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Top 10 turkeys of 2015

From Protein World to the Conservative Party, these ads were the biggest flops in 2015.

1. Protein World ‘are you beach body ready?’ by Protein World

Is your body worthy of a bikini? That’s more or less what Protein World asked consumers earlier this year, encouraging them to pursue the perfect body instead of the perfect diet. In the same year that Sport England brilliantly put ordinary women working out at the centre of its campaign, Protein World instead opted shallowly to exalt the kind of body really only masters of Photoshop can acquire. The company no doubt accomplished what it set out to achieve by raising brand awareness through the roof but marked itself out as having no social conscience and little concern for its consumers. Who was it that said all publicity is good publicity?

2. Hyundai ‘you couldn’t live without this, girl’ by Red Bee Media

We now know how Malcolm McDowell’s character must have felt after being forced to watch violent scenes as part of his aversion therapy in A Clockwork Orange. The bad, bad acting and desperately unfunny gags make this a long old five minutes, as Kelly Brook and Tom Stourton (a comic, apparently) play a bickering couple in the market for a Hyundai. Brook pretending to blow her brains out and the suggestion that the boot is roomy enough to fit Stourton’s "dead carcass" add an unexpected dimension to proceedings. 

3. Lil-Lets ‘TOWIE’ by Leagas Delaney

Campaign is still cringing at this one featuring Ferne McCann and Lydia Bright from The Only Way Is Essex talking about a tampon in a nightclub toilet cubicle. With lines such as "It’s a grower, not a shower" and "This is nice and girthy, babes", it’s a mixture of dreadful acting and even worse innuendos. Forgive us for not going to SmartFit.com to find out how the action continues. 

4. Johnnie Walker ‘the gentleman’s wager: II’ by Jake Scott

What a disappointment. At a quarter-of-an-hour long, the follow-up to "the gentleman’s wager" is a whole load of Jude Law, but not even he can save this bad script. It’s all rather dull, and that animated part in the middle is as out of place as a whisky bottle in a nursery. It would probably have been better for all concerned – well, apart for Law’s bank manager (did his client charge by the minute?) – had the gentlemen settled up after part one. 

5. Tesco ‘Christmas ad series’ by Bartle Bogle Hegarty

More celebrities – there’s a theme emerging here. The spots in the main campaign were bad enough but Bartle Bogle Hegarty managed to lower the standard even further with this year’s Christmas ads. The cringe dial is again turned up to 11 as Ruth Jones and Ben Miller fail to keep their frankly menacing son in check. What a shame because there is a lot at stake for Tesco: this campaign was supposed to show that the supermarket is turning itself around.

6. McCoy’s ‘go bold’ by BMB

A burly man has an unfortunate episode in a petrol station after clapping eyes on a packet of McCoy’s, freaking out fellow customers with his animated rendition of Ghost by Ella Henderson. The ad encourages men to "go bold" and ditch traditional views of masculinity, but Campaign remains unconvinced that appalling loud singing and equally abysmal dancing in public is the way to go about it. Besides, hasn’t this been done better by Moneysupermarket.com, Foster’s and John Smith’s?

7. Airbnb ‘is mankind?’ by TBWA\Chiat\Day 

Airbnb went a bit over the top in this campaign. The holiday-rental site wanted to create a debate about goodwill among men but just came across as pretentious. A voiceover encourages people to find out whether humans are kind as a baby walks towards a door. Why? Well, you see: Airbnb believes it helps people feel welcome anywhere in the world because of the "human kindness found in our community". The spot loses points for failing to even try to explain what the company does. 

8. Etihad Airways ‘flying reimagined’ by M&C Saatchi

Another pretentious ad – and the celebrity curse strikes again. It’s Nicole Kidman this time, showing off how supposedly amazing Etihad Airways is – apparently, the carrier does not "improve on what has been done but totally reimagines it". Would someone please pass the sick bag (bet you can’t find one of those on an Etihad plane). 

9. Diet Coke ‘regret nothing’ by BETC London

It’s unclear what regret has to do with drinking Diet Coke (maybe when there’s some vodka in it), let alone why a can would encourage a woman to follow a man to another country. The bad lip-syncing at the end just adds to the confusion. Makes you hanker after the hunk – which can’t be a good thing. 

10. Conservative Party ‘road to recovery’ by the Conservative Party

The Conservatives made a schoolboy error by featuring a German road on its 2015 general election campaign poster. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement of those charged with making the big decisions when they can’t even get small things right (unless, of course, it was a deliberate nod to Germany’s "stronger economy"). No wonder the Tories turned to long-time partners M&C Saatchi later in the campaign.

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