Ever since the major multiples started to get ultra-competitive about Christmas ads, genuine excitement has rippled through the industry every winter. So who had the best ad this year?
Our panel of advertising experts gave it to Sainsbury’s (by some margin) for its tie-up with Mog the cat. And YouTube, that ever-reliable barometer of who watches what in 2015, emphatically agrees.
At the time of writing, the Sainsbury’s ad (the full version of which ran to 3m.31s) had been watched 19 million times on the official Sainsbury’s YouTube channel.
Compare that with the relatively paltry YouTube views for the Tesco (670,000), Asda (328,000) and Morrisons (52,000) Christmas TV campaigns, and it’s clear Sainsbury’s is aeons ahead of its rivals.
It also pushed Sainsbury’s to the giddy heights of the John Lewis Man on the Moon ad, which has been watched more than 20 million times on YouTube.
Five things every ad needs to make an impact
1. Continuity - over time, ad campaigns using recurring characters, design elements, themes and messages perform well
2. “Ownability” - have something about your creative that a competitor couldn’t put their logo to and still have work
3. Storyline - use a narrative that draws viewers to the end of the ad for an expected pay-off. Our studies show that “montage” ads, characterised by regularly changing images of equal emotional weight, have less expected pay-off and therefore tend to underperform.
4. Branding - keep it strong and confident, and ideally shown early and often. However, the very best story-driven ads can reveal the branding late because they hold consumers’ interest until the end
5. Music/Sound - make it engaging to grab consumers’ attention to the screen and over-ride distractions
That’s 10 times more than Aldi’s reactive spoof of the John Lewis ad, but although it was dwarfed in popularity by the real thing, Aldi’s ad was a “great example of how some of the fresh new brands on the market are exuding confidence, disrupting the market with their bold advertising, and winning customers over with the strength of their proposition” says Emily Smith, brand director at Added Value.
However, after the success (and the controversy) of Sainsbury’s WWI ad last year (watched by 17.7 million), the retailer has firmly installed itself as the one to beat next year. And for all the festive frolics, as The Grocer revealed in its 28 November issue (p4), there is a serious business to the ads.
According to the latest Bridgethorne Shopper Index, 33% of shoppers are still deciding where to head for the big Christmas shop, leaving them wide open to suggestions, a stat made more interesting by the fact 12% of shoppers had already changed their minds about where to do the big shop, based purely on the Christmas ads they had already seen.
Given the IGD released figures in December claiming UK shoppers would spend £20.3bn on food and drink over Christmas, if at least 12% of shoppers are ready to be swayed by an effective Christmas campaign, then the value of a brilliant Christmas ad becomes clear (even if the true value will be revealed once the actual Christmas figures come in early January).
Christmas might be the crescendo, but the advertising battle is fought all year round, and it isn’t just retailers that are doing the fighting. As our top 30 chart of the most memorable campaigns (overleaf) shows, 25 of the top 30 are by brands.
The table was compiled by Nielsen, which used its Nielsen TV Brand Effect tool to identify how well ads are resonating with consumers, and whether the basic elements of the ad have an impact. They collate a score from two of the tool’s measures: ‘Are consumers remembering the ad?’ and ‘Do they know which brand it’s for?’
“The highest-scoring ads are not always the most elegant or beautiful,” says Nielsen analyst Chris Cox. “Blunt ads can also be effective. But often we find the most impactful ads combine both practical and artistic elements.”
“Fresh new brands are exuding confidence, disrupting the market with their bold advertising and winning customers”
He says there are five things every ad needs to make an impact. “Continuity, such as recurring characters, ownability - something about your creative that a competitor couldn’t put their logo to and make work, an interesting storyline, confident branding and a strong soundtrack.”
He also says ads often perform better when they’re placed within engaging shows (“X Factor episodes and cookery shows do well”) so Cox argues that it’s “important to have a great creative execution, but also to make sure it’s placed in the right spots”.
As for spend, a big budget makes “less of an impact than many people think,” says Cox. “Throwing money behind a poor TV spot might help it a little, but it will never make it as effective as a strong ad.”
