Top 10 TV and cinema ads of 2015

From Moneysupermarket.com's "epic strut" to Sport England's "this girl can", the TV and cinema ads that stood out in 2015

Sport England's "this girl can" by FCB Inferno
Sport England's "this girl can" by FCB Inferno

1. Moneysupermarket.com ‘epic strut’ 

It’s difficult to keep innovating when you are working to a returning formula. But with the "epic strut" spot, Mother arguably created the best ad of its ongoing "you’re so Moneysupermarket" campaign – four-and-a-half years in. The casting of Dave and his delicious bottom, matched with tight denim shorts, killer heels and a bootylicious walk as he strutted through Los Angeles, made for a brilliantly fun and memorable ad.

Agency: Mother
Creatives: Mother
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production company: Sonny London

2. Sport England ‘this girl can’ 

After research found that two million more males played sport regularly than females in the 14-40 age group, Sport England appointed FCB Inferno to help encourage women and teenage girls to do more exercise. The resulting spot, expertly directed by Kim Gehrig and set to Missy Elliott’s Get Your Freak On, shows women of all sizes and races proudly getting hot and sweaty.

Agency: FCB Inferno 
Creatives: Raymond Chan, Simon Cenamor
Director: Kim Gehrig 
Production company: Somesuch

3. Sainsbury’s ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ 

Sainsbury’s is gaining a reputation for notable Christmas campaigns. After last year’s effort with The Royal British Legion, the supermarket is "being good" again through a partnership with Save the Children to get kids reading. Judith Kerr wrote a new story for the partnership, which was made into a charming three-and-a-half-minute film animated by Framestore.

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Creatives: Adrian Rossi, Alex Grieve
Director: James Rouse
Production company: Outsider

4. HSBC ‘lift’ 

In an attempt to demonstrate the ups and downs through which HSBC will support its commercial banking customers, Grey London created this spot set entirely in a lift. It portrays a man’s company growing over 40 years through the happenings in the lift, from birthday parties to office romances to foreign investors. The ad was part of the bank’s "it’s never just business" campaign, which kicked off in 2014.

Agency: Grey London
Creatives: Jamie Starbuck, Theo Bayani, Miguel Gonzalez
Director: Gary Freedman 
Production company: Independent

5. Currys PC World ‘spare the act’ 

A number of brands decided to use the idea of people being disappointed with their presents for their Christmas ad this year. The best of the lot (Harvey Nichols included) was Currys PC World with films featuring Jeff Goldblum. In the humorous ads, Goldblum teaches people how to act grateful for the crap prezzies they have just opened. 

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Creatives: Mike Sutherland, Antony Nelson
Director: David Shane
Production company: O Positive

6. Warburtons ‘The Giant Crumpet Show’

It was a tough second-album situation for WCRS after getting Sly Stallone to play a Bolton baker action hero for a spot earlier in the year. But who better to turn to for Warburtons’ new ad promoting its Giant Crumpets than The Muppets? In the spot, Kermit the Frog approaches Jonathan Warburton with an idea for a new programme, The Giant Crumpet Show, with very entertaining results.

Agency: WCRS
Creatives: Andy Lee, Jonny Porthouse
Directors: Crash Davenport, Declan Lowney
Production companies: Another Film Company, Soapbox Films

7. John Lewis ‘man on the moon’

John Lewis’ Christmas ads are a staple of this list. And Middle England’s favourite department store delivered again in 2015. This year, the retailer released a spot featuring a little girl trying to communicate with a man on the moon. When Christmas arrives, she sends the man a telescope, via balloons, so he can keep an eye on activities back on Earth.

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB
Creatives: Miles Carter, Sophie Knox
Director: Kim Gehrig
Production company: Somesuch

8. Finish ‘dishes’ 

Washing brands tend to play pretty safe with their ads. So all credit to Wieden & Kennedy for holding RB’s hand to create this ad for Finish. The spot portrays people dealing with big life events, including marriage, divorce and death, to show how important the dishwasher can be at crucial times in its owners’ lives. After all, everything ends with dirty dishes.

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Creatives: Erin Swanson, Cal Al-Jorani 
Director: Megaforce
Production company: Riff Raff

9. Pot Noodle ‘you can make it’  

The first spot for Pot Noodle by Lucky Generals features a young man who eats Pot Noodles in order to spend more time pursuing his dream. The viewer is led to assume that the protagonist is training to be a boxer but, at the end of the ad, we realise he has actually been preparing to be a ring-card holder. Attitude praised it for challenging gender stereotypes. 

Agency: Lucky Generals
Creatives: Lucky Generals
Director: Nick Ball
Production company: Blink

10. Adidas ‘there will be haters’ 

This Adidas ad tackles the abuse and negativity that famous footballers get. It portrays the bile received by the La Liga players Gareth Bale, Luis Suárez, Karim Benzema and James Rodríguez as a positive and a symptom of jealousy. The unashamedly flashy film cuts between scenes showing how the footballers are hated for their skills on the pitch and their luck with women off it.

Agency: Iris
Creatives: Adam Fish, Iain Robson
Director: Ernest Desumbila
Production company: Frenzy Paris