly reading off of scripts when doing averts, but Optus knows any time Gervais goes off the cuff, it’s going to draw a lot of attention. This anti-ad of sorts works, and makes for a well done series of commercials.

Liam McGuire

About Liam McGuire

Liam is a contributor to Awful Advertisements. He currently works for TSN 1050 Radio and is based out of Toronto. He has written for, Sportsnet, The Faceoff Circle and other media outlets.