When advertising in the ultra-competitive grocery sector, the growing importance of digital – and the growing expectations of consumers – means brands need to consider investing their budgets in more than just TV or press. We have identified the seven key guiding principles brands should bear in mind to be successful – and singled out seven brilliant grocery campaigns from the past 12 months that perfectly encapsulate them.

1. Spend big

RB’s Cillit Bang invested heavily in the latest Barry Scott campaign for its Limescale & Shine cleaning product, with TV spend for its fairground-themed spot totalling £4.4m since April 2014.

With previous campaigns using drag racers to symbolise speed, this spot chose the unconventional theme of fairground attractions to demonstrate the product’s “turbo power” capabilities. Thanks to its long-running brand ambassador and recurring catchphrase (“bang and the dirt is gone”) Cillit Bang was able to capitalise on its instant recognisability which, along with its high expenditure, allowed its ad push to stand out from other TV campaigns.

Runner-up: SMA Follow On Milk

2. Maintain presence

Galaxy Chocolate has run its Audrey Hepburn campaign consistently throughout 2013 and 2014, ensuring a sense of familiarity among TV audiences.

By using advanced CGI graphics, Galaxy was able to resurrect a Hollywood icon who embodies sophisticated chic, and present Galaxy as a stylish, superior choice of chocolate bar, which is reinforced by its strapline: “Why have cotton when you can have silk?”

Runner-up: Snickers – “Joan Collins” ad

3. Go viral

It was designed to push a responsible drinking message, but Budweiser’s heart-warming one-minute viral ad ‘Friends Are Waiting’ went far beyond saying “be sensible.” A young man returns home the morning after a big night out and apologetically explains to his mopey golden labrador (who missed him terribly) that it wasn’t worth him risking drinking and driving. The message was “next time you go out, be sure to make a plan to get home safely. Your friends are counting on you” and it proved to be highly shareable. Targeting 21 to 27-year-olds, the ad has scored more than 19 million views to date.

Runner-up: Schwarzkopf – You

4. Don’t forget mobile

Heineken’s @wherenext tool, which was launched as part of its Cities of the World campaign, is a great example of how mobile can build greater relevance around advertising. A location-based service accessed via Twitter, @wherenext ‘listens’ to tweets, check-ins and photos across different social media platforms to help people navigate the best places to visit in their city, all offered in real time – quite handy when the Heineken is flowing.

Runner-up: Birds Eye Picture House

5. Go experiential

Pepsi Max’s “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” shows how brands can use experiential marketing to immerse the public into a memorable brand experience. Targeting the public at a bus stop in London, a camera fed live footage of the street on to a screen attached to the side of the shelter, making it appear see-through. However, it then overlaid the regular street scene with a variety of unbelievable scenarios, such as flying saucers hovering in the sky. The public duly freaked out. The campaign has generated more than 6 million YouTube views since launch and has been featured on CNN in the US, representing a prime example of experiential success.

Runner-up: Heineken Ignites Battersea Power Station

6. Make the old new

Mr Kipling brought a slice of freshness to outdoor activity in 2014, creating an edible billboard made of 13,360 cakes, which were devoured by many passing pedestrians. The poster’s message was simple: Life Is Better With Cake. With so many confectionery brands available, the challenge was to introduce the brand to a new generation, and the event illustrates a good example of how to join old and new media to connect with a younger generation. The posters provided an opportunity for trial while also generating conversation, with consumers capturing and sharing the stunt on digital platforms.

Runner-up: Walkers Human Vending Machine

7. Create a talking point

Fmcg Christmas campaigns have become events in their own right, and the battle for share of voice is fiercer than ever. Opinion at Ebiquity HQ on which was the best was divided. Statistically John Lewis has the biggest share of voice, but Sainsbury’s finally got the nod. Some criticised it for exploiting the First World War for commercial gain; others believed it beautifully depicted the story of the famous Christmas Day truce of 1914 in a sensitive and heartfelt manner. The campaign achieved 12 million views on YouTube but at the same time drew more than 700 complaints. Whatever the opinion on the subject matter, it certainly made the ad one of the most talked-about this year.