And, of course, it’s not just traditional media fmcg is using, says Satin Reid, group client partner at Carat UK. “In 2015, we saw a number of fmcg companies accelerate their use of data and digital channels to build more agile and fast-moving advertising models.”
It all points to the death of the “traditional linear narrative of the ad campaign”, says Sean Kinmont, founding partner of 23red.
“Brands are engaging with more responsive and less linear experiential and digital engagements. Some might write off this activity as stunts, but the reality is that they get spoken about and shared.”
Reid says good examples used by Carat clients in 2015 include Diageo, which installed beacons in pubs.
The beacons monitored footfall and weather data, then pinged messages to the smartphones of passers-by if there was room in the pub garden for them to enjoy a glass of Pimm’s in the sunshine. She also says Mondelez launched a ‘buy now’ button across all its digital advertising channels.
“The thinking was simple,” she says. “If we are spending so much money on making people aware of our products, shouldn’t we make it easy for them to buy at the same time?”
Put like that, the power digital and data afford fmcg becomes even more clear, so expect their ads to become even more inventive and interesting than they already are. But in the meantime, what does The Grocer consider to be the best TV campaigns of 2015? See below…
Featuring liberal doses of nudity, killer soundtracks, lots of alcohol and laughs aplenty (as well as an emotional advert about batteries) here is The Grocer’s top 60 ads from the past 12 months…
Guinness: Golden Ale
Alcohol: ale & stout
Rather than hype up the launch of Golden Ale with one of its typically grandiose set piece ads, Guinness focused on the brewing process, starting with the gates of the Guinness factory in Dublin, following up with ingredients being emptied into stills and testers checking the resulting brew, before showing lots of people enjoying the result on a warm summer’s evening. Simple and effective.
Thatchers: Slow motion
Alcohol: cider & perry
This ad celebrates those moments when “time sort of stops”, like throwing a stick for a dog to scamper after or taking a big bite from a sandwich while having lunch out in the fresh air. This hazy, lazy summery ad says moments like these are just like the moment when the Thatcher family gathers to taste their latest batch of cider for quality - and if it’s not good enough then it doesn’t leave the farm.
Coors: Jean-Claude dancing
Almost as famous for his unique dance moves as for his action movies, Jean-Claude Van Damme hams it up brilliantly in this ad for Coors, showing off dance moves from ‘The Swinger’ to ‘The Frozen Turtle’ with the hashtag #dothedamme. The entire campaign has been tongue in cheek, and the snowy location does a seriously good job of selling the “ice cold refreshment of a Coors”.
Southern Comfort: Spray tan
Another masterful ad from Southern Comfort, which celebrates the male form in all its glory. This time the action takes place in a tanning salon, where three half-naked men of various shapes and sizes are sprayed with fake tan - the strapline is ‘Tan your lemonade’. The hypnotic combination of quirky characters, the cinematography, and the Soulja Boy soundtrack make for another classic.
Casillero del Diablo: Wine Legend
This big budget campaign is gorgeously produced and wonderfully shot, full of stormy atmosphere and dramatic locations, from Venice to the Far East. The loose plot is built around this ‘legendary wine’ being hand-delivered from one side of the world to the other, all combining together to push the message that Casillero is a quality wine.
Prevalin Allergy: Fast hay fever relief
Hay fever people are the worst: always sneezing, then moaning at you about pollen. But this clever ad ticks all the boxes for those insufferable sufferers. It reassures them that hay fever isn’t a joke and that people should be taking it more seriously. It says its spray is more effective than tablets and will take just three minutes to kick in. And there is a version for kids. Perfect.
Finish: Shine & Protect
No one likes a dirty glass, let alone a cloudy one. And once they have turned murky, they are gone for good. This ad from Finish plays on that fear by hiring what looks like one of the dragons from Game of Thrones to expel his cloudy fire all over a glass. It’s all to remind us that if we’ve splashed out on a set of Riedels, they are worth protecting by getting the good stuff to stick in the dishwasher.
Cow and Gate: Happy and You Know It
Baby milk: formula
All kids love the Happy and You Know It song so it’s a good choice for this ad, which promotes Cow & Gate formula. Other touchpoints include reminding everyone that C&G has been ‘feeding babies for over 100 years’ so it can be confident that ‘if they are happy on the inside they are happy on the outside’. It’s a simple ad, but it gets its message across well.
