1. Flava-It ‘unleash your meat lust’, Code Computerlove
A girl going on a suggestive psychedelic journey after eating a meat bap at a party hosted by hipsters was never going to be funny or clever. This ad has definitely fallen flat with its puerile nature, showing the girl riding an anime sausage and making many more suggestive gestures that only Miley Cyrus would be proud of. It felt like something dreamed up by a teenage boy.
2. The Co-operative Bank ‘all the right reasons’, Arc
So how do you use advertising to try to recover from the rent-boy-and-drugs scandal of the bank’s shamed former chairman Reverend Paul Flowers? Not, you would think, with a sensitive young man taking his shirt off and pretending to get a tattoo to, er, show how committed the bank was to ethics. Unlike Flowers, this campaign looked desperately in need of some substance.
3. Chips Ahoy ‘gorilla’, Drum
In a shameful and damaging rehash of Fallon’s cherished "gorilla" ad, the otherwise competent Drum has just ended up denting the Cadbury brand and ruining many people’s memory of this iconic spot with a clumsy change to the ending. Crass and derivative (and direspectful to the craft of the original), it shows that ad agencies tend to be the best brand guardians.
4. Kenco ‘Missing Stapler by The Bright Tones’, Proximity London
We would rather drink a cup of tea than sit through this attempt at funny again. A so-called comedy improvisation act dressed in loud colours singing about losing a stapler, following a Tweet about said item, is not amusing. This was never going to be to everyone’s taste, and will put people off drinking coffee if it is as bad as the improv group.
5. Iceland ‘bus’, Karmarama
The Turkey regular Iceland makes it on to our list again but, this time, with the help of Peter Andre. A cheesy ad showing women swooning over the 90s pop star is not going to make us want to shop at Iceland. It leaves the viewer thinking about how stupidly the women are behaving rather than the low prices Andre is trying to promote. The retailer needs to think again the next time it wants a celebrity pushing its brand – but we fear he is signed up for the long term.
6. Jacob’s ‘Jacob’s masterbrand’, Publicis London
Irrespective of any suspension of disbelief, just why would a little man dressed as a chef ever drive a mini Jacob’s van into people’s offices? This ad has missed the mark, trying too hard to be funny by making the chef out to be a bad driver. Instead, it is just very annoying. It’s a shame because the concept of having crackers making lunch more interesting is good, but the execution has completely let it down.
7. Virgin Trains ‘arrive awesome’, Krow and TMW
There is very little to this campaign beyond a decent enough brand proposition – it just shows people getting off a train and walking in slow-motion (it might have been better if they had actually used slow-motion technology). Despite having the backing of a brilliant director and a big media budget, this seemed like a bad idea and a waste of money.
8. Quorn ‘sausages’, Big Communications
Mo Farah may eat Quorn to help with his protein intake and is clearly a world-class athlete, but he certainly falls short of delivering a charismatic voiceover in this ad. The Olympic double-gold-medallist sucks the life out of the spot. Perhaps he should ask Gary Lineker, who has made that tough transition from sports star to brand mascot, for some advice.
9. Sky Bet ‘are you in?’, Mcgarrybowen
Every part of this ad manages to irritate – which is quite an achievement. It uses the Sky Sports News format to throw gambling headlines at viewers and clutters the screen with small print. The loudness of the ad doesn’t help either, nor does the presence of the irritating Sky Sports News anchor Jim White. At least it makes the real thing more watchable by comparison. The campaign needs a complete rethink.
10. Dove ‘patches’, Ogilvy & Mather Brasil
Tricking women into thinking that they need a patch to change the way they see themselves is not good. This is patronising from Dove, which is surprising because it usually goes for more creative ads showing off confidence and natural beauty. Instead, the brand gave a sample of women a fake patch to wear for two weeks and told them that it will make them believe they are beautiful. With a four-minute running time, we reckon it’s about three minutes and 50 seconds too long.