Runner-up: John Lewis – Monty

Ad spend

Source: Ebiquity Notes: Figures relate to spend on TV, Press, Outdoor, Cinema  and Radio media. All figures are estimated based on current advertising rates, including discount rates. Figures relate to spend on advertising space only and do not include production costs, etc.



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Ebiquity captures, organises and analyses advertising communications from around the world to provide clients with the visibility they require to react to competitor activity, and give them greater confidence to develop successful communication strategies.


Starring sharp-suited Sapeurs sipping stout, Keith Lemon ordering a h’orange oooch, Ridley Scott paying homage to the humble cow and a packet of Richmond sausages bringing peace to a family row, 2014 was a brilliant year for fmcg ads. Here are The Grocer’s pick of the bunch…

Guinness: Sapeurs

Alcohol: ale & stout

Guinness went to Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, to film a two-minute film featuring a group of sensationally stylish gents known as the Sapeurs (Congolese Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant Persons) who live by the mantra “You cannot always choose what you do, but you can choose who you are.” Oozing individuality, the sentiment chimes perfectly with a pint of the black stuff.

Summer Happens Here

Alcohol: cider & perry

A wolf runs through a forest into a wide clearing, where bottles of cider sit atop columns of ice filled with various ‘forest’ fruit. As rays of sunlight penetrate the ice, a momentous collapse is triggered, evoking a sense of cold refreshment. To an atmospheric soundtrack, Kopparberg’s ad manages to be both functional and on-brand as well as atmospheric.

Dance More, Drink Slow

Alcohol: lager

In a counterintuitive ad, Heineken teamed up with trance DJ and producer Armin van Buuren to “make moderation aspirational.” Based on a socially responsible message that world-class music means more dancing – and slower drinking – the premise of an experiment ramps up the suspense, and keeps you watching till the closing beats.


Hooch: Hoo’s For An Oooch?

Alcohol: RTDs

Following the rebirth of Hooch in 2012, the alcopop returned to TV with an ad that emphasises one of its most appealing characteristics: its name. Starring Keith Lemon, the ad plays on the generations-long dispute about whether the eighth letter of the alphabet should be pronounced ‘aitch’ or ‘haitch’. Few will resist a chuckle when Lemon, asked which flavour he would like, replies “h’orange”.

Russian Standard: 
Vodka As It Should Be

Alcohol: spirits

Russian Standard launched this push with the intention of imbuing its vodka with notions of mystical power and cosmic significance – and succeeded. The three-and-a-half-minute online clip feels like the lovechild of a Brian Cox and Terrence Malick film, and it’s hard to watch it and still think of the contents of the bottle as, well, standard.

Lidl: French wines

Alcohol: wine

The UK press is awash with coverage of the fine foods on offer in Lidl (and rival Aldi), but it wasn’t so long ago that the idea of a discounter offering an extensive range of decent French wines would have been scoffed at. This sophisticated series of ads, following a wine taster as he drives around the French countryside in a Citroen 2CV, played its part in changing perceptions.

Bear: Grrreat Adventure

Baby: snacks

This advert for Bear’s Fruit Yo-Yos is a real feast for the eyes, with its charming paper cut-out animation. The rhyming voiceover provides a key details about the product, but more of the running time is given over to the collectible ‘world adventure’ cards and free world map being offered. Bear’s does everything right here: a product that is healthy, educational and that kids will go wild for.

Cow & Gate: Laughing Babies

Baby: wet food

The problem with babies is that they cry all the time, poo everywhere and can’t hold much of a conversation. But the 803 million views gathered by the YouTube sensation that was Charlie Bit My Finger proved it’s a joy to watch tiny humans being entertained, and Cow & Gate took that to a raucous new level with this ad, which presents a series of infants howling with uncontrollable laughter.


Walkers: Racoon Confusion

Bagged snacks

The return of Do Us A Flavour brought a typically wide range of flavours, from the ubiquitous (and ultimate winner) Pulled Pork to the bizarre: Ranch Racoon. Hence Gary Lineker in the middle of a woodland park challenging consumers to taste the difference between a packet of Ranch Racoon Walkers, and a real racoon. A typically family friendly ad from one of the UK’s best-known crisps.