Poor old Gary Lineker. If he’s not propelled out of a window aboard a stairlift or landing in wet concrete, then his own kids are turning on him while he’s recovering in hospital. Then again, greedy Gary does hoard a whole bag of Walkers Mixups all to himself, so perhaps he deserves it. Either way, Walkers continues one of the most successful celebrity tie-ups in fmcg history in this latest ad.
Dove Soap: Different!
A chillingly effective ad from Dove, which takes ‘test paper’ that mimics the surface of the skin and puts generic soap on it. The paper then gradually dissolves, showing the damaging effect soap can have on human skin. But Dove soap? It’s different, because 25% of it is moisturising cream. So the paper remains intact and the eerie string-based soundtrack turns into a cheery piano tinkle.
Duracell: The teddy bear
Not a dry eye in the house - from an advert for batteries? Oh yes. It’s an absolute corker of an ad from the battery giant, which dumps the everlasting bunny concept for the emotional theme of a father separated from his young daughter by war, adds a spine-tingling soundtrack, then teases out an touching ad that still manages to emphasise the longevity of a Duracell battery.
Warburtons: The Deliverers
It seemed like the unlikeliest of partnerships when Warburtons bread teamed up with Rocky legend Sylvester Stallone. But fast-paced and funny (with a touch of Hollywood gloss), this two-minute TV ad proved all the doubters wrong. And not only is it hugely entertaining, it gets the central brand message across loud and clear - Warburtons delivers fresh bread daily to a store near you.
Mr Kipling: Angel Dog
Angel, an animated hound made from a fistful of Mr K’s finest slices, leaps and bounds about the park with such aplomb in this 30-second ad he’s almost convincing as man’s best friend. Evocative of summer picnics and days spent lazing in the sun, this puts you in the just the right mood for a slice of something sweet. A fact that unfortunately puts Angel Dog in a spot of bother…
Heinz: Little brother
Siblings share a very special bond. Fierce love coupled with affectionate rivalry, resentment and all manner of private jokes. It’s a relationship captured to a T by Heinz. Little Charlie may scribble over all over his big brother’s homework and he’s useless at hide and seek, but it’s only because he’s got a little growing up to do. And luckily Heinz, as a natural source of protein, is just the thing to help.
Tango: Five Stages of Tang
You could watch the 30-second version of this ad campaign, but if you’ve got almost nine minutes to spare then watch the full version on YouTube. It’s every bit as strange and random as you’d expect, and yes, it lasts for nine minutes, but the long version of the Five Stages of Tang campaign holds its own in the impressive Tango ad canon, which says it all. Then again, so does the 30-second version.
With “energy for the whole morning” there’s time to take an axe to a forest fir, swim a few lengths at the local pool, scrub last night’s pan and evolve into modern man all with time to spare, according to Belvita. You just need the right breakfast biscuit. With its catchy soundtrack and playful tone, Belvita strikes just the right chord to engage people in the most important meal of the day.
Special K: Live in Colour
Kellogg’s made it clear it was done with diets this year, rebranding Special K as a healthy but delicious breakfast option instead. That shift is made clear in its Live in Colour campaign with arty close-ups of juicy strawberries, honeycomb and blueberries. That’s coupled with active young women thoroughly enjoying themselves on the beach or in the sea without a second thought to their weight.
Otrivine: Stop messing about
Cold & flu remedies
We all know there is nothing sexier than watching a pot of translucent menthol rub being massaged into the pale, overweight, hairy chest of a ginger man while a bass-heavy porno soundtrack plays in the background. But if that isn’t for you, this funny ad introduces a simple nasal spray as an alternative to a tub of rub with the clever hashtag #stopmessingabout.
Colman’s: Says it all
One of the very best things about being alive is demolishing a great big steaming plate of roast beef with gravy, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a lively dollop of Colman’s mustard (and horseradish) every Sunday. This ad juxtaposes that comforting feeling against the heartwrenching sadness that loving parents feel when their eldest flees the nest for the first time.
