The WORST Episodes of Gruen

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Network: ABC (AU)

Gruen is about advertising, how it works, and how it works on us. It decodes and defuses the commercial messages that swirl through our lives, with the help of a panel of ad industry experts. It's the show that tracks advertising almost as closely as advertising tracks you!

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Condoms, Swearing and Neural Mapping

#1 - Condoms, Swearing and Neural Mapping

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 24, 2011

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Snack Bars, Facebook and KFC

#2 - Snack Bars, Facebook and KFC

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 31, 2011

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Hair Products, Privatize the ABC, Gaming (Advo Gaming)

#3 - Hair Products, Privatize the ABC, Gaming (Advo Gaming)

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Sep 14, 2011

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Sports Betting, Politician Payrises, Digital Product Placement

#4 - Sports Betting, Politician Payrises, Digital Product Placement

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Sep 21, 2011

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Red Bull & Felix Baumgartner

#5 - Red Bull & Felix Baumgartner

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 24, 2012

Fearless Felix – Last week, Felix Baumgartner jumped from 39 kilometres above the earth, breaking the speed of sound and various records on his way down. For sponsor Red Bull, it was the culmination of a seven year project. Why does Red Bull want to own the extreme? And what if Felix had died? Also, ABC Promos – are TV networks brands or just buttons on the remote? What do all those ABC bubbles mean? Ten, seriously?

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Directors: Mark Fitzgerald
Writers:
Newspapers

#6 - Newspapers

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Oct 17, 2012

How Do You Sell Newspapers – The panel looks at the challenges involved in selling a product many people think is dying. What were the values of the newspaper brand in earlier decades and what do they have left to sell? We also look at Shoppable Movies – Target USA has just released Falling For You, an online romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell, written and directed by Mad Men alumni. Viewers can click on hundreds of products in the movie, ordering them while they watch. What does this mean for advertising? And retail?

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Directors: Mark Fitzgerald
Writers:
IheartRine...

#7 - IheartRine...

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 12, 2012

The Gruen team looks at Gina Rinehart’s video address to her loyal subjects, asking the question: if money talks, then why is Gina? And can a woman who earned $20billion last year really argue our economy isn’t working? We also look at kids with webcams, another of marketing’s bold, new frontiers. Spin Cycle counts down three of our favourite recent attempts to catch a headline. This week’s nominees: Channel Nine, the Paralympics and the Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace.

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Prince Harry - Chickens - Female Insecurity

#8 - Prince Harry - Chickens - Female Insecurity

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 9, 2013

This week, we rake over the coals of England’s most famous Harry. No, not Harry Styles. Prince Harry of Wales, who was here on the weekend for the shortest ever royal visit. We also spend some time with chickens, show the worst endorsement ever by a famous painter, find out what North Koreans watch on TV and wonder why so many ads play on female bodily insecurities, while so few play on male ones.

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Beer - Tea - Bangladesh Clothing

#9 - Beer - Tea - Bangladesh Clothing

Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 23, 2013

On Gruen Planet this week, the amber fluid, beer. Despite a decade of big budget, over the top ads, Australian beer consumption is at a 66 year low. What if all those commercials, regularly voted as among the world’s best, actually failed? And what can the industry’s marketers do to turn the situation around? Also, six months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza clothing factory in Bangladesh, we look at the ways brands respond to that kind of crisis. Is it better to go public or stay silent? Will the Australian consumer value low prices more than human life?

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Uber

#10 - Uber

Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 16, 2015

This week the panel looks at the rise of one brand, & the fall of another; controversial car-sharing app Uber; & cheating website Ashley Madison. Can an ad agency convince us we need a home grown royal family?

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Aldi

#11 - Aldi

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 23, 2015

Brands love to be loved, but the far stranger phenomenon is when people really love brands. Enter Aldi. How does an airline advertise? Can two agencies convince us that the great Australian dream is NOT owning a home?

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Footy Finals

#12 - Footy Finals

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 7, 2015

Gruen examines the ad breaks in the footy grand finals. Who exactly is being sold to and what's the value of being a major sponsor? Plus ad agency DDB takes the competition in house in a pitch challenge to ban divorce.

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Anti-Advertising & Domestic Violence

#13 - Anti-Advertising & Domestic Violence

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 14, 2015

The team deconstructs the latest advertising trend: anti-advertising. And they take a look at the communication around the issue of domestic and family violence including a recent ad targeted at teens.

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Toilet Paper

#14 - Toilet Paper

Season 7 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 21, 2015

We look at toilet paper ads to ask why something white, square & occasionally embossed sells itself using puppies & kids; YouTube pre-rolls; & a Pitch to convince us that Australia should manufacture nuclear weapons.

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Christmas Advertising

#15 - Christmas Advertising

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 11, 2015

In the final Gruen of the year, Will, Todd & Russel unwrap some Christmas ads & look at one of our favourite ads of the year. Two agencies show us that wrinkles can be sexy. Guest panelists: Milla McPhee & Claire Salvetti.