Duracell: Gorillas


The tension mounts as the plucky Duracell Bunny goes up against 12 great apes (powered by inferior zinc batteries) to see who can drum the longest. No prizes for guessing what happened next, but at least one person was so angry at the result of the drum-off they complained to the ASA about Duracell’s claim. The ad was still being investigated at the time of going to press.

Ritz Breaks: #OutAndAbout

Biscuits: savoury

Breakdancing, hula-hooping, painting and camping, it’s all packed into just 20 seconds in this, the first TV appearance for Ritz in 30 years. With six individually wrapped portions in each pack, owners Mondelez push through the portability of the snack for those with active lives, as it peeks from a trouser pocket, or emerges at the end of a long night out. Pacy and pitched just right for its summer release.

ninja chihuahua

Bahlsen Pick Up!: 
Ninja Chihuahua

Biscuits: sweet

There are arguably only two successful formats for a 30-second TV ad. The rigorously thought-out, tightly planned kind, and the stream of randomness so dizzying it somehow makes perfect sense. Bahlsen’s ninja Chihuahua, a force of nature summoned to protect the integrity of the chocolate in a Pick Up! bar, is a fine example of the latter.

Kingsmill: Great White


In a cheery ‘slice of life’ ad, episode two of Kingsmill Family sees single dad John Thomson cheer up his daughter, Tara, who’s down in the dumps after splitting with her boyfriend. Her little brother suggests a soldier to replace him. Dad obliges by cutting up a lightly toasted slice of white bread covered in butter. On the boiled egg is a pic of the boyfriend. “Go on, lack him,” says the little bro.

Soreen: The Loveable Loaf


Part of a fine tradition of anthropomorphising food items, Soreen’s clip portrays a malt loaf toddling around and turning up whenever anyone needs a snack. Happy people of all ages, attractive neighbourhoods and bountiful sunshine conspire with a song (‘You’re my little yum yum’) that fits perfectly into the 30-second ad and makes straight for the brain’s ‘musical loop’ centre.

Heinz Beanz: Full Of Beanz

Canned beans

The stars of this childhood bromance are the narrator, a 10-year-old boy, and his younger sibling, Charlie. Charlie is destructive, infuriating and bad at football, but the narrator still considers him his best friend. What do best friends do for each other? Share their beans of course! A touching ad that veers just the right side of cheesy and reminds everyone how satisfying a simple plate of beans on toast can be.

Dorset Cereals: 
Life Begins at Breakfast


With a cast of cute woodland critters, Dorset’s video is all about conjuring up a time and a state of mind: 6.32am on a sunny spring morning following a refreshing night’s sleep. The rich tones of Peter Serafinowicz as breakfast show DJ for Dorset AM waft over the airwaves before Iggy Pop kicks in. Who wouldn’t want to eat a cereal that made you feel this good?

mr bean

Snickers: Mr Bean

Confectionery: chocolate

This entertaining instalment in the multi-faceted You’re Not You When You’re Hungry campaign follows a group of ninjas hopping across rooftops, joined by none other than funny man Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean. He isn’t exactly on top fighting form, but it turns out the chap is just peckish and, after a quick bite of a Snickers bar, he is – quite literally – his warrior self once more.



Wrigley’s Airwaves: Snakes

Confectionery: gum

It’s happened to all of us. You meet someone you fancy, hit it off, and go back to their place for a night of passion – but they failed to mention their terrifying collection of slithering snakes and reptiles. It’s a neat way of saying that Wrigley’s might not be able to turn you into a person easily acceptable to mainstream society, like this snake-loving lady (left), but it can guarantee you fresh breath.

Glorious Nothing Days

Dairy: butters and spreads

Since advertising began, companies have banged their heads against the wall trying to sell us something. Anchor’s inspired move is to try to sell us nothing. Well, not a hard sell anyway. A blissed-out family hangs around the house with nothing to do apart from eat toast and muck about. But then again, watching butter melt into toast is always a call to action…

Wyke Farms: Ode to the Cow

Dairy – cheese

For this Ridley Scott-produced campaign, filmed on its farm in Somerset, Wyke cast its cows as the heroines – and rightly so, given their role in cheesemaking. There’s no doubt these magnificent beasts have an air of stoicism and tranquillity about them, and this perfectly shot advert showed that off beautifully. There’s even a clever nod to their second role as, ahem, fuel producers.