Maltesers: Aristocratic women
The life of a film extra can be a lowly one. Stars get all the plaudits while you get stuck in the background wearing a daft costume. So the only way to get through it is to laugh, and have a treat. That’s the ‘lighter way to enjoy chocolate’ that Maltesers has been pushing for years with great success. And if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, a fact that makes this ad a winner.
Nerds are all the rage. So Mentos is bang on trend with its #Cool campaign featuring a geeky youngster with eccentric hair and his shirt tucked all the way in. He’s got all the schoolgirls giggling as he plays the sax on a skateboard before belly-flopping into a hotel pool. And if this guy is popping new sugar-free Mentos then they must be cool too. A simple message, skilfully conveyed.
Haribo: adults talk like kids
A bag of brightly coloured gummy bears and foam fried eggs brings out the kid in all of us. That’s quite literally the case in this ad from Haribo, which inserts adorable kiddie chatter into the mouths of outwardly professional grown-ups on a movie date. Charming with a few chuckles thrown in, all ages can enjoy this and that allows the confectioner to hit all demographics in one TV slot. Clever.
Seriously Strong Cheddar
Brits take their Cheddar seriously. And so does Seriously Strong. Don’t let the quaint farmhouse setting fool you: here the farmers colour-match the grass fed to cattle, each block of cheese is checked under the magnifying glass for flaws, and consistency is checked for its lasagne suitability. A lighthearted way to leave consumers in no doubt the brand is an expert in its field.
Müller Rice Remix
Dairy: yoghurts & pots
It might be utterly eccentric but that’s exactly the reason that the Müller bear rapping about rice pots works. Love him or hate him, he’s utterly unforgettable. This time the bear travels to Greece for the brand’s new Greek-inspired flavours. Sporting a toga, the 8ft bear keeps up his grizzly East London accent despite the quaint Continental backdrop. Another offbeat ad that won’t be forgotten easily.
Right Guard: Start your day right
If you want to start your day all wrong, accidentally forget to spray with deodorant. If you want to start it right, use Right Guard: that is the message in this ad, featuring girls on the tube eye-flirting with a fat man who shows no underarm sweat stains while standing up and holding on to a dangly handle. Even a bizarre dance off-sequence isn’t enough to make him sweat.
Life after 65 doesn’t have to be a monotony of daytime TV, Scrabble and quiet strolls through the countryside. As the active older couple featured in this ad demonstrate, you’re never too old for tearing through the forest on bikes and showing off with a wheelie or two, even putting the youngsters to shame. But you’ll need to look after yourself to keep this fit. And that’s where Actimel comes in.
Lenor: Clothes deserve Lenor
This ad is required viewing for anyone who loves legs - it’s absolutely full of them. A charmingly Icelandic voiceover, like a younger and less aggressive Björk, explains over a montage of legs and twirling skirts how fabulous they are and, because of this, they deserve the finest fabric conditioner: Lenor. This was another mesmerising ad from a campaign that also featured the joy of shirts and scarves.
Olay: Your best beautiful
Call them vainglorious, but many women love a sneaky peek in the mirror. Several times a day in fact, according to Oil of Olay. And it would know. The brand has been helping women touch up for years with its array of lotions and potions. It’s how women know there’s no need for men to appreciate their soft skin, it’s all about the reflection in the mirror and ensuring ladies look their ‘best beautiful’.
Here is a charming concept - a digital billboard in a random high street sparks into life when a person walks past with a message from their loved one. One pensioner makes his wife dab at her eyes as he recalls meeting at a “dance hall in London, it seems like only yesterday”. Then they kiss a tissue and wrap it up and a packet of Kleenex drops out of the bottom of the machine. Lovely stuff.
Alpro: Plant power
This bid from Alpro to attract younger fans to the free-from category pitches itself just right. Kids will love the animated animals, and their parents will love the anti-sugar message even more as the young squirrel bats away offers of juice and fizzy soda to grab a glass of Alpro Hazelnut milk instead. Despite its health agenda, this subtle ad ensures kids aren’t put off and might just nag parents for a taste.