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At Home With Julia, Footballers as People, Patriotism

#16 - At Home With Julia, Footballers as People, Patriotism

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Sep 28, 2011

On the very first episode of Planet, we unpick the messaging around: the only leader on Earth more besieged than Gaddafi ... our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Is there any hope for the PM? How would our Gruen communication specialists reposition her? Will an appearance on Junior Masterchef help? Or is she a Dead Woman Walking? SABMiller’s $12.3 billion purchase of Fosters. How do you sell Aussie beers that are no longer Aussie? How do you manage the public and media blacklash? Do brands really need to worry about patriotism? THE PITCH. In Grand Final week for the NRL and AFL, with the atrocities of mad Monday just around the corner, we’ve asked our agencies to come up with a campaign to convince Australians that we should stop expecting our footballers to be role models. Blackbocks (Adelaide) Vs Cooch (Perth) SPIN CYCLE. We look at three recent attempts to sell us a product, service, person or idea and nominate a winner. Who will it be?

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Crisis Control, Rupert Murdoch, Pinktober

#17 - Crisis Control, Rupert Murdoch, Pinktober

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 5, 2011

This week, Team Gruen destructs; Crisis Management. A very recent example of what looks like a textbook PR disaster. Last week, a Melbourne woman claimed she was bullied and ridiculed in a retail store by a shop assistant. She complained to the company, who went even further in an over-the-top, abusive email. Unsurprisingly, the shopper posted the correspondence online and it went viral, trending worldwide. She ended up on current affairs shows, along with the company spokesman, who threw more fuel onto the fire by defending the company's position. As a result, the store got maximum exposure, but is all PR good PR? Pinktober. Pink lollies, pink windscreen wipers, pink copy paper, pink footies... The panel looks at the 'pinking' of products l in the name of Cause Related Marketing. Breast Cancer Awareness is a great cause, but are some cashing in on it? The Pitch. What happens when your name is your brand and that name has become, well, a little bit toxic. We've challenged our agencies to come up with a campaign to re-establish "Murdoch as a name everyone can trust."

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Death Threats, Tasmanian Off Shore Processing, Apple Inc

#18 - Death Threats, Tasmanian Off Shore Processing, Apple Inc

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Oct 12, 2011

Wil Anderson, Russel Howcroft (GPYR) and Todd Sampson (Leo Burnett) give a big Gruen welcome to two debutantes – corporate image specialist Tim Allerton (City Public Relations) who has worked with Kerry Stokes and Russell Crowe and Suzy Yates, who has 15 years experiencing working with Sydney Airport and Bing Lee. This week, in Crisis Management, we’ll ask how a death threat could possibly be good PR. Someone at Qantas thought it could be, because the airline released a story to News Ltd newspapers about death threats to senior executives. A photo shoot was done to accompany the story. Radio and television interviews followed when it broke. But what kind of strategy was behind the decision to go public? In How Do You Sell, we’ll ask the question on the lips of many markets: what will this week’s death of Steve Jobs mean to Brand Apple. And during the Spin Cycle, we’ll count down and celebrate three tragically naked attempts to grab our attention this week. The Pitch. Two competing ad agencies come up with a campaign, on behalf of the Tasmania government to convince us to move all our refugee processing and detention to the Apple Isle. We welcome ABT and Sputnik to centre stage.

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Royal Family, Kwantas, Vodafone and Egypt

#19 - Royal Family, Kwantas, Vodafone and Egypt

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Oct 19, 2011

In the Gruen spin class this week, Wil Anderson is joined by Todd Sampson (Leo Burnett), Russel Howcroft (Y&R Group), Anthony McClellan (AMC Media) and Anouk Darling (Moon Communications). GOD SAVE THE ROYALS As the Queen touches down on Australian soil on Wednesday, we take a gander at Brand Royal 2011. After taking a battering in recent times, William & Kate’s wedding returned some of the shine to the family. The Royals exist in an uneasy truce with commerce, seen to be above petty money-making, yet locked in a dance with all kinds of brands and charities. And with support for the monarchy drifting upwards again, what does this visit mean for the Republicans? CRISIS MANAGEMENT This week, ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s released a statement supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement, despite the fact that the company is owned by Unilever, the kind of multi-national corporation the protesters were demonstrating against. We look at the pros and cons of brands trying to associate themselves with social and political revolution. SPIN CYCLE A countdown of three of the dodgiest, attention-grabbing publicity stunts from around the world. THE PITCH This week, we challenge our agencies to come up with a campaign for a fictitious client, Australia’s number one airline, Kwantas: The Flying wallaby. The ad has to sell the idea that moving airline operations offshore is the patriotic thing to do. Make Vs Thinkbone.