Cravendale: Biscuit Boy

Fresh milk

This whimsical animation tells the tale of Barry the biscuit, who heads for a dip in his local Cravendale lake, only to end up the baked goods equivalent of Icarus when he ignores his mother’s warning not to swim too long, and his head falls off. Thankfully biscuits can be mended, and before long Barry is as good as new – albeit with a rather dorky haircut. Charming and disturbing in equal parts.


Müller Rice: Bear

Dairy: yoghurts and pot desserts

Some people will find this ad unbearable. But the grizzly truth is this: hundreds of thousands of supermarket shoppers will be strolling the aisles next year, and at some point they will spot a pot of Müller Rice and flashback to a large rapping bear telling them “it’s tastehhh” to the beats of Vanilla Ice’s debut smash hit Ice Ice Baby. And they will buy it. Word to yo Müller.

Alpro: A Nutty Dream

Free from

Consumer goods brands often don’t try to sell the product – they sell happiness. In this instance, our rodent heroine strolls up to a funky outdoor bar, batting away carrot juice and coconut water from potential woodland suitors, before seeing her perfect beau: a chipmunk barman who pours them both an almond milk. She’s smitten and leans in for a kiss… then wakes up. It was all a dream.

Florette: Chilli Sacrifice

Fresh fruit and veg

Florette seems to have decided that the worst thing about vegetables is the lack of slaughter involved in their production. Hence this neat animation in which a bag of Peppercress salad, a fig and some chillies – and, to be fair, a cooked chicken breast and bacon rashers – toddle up to a food-sized Mayan temple to be decapitated by a swinging blade. As darkly humorous as it is mouth-watering.

Richmond Sausages: Peacekeeper

Fresh meat

Most parents have probably considered calling in the riot police during a sibling face-off. Here Kerry Group puts that universal family experience to good use, with a visit from the ‘Peacekeeper’ at dinner time, whose quick thinking in cooking up a pack of sausages calms down two brothers in the midst of battle. A tongue-in-cheek but effective premise.

Magnum: 25 Years

Frozen: ice cream (handheld)

To celebrate its 25th birthday, Magnum launched a huge campaign, revolving around new gold-tinged packaging and an ‘M’ seal stamped on the chocolate itself. The TV ad shows elegant women in a sun-kissed European city, catching falling Magnums as they tumble from exploding balloons. The campaign helped the brand’s core lines pass £100m in sales for the first time.


Aunt Bessie's

Aunt Bessie’s: 
Upgrade Your Roast Chicken

Frozen: pies, quiches and slices

Mabel and Margaret, Aunt Bessie’s Mission Impossible-style duo, have been upgraded in this latest ad with a spy car to rival Tom Cruise himself. But they aren’t the only ones: the comical pensioners watch a family tuck into their roast chicken, upgraded with a side of Yorkshire puddings. Another dose of perfectly pitched humour for the whole family.

Chicago Town: Takeaway

Frozen: pizza

Better than Domino’s? It’s a bold claim, but Chicago Town claims 170 people compared three pizzas, including one from the takeaway giant, and Chicago Town pizzas came out on top. The two-part ad is a pitch-perfect pastiche of Hollywood action film trailers, with part one seeing the no-longer-needed pizza delivery boy hauled into the air by a hook-dangling helicopter, and part two driving home the message.

McCain Jackets: It Only Takes Five Minutes

Frozen: potatoes

Here McCain’s Jackets tackle an age-old problem: how to microwave a baked spud without losing that taste and texture served up by an oven. By sending the humble potato flying out of the soil at meteoric speed, and whizzing across a rural landscape before skidding to a halt on a farmhouse kitchen table, McCain show it can be done, and in just five minutes.

Kenco: Coffee Versus Gangs

Hot beverages: instant coffee

A Honduran teenager is forced to make a choice: join a menacing street gang, or get on the bus and go to work on a coffee farm. Fortunately he opts for the latter and loves it. A high-quality production that tells part of the story using the brilliant device of ‘animated tattoos’, this aligns the Mondelez-owned Kenco with positive social outcomes, and is also full of character and the joy of life.