AHDB Pork: Pulled pork
The pulled pork phenomenon shows no sign of slowing down, and it finally got its own ad campaign in 2015 courtesy of AHDB, which showed how easy it is to make a ‘lazy’ Sunday roast of pulled pork. It’s OK to quietly ignore the fact they don’t actually make pulled pork at all, but simply heavily season and slow-roast a leg of pork. It’s almost there. And the pork does look delicious.
Aunt Bessie’s: I’m a Celeb
Sliding a bowl of steaming spotted dick into a sponsorship ad for I’m a Celebrity can’t be easy, so hats off to Aunt Bessie’s for this ad. Familiar pair Margaret and Mabel are spying on the celebs camping in the Australian jungle when one gives them a bit of an eyeful. Topical (and a little bit naughty), this ad explains why the brand chose to splash out £6m to sponsor the hit reality TV series.
The silky tones of actor Rupert Everett give life to a cat greedily eyeing up his owner’s premium fish meals in this ad from Young’s to launch its new Gastro range. And the cat isn’t the only thing here that’s posh. Classical music, a glass of chilled sauvignon and a rather upmarket-looking kitchen all lend this ad a touch of class - exactly what Young’s is going for with its high-end fish dishes.
Chicago Town: Ultimate pizza
Chicago Town is on a mission: to feed the nation slices of pizza in moments of hunger. OK, it might not be up there with Mission: Impossible, but the brand is taking its job seriously, with spy gadgets galore in this action ad. Neither does it forget the money shot, with gooey cheese and pepperoni melting in a hot oven. It’s enough to make us hope pizza’s undercover agents complete their mission.
McCain Roasts: Second to none
The Sunday roast holds a special place in the nation’s hearts. And crispy roast potatoes, lovingly basted in beef dripping and pulled from the oven, are one of the stars of the plate. It’s a nostalgic nod to family dinners round the table that McCain taps with this ad, and although frozen spuds may never quite stack up against your mum’s, they’re the next best thing.
Magnum: Pink & Black
Handheld ice cream
Our heroine may swap around her sparkly dresses, hopping in and out of various sports cars and nightclubs in this ad from Magnum, but she remains wonderfully glamorous throughout. She’s the woman all Magnum’s female fans aspire to be, after all, whether they opt for pink Champagne or black Espresso with their ice cream. Sophisticated and beautifully shot, this is Magnum all over.
Nespresso: What else?
Hot beverages: instant coffee
George Clooney has done wonders for the Nespresso brand. So synonymous has the smooth-talking actor become with its premium coffee capsules, he’s now teaching his trademark catchphrases to other A-listers looking for a piece of the action. Step forward funny man Jack Black on a mission to seduce the ladies armed with only an espresso and that charming Clooney phrase ‘What else?’
Cafédirect: Coffee made the small way
Hot beverages: roast and ground coffee
Some people are obsessive about coffee. This plays to them perfectly. The concept is that Cafédirect is equally obsessive, so it works with small farmers who really care about their small farms, reiterated by loving close-ups of individual beans. The overriding message is clear: in a world of gigantic coffee corporations, Cafédirect is quite the opposite.
PG Tips: Vajazzle
Hot beverages: tea
Vajazzle entered the British lexicon in 2010 thanks to ITV2 reality TV show The Only Way is Essex. It’s unlikely anyone could have predicted the concept would one day be used to promote PG Tips. Or that Monkey would ever pull a Sharon Stone, for that matter. But if a fundamental of any advert is to grab a viewer’s attention by any means necessary, this ad unquestionably succeeded.
Febreze: Locker room
Imagine the smell of a locker room used by teenage boys. All wet towels, body odour, muddy boots, sweaty kit and clouds of potent Lynx. It’s not your teenage sons’ fault their bedrooms smells the same, says Febreze. They’ve got used to it and think it smells fine. The solution? Eliminate the odours they’ve gone “nose blind” to by spraying Febreze everywhere. And everyone can breathe again.
Häagen-Dazs: Bradley Cooper
Ice cream tubs
It’s the stuff of fantasies. At the end of a long day at the office, you flop down on the couch with a whole tub of indulgent ice cream to chase your stresses away. Then the doorhandle turns and in strolls Hollywood A-lister Bradley Cooper with his gleaming smile and those twinkly blues. He even brings his own spoon. Sigh. Häagen-Dazs made an awful lot of women’s dreams come true with this.