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Spring Racing Carnival, Betting, Hungry Jacks

#20 - Spring Racing Carnival, Betting, Hungry Jacks

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Oct 26, 2011

What do Joan Collins, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dame Nellie Melba, Carson Kressley, Jean Shrimpton and Snoop Dog all have in common? They’ve all been on the celebrity guest list at Flemington. How much do companies pay for their attendance? What are the responsibilities of a good tent guest? And the question of everyone’s lips, will Leo, Shane and Liz turn up this season? On the Spin Cycle this week, we look at the marriage of death and publicity. From the World of Advertising and image control, The Renovators will look at Hungry Jacks: new burgers, new slogan, new healthier repositioning. From next year, in NSW it will be mandatory to include kilojoule counts on fast food menus. Last week, Hungry Jacks got in early, the first chain to roll out the changes. What’s the value of that in PR terms? Is it possible to sell the Ultimate Double Whopper, voted the unhealthiest fast food in Australia, alongside plastic cups of raw vegetables? And on The Pitch, returning to the racing theme, a campaign to convince Australians to ignore the Melbourne Cup. Braincells Vs sense.

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Qantas, Kevin Rudd, Occupy Wall St

#21 - Qantas, Kevin Rudd, Occupy Wall St

Season 4 - Episode 14 - Aired Nov 2, 2011

Wil Anderson,Todd Sampson (Leo Burnett) and Russel Howcroft (Y&R Group) are joined again by City Public Relations’ Tim Allerton and for the first time, Rebecca Huntley (Ipsos-McKay), one of Australia’s most respected social analysts. On Crisis Management this week, we again turn our attention to the airline that stopped the nation. Qantas stranded an estimated 70,000 passengers on Saturday and upset many thousands more after management grounded its entire fleet. Even those of us who have always loved the airline are now wondering how we got into this damaging relationship. How will Qantas now rebuild its brand internationally and at home? And if this was a calculated strategy by the board, why confirm Alan Joyce’s huge pay increase two days prior? On Spin Cycle we count down this week’s shameless attention-seeking stunts. They involve a supermarket, a whale and a “celebrity”. A couple of weeks ago, we spoke about brands exploiting the Arab Spring. This week we look at the marketing and branding that has sprung up during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Millionaire celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon. How effective is that wattage of star-power to the cause? On The Pitch this week – a Twilight Zone hypothetical. It couldn’t happen ... or could it? Imagine Julia Gillard has been deposed and Kevin Rudd restored as Prime Minister and leader of the Labor Party. That’s right, a guy disliked by the public, with so few friends in his own party that they ditched him. Our agencies have to come up with a convincing ad to kick off his re-election campaign... Oddfellows Vs. Convert

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Mining, Pokies in Public Places, Kim Kardashian

#22 - Mining, Pokies in Public Places, Kim Kardashian

Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired Nov 9, 2011

Joining Russel Howcroft (Y&R Group) and Todd Sampson (Leo Burnett) for a rigorous Gruen spin class this week are self-described marketing bloke and occasional propagandist Toby Ralph, and a PR veteran of 15 years, Suzy Yates. On the Renovators this week, we look at the ways mining companies try to make us love them. With the watered-down mining tax legislation expected to get through parliament this week, we ask why these companies are still trying to win our hearts and minds. Is their investment in local communities just a diversion, to distract us from their mega- profits? And as ‘global warming’ became the softer sounding ‘climate change’, can the mining companies substitute ‘fracking’ with the gentler ‘seam stimulation’? Oh, and one last thing, what do you do when Alan Jones decides to attack you? On How Do You Sell...The PR cyclone Kim Kardashian and sister Khloe whipped through Sydney last week. How has this LA reality TV family managed to create an empire that turned over $70 million last year? Everyone bitches that she’s famous for absolutely nothing, but that fame just grows and grows. What is the need in us that Kim answers? On The Pitch, we ask our agencies to help an industry under threat. If you believe Clubs Australia, new poker machine laws will ruin this country. So to help the industry, we’ve asked our agencies to come up with a campaign to convince Australians to free the pokies from restrictive club environments and let them find new markets in shops, schools, waiting rooms. wherever… Jack Watts Currie Vs DraftFCB

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Golf, Cancel Xmas, Religions

#23 - Golf, Cancel Xmas, Religions

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Nov 16, 2011

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Wine & Piracy

#24 - Wine & Piracy

Season 9 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 1, 2017

Uncorking the marketing successes and failures of the six billion dollar Australian wine industry. A Pitch to convince parents not to have kids. A new push against piracy. Plus more ads from the vault labelled 'never again'.

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1 votes
Mattresses & Animal Rights

#25 - Mattresses & Animal Rights

Season 10 - Episode 5 - Aired May 30, 2018

This week on Gruen, we pull back the covers on mattresses and find out how sleep is being sold and disrupted. A confronting animal rights campaign. Plus a Pitch to reposition the art of cheating.

star 6.00
2 votes