Poo Pourri

Household: aircare

The appeal of Poo Pourri is obvious: it stops odours emanating from the bathroom following a number two. A potentially awkward product to advertise, then, but this surreal ad goes for broke, starring a prim and proper girl with a straight face who reassures us that “whether you needed to pinch a loaf at work, or lay a brick at your boyfriend’s” it will be your little secret.

Cif: Curse of the Streaks

Household: surface cleaner

There is a touch of Frozen about the animated heroine forced to scrub and clean a dark, gloomy bathroom, cursed by “horrid streaks” and a nasty bit of limescale. But then she summons a bottle of Cif Power & Shine and, like magic, the streaks and limescale are gone, and the fug has lifted to reveal a beautiful white, sparkly bathroom fit for a princess. And everyone lives happily ever after.


Domestos: Turbo Fresh

Household: toilet cleaner/bleach

Domestos has created a gang of slimy green monsters working as miners in the depths of your loo to make the smelly dangers of germs come alive. Casting its new rotating toilet-rim block, Turbo Fresh, as their worst enemy makes for a lighthearted and highly visual watch, which is sure to get children talking too as the hapless creatures are flushed to oblivion. Gross!

Persil: Stronger Together


To promote its Dual Action capsules, Persil wanted to show what can be achieved by working together, so the ad stars two little girls who live next door to each other. Each has a single parent, so the girls hatch a plan to get them to fall in love by building half a dinner table on either side of the garden fence. And the parents stumble upon it at the same time before giving each other a shy smile…


Comfort Pure: Monsier Fabuluex

Laundry: fabric conditioners

Forget Eurostar; 80 minutes on 40°C is all you need to get you to the fragrant French capital. At least that’s the message of the latest ad for the new Comfort Creations range, which whisks us off to the perfumery of Monsieur Fabuluex, who spends his days in a fabric version of Paris mixing ‘Fab’ with ‘-u-’ and ‘lous’ (geddit?) to create such heady fragrances as Indian Rose & Musk and Honeysuckle & Sandalwood.


Lurpak Cook’s Range


Lurpak’s creative team must have had a Eureka moment when somebody realised a close-up video of a Romanesco broccoli resembled an alien landscape. This visually arresting advert is full of these moments, making cooking seem like a voyage into the unknown –but fortunately, the brand’s cookery-focused product range is on hand to guide our explorers through.

Voltarol 12 Hour Gel

OTC: adult

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.” So said Einstein, explaining the concept of relativity. Now imagine living with nagging joint pain, which can mean that “a day can feel like weeks”, Voltarol says. Fortunately, the 12 Hour Gel is on hand to make the day go by in a flash. Or as Albert said, “Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.” The saucy devil.

Lyclear Spray

OTC: paediatric

There’s something oddly cheerful about this ad for lice spray, despite it showing the demise of a living creature just doing what nature intended. We touch down on planet LittleGirl’sScalp, where a mean-looking animated louse is putting on its bib in preparation for dinner. But before it knows what’s happening, it’s trapped in a bubble of Lyclear and all set to suffocate to death. Cue happy child and parent.

Andrex: Sparkling Stars

Paper products: toilet tissue

This utterly charming campaign proves that while it can take a child years to master English, marketese is innate. Asking a range of kids and grown-ups how clean they feel after going to the toilet, Andrex found the adults completely lost for words, but the children full of illustrative examples. “As clean as extreme, shining, sparkling stars” was the response from one articulate little fella.

Kleenex: Rear Window

Paper products: facial tissue

In this online ad campaign we watch as a man etches an elaborate beach scene into the dirt-encrusted rear window of a VW van, with the help of a rolled-up Kleenex. As the picture becomes animated, sweat appears on the brows of sunbathers, a girl spills ice cream, and a mess is made of the sun lotion; all of which illustrates just how useful Kleenex can be for both conventional, and less conventional, purposes.