Gaviscon: John and James
Waking up with heartburn in the middle of the night is far worse than waking up from any nightmare. Heartburn is all too real. Thank goodness for Gaviscon, then, which continues its simple but effective ads that show mini firemen spraying alkaline-rich liquid all over a nasty inflamed gullet to put out the agonising fire (this time in a pair of twins, to hit home the ‘dual action’ claim).
Persil: Dual Capsules
A little girl wanders up to a deserted playground and starts break dancing. She’s cute, tick. She’s super-talented, tick. She can also six-step, toprock and helicopter like a pro, tick. But what on earth does a little B-girl have to do with Persil laundry tablets, even if she is staggeringly good? Wait for the ingenious strapline: ‘Powerful stain removal in every spin.’ And it all makes sense.
L’Oréal: Xtra Hydra
“Wanna be sexy?” this ad asks the fellas. Yes, obviously. In that case, grow a beard says the ad, but, crucially, it’s really important to clean it. Not to keep it free of crumbs, but to keep it soft (for kisses and stuff). So L’Oréal has released its first range of moisturising products to stop men’s beards being all prickly, because, as it tells us, being sexy is all about looking “tough but never rough”.
More subtlety from Unilever for its new Lynx Black line. This time a touching version of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ soundtracks a surreal night on the town filled with crowds of clubbers, paparazzi, menacing gangs with dogs, mounted police and crazed bankers flinging cash into the sky. A real departure from what we’ve come to expect from Lynx, which is precisely the point.
Weetabix: On the Go
Milk: flavoured milk
Barely anyone has time for breakfast. In the mad dash for work in the mornings it’s all too easy to forego a bite to eat for a few extra minutes of kip or an extra 30 seconds in a hot shower. That’s a problem for cereal brands like Weetabix, and one that it tackles head-on with its new bottled breakfast drinks in this slick TV ad. Even if you slide out of bed at 8.59am there’s time to gulp down breakfast in a bottle.
Cravendale: The milk drinker
Milk: fresh milk
In the milk aisle own label is king, a fact that gives branded varieties a tough task persuading consumers to switch. Here Cravendale makes a valiant effort with its cowboy-style milk connoisseur propping up the bar with a pint of the white stuff and mulling it over with an expertise usually reserved for fine wines. The message is clear. Don’t settle for basics, aim for the best.
Pot Noodle: You can make it
A young man in a vest trains hard in the boxing gym. Weights, running, sit ups and a trainer who looks like Mickey from Rocky. “They said I’d never make it,” he says. And then he’s bathed in the neon glow of the bright lights of Vegas. He has made it! His family gather excitedly around the TV at home. And then he appears! As a ring boy in a green bikini. Subversive and clever as ever from Pot Noodle.
Dolmio: Dinner in the office
We’ve all been there, stuck in the office late at night while the family tucks into delicious pasta at home. Imagine that happening on Dolmio day - nightmare! But this is the Dolmio family. They always eat together! So they pick up dinner, table and all, and head for Carlo’s office. Full of nice little touches, this is another example of Dolmio emphasising its family credentials.
Jacobs Crackers: Little visits
Limp cheese sandwiches, a few lonely bags of crisps and a bruised apple - a dreary lunchtime selection most office workers are all too familiar - and bored - with. Enter Little Jacob to the rescue in his miniature car racing the morose sandwich lady to deliver crackers and dips instead. A fun and lighthearted ad from Jacobs, cleverly marketing its crackers for brand new occasions during the day.
Dove: Love the age you are
So what if you get the odd wrinkle and grey hair when you ease past 40? Think of everything you gain instead. According to this ad, that includes “confidence, strength, friends who matter - you gain so much with age”. It’s a calming message from Dove, although it quickly gets back to business and explains why using Dove shampoo will keep your 40-year-old hair looking like a teenager’s.
Lynx Black shower gel presents: Bring the Quiet
Every teenage boy knows that if you want to pull the girls, empty a can of Lynx all over your clothes before you leave the house. But this more adult-orientated ad focuses on the relaxing properties of a nice shower to de-stress from life in the urban jungle: taxis, pigeons, lightning, sirens and crowds. The strapline is ‘Bring the quiet’. And it works very well.
Lucozade: Find your flow
Sports & energy drinks
A brilliant advert from Lucozade that reflects how great it feels when you’re in your rhythm, whether you’re a window cleaner, librarian, hairdresser or kebab man (or even a muscly gym addict styling it out after going flying off the treadmill as a woman with a particularly well defined derrière sashays by and distracts him). It shows off Lucozade’s energy-giving properties perfectly.
Rowse Honey: The natural wonder of Rowse Honey
This ad starts off by reminding us all that without bees we’d all be dead because of no pollination, so it’s worth supporting beekeepers or something, and then, whoa! There are loads of naked people running across the screen! OK, now I’m watching. What’s that? Buy Rowse honey and save the world before 7.30am? Sure, whatever you say. Now stop distracting me…
Robinsons: They grow up fast
‘Give me just a little more time’ by The Chairmen of the Board is one of the most plaintive vocal performances of the 1970s and it’s perfectly suited to the strapline for this ad: ‘They Grow up Fast.’ Two parents sit in a garden and watch their baby boy grow up into a father himself, wondering where the time went. The one constant, which rings perfectly true, is his love of a nice cold glass of orange squash.
Flash: Does the whole house proud
Cleaning products are always a tricky category to dream up an inventive campaign for, simply because the USP to be emphasised is that they, well, clean. This ad does just that, introducing a concentrated version of Flash for extra power, but ultimately it takes us from a filthy kitchen to a gleaming one in 30 seconds flat. And there is nothing unappealing about that.
Oreo: Vampire battle
Cute, with a catchy bespoke soundtrack, this distinctive bit of animation poses the question: if you offered a vampire some Oreos and milk, would he be converted from his usual diet of warm blood from a virgin’s neck? With lyrics like ‘Would he not act so undead? Would he thirst for milk instead? And build his tomb with ice to keep it chilled?’ it is both quirky and strangely perfect.
7Stripe: Reservoir Dogs
This pastiche of the infamous torture scene in Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs doesn’t quite capture the psychotic nature of Michael Madsen’s Mr Blonde, or the terror of Marvin, the cop left with one ear, but it makes up for it with the payoff. Having drenched his victim in petrol, the 7Stripe Mr Blonde flicks his cigarette into it. Only his victim doesn’t go up in flames. It’s an e-cig, you see. Brilliant.
Andrex: Feel as clean as a squid
New for 2015, this continuation of its Clean Routine campaign sees more giggly kids asked how clean they feel after using Andrex. It’s still the classic ‘Kids say the funniest things’ formula, which dates way back to the 1984 UK gameshow Child’s Play. But the ad is still amusing, proving the advertising maxim that a classic formula will never die.
Three layers of tissue in every sheet and three trees replaced for every one it uses to make it: that is the message from Velvet. The brand has planted six million trees around the world as a result. It’s a simple ad, set to a simple piano motif, but it carries a personal message aimed straight at consumers to give them a good reason to pick Velvet off the shelf - which makes this ad a winner.
Colgate: Bright smiles bright futures
Shocking news from Colgate, which says 46% of eight-year-olds in the UK have ‘obvious tooth decay’ according to the Child Dental Health Survey. So it’s started a Bright Smiles Bright Futures campaign, in tandem with primary schools, to prevent children’s tooth decay. It’s an ad that doesn’t push a particular product, but it’s a valuable one regardless.
Colgate: Total Daily Repair
Fmcg businesses endlessly innovate to stay one step ahead of rivals, and toothpaste is no exception. Adding extra value has long been the way to go, so in recent years we have had those that promised to reduce sensitivity, then a flood of whitening pastes; now it’s toothpaste that promises to reverse any damage done to teeth. ‘Now brushing means repairing’ is the simple slogan.
Nielsen TV Brand Effect data is collected 24 hours after a consumer is exposed to the ad in their home, based on TV viewing of national programming on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky 1, aired between 6pm-midnight. Net Impact = the proportion of the total audience able to remember the ad and recall the correct brand.