One is the Loneliest Number

Personal care: deodorants

To push its new can design, Lynx traces a foiled romance through history. A stone-age lad spots a pretty girl, but just as he plucks up the courage to say hi, the ice he’s standing on cracks and he floats away! Similar attempts are foiled in ancient Rome, the Wild West, Victorian London and in 1960s USA before Lynx unites them in the present day. Truly charming.


Lynx Peace: 
Make Love. Not War.

Personal care: shower products

Landing just the right side of outrageous, Lynx gave us a series of threatening figures: a Soviet soldier driving a tank through a chaotic city, a GI jumping out of a chopper in ’Nam and a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-type with his finger lingering over a big red button. Thanks to Lynx, though, they’re all lovers, not fighters, and they just want to kiss their women.

Declaration of Love

Personal care: shampoo

This ad, released the week before Valentine’s Day, was thoughtful, elegant, well made and with just the right amount of schmaltz to tick the box. A man plants flower bulbs and talks us through what he loves about his special lady. Finally, we discover his goal: the bulbs have bloomed into flowers that spell out ‘Marry Me’ – and she tearfully accepts.


Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Groomer: Manscape Razor

Personal care: razors

Masterful at manipulating men’s facial and head hair into all manner of weird and wacky styles, this ad showcases the multipurpose Hydro 5 Groomer. Set to a contemporary soundtrack, which artfully guides the fast-paced cuts between elaborate beards, moustaches and haircuts, this refreshing ad put some pizazz into what can be a humdrum activity.

Captain Aquafresh

Personal care: oral care

With his fondness for Lycra and zero tolerance of sugar decay, Captain A is the hero that teeth need in a “world under attack from sugar… and more sugar… and even more sugar.” There’s an undeniable pleasure in watching him smash up the sugary treats heading his way, though including white bread proved controversial before the ASA gave it the thumbs-up.

Deli Box Noodles: 
Awesome Mums

Rice, noodles & pasta: instant pot snacks

Ad agencies love hero mums, and in this ad Batchelors shows six of them strutting down the street doing all sorts at the same time: mixing a cake, effortlessly carrying four babies, making a balloon animal, fixing a hairdo, making a fancy dress outfit and, of course, tucking into a box of Deli Box noodles with the strapline: “Lunch that doesn’t break your stride.”

pot noodle

Pot Noodle Brazilian BBQ Steak: Life’s a Beach

Rice, noodles & pasta: instant pot snacks

A young man decides the life of a beach towel is the perfect career change and, after eating a Brazilian BBQ Pot Noodle, he miraculously becomes one, spending his days lying on a beach surrounded by Brazilian beauties. Add in a touch of samba, and this pleasingly uncomplicated dream of escape captures the humble snack, with its exotic twist, perfectly.

Uncle Ben’s: Begin with Ben

Rice, noodles & pasta: rice

Microwave rice used to say students, lazy single men and the chronically malnourished – but not any more. Uncle Ben is now thoroughly in tune with nature, and wants you to know it. We visit his vegetable garden where a large, juicy red pepper hops off the plant, somersaults forward and opens up to reveal… a packet of Uncle Ben’s! Meanwhile, blissed-out carrots, corn and peas sway in the bucolic breeze.


Homepride: Return of Fred

Sauces: cooking

Homepride didn’t play it safe when Fred returned to TV for the first time in a decade. The mascot pops up as mum makes a family supper and, at first, things are fine. Everyone loves Fred. But mum likes Fred a little too much and dad realises he’s being edged out. Then he discovers mum in the bath while Fred lurks next to her, holding a backscrubber (below). Dad is stunned. Fred smiles. Then locks him out.

Heinz: Bring Food to Life

Sauces: table

We’ve all eaten food so bland it might as well not be there, so the idea behind this ad for the world’s favourite tomato sauce is inspired. The ad suggests that without ketchup, things like chips don’t really exist. So we see people pinching what looks like an imaginary chip, but once the chip is dipped in ketchup, it appears. A brilliant ad that will remind ketchup fans just how much they love it.

Branston: Son, I’m Sorry

Sauces: condiments

While Batchelors played with the archetype of the perfect mum, Branston took a comical dig at her opposite, the incapable dad. Indeed, it seems the poor guy is incapable of decorating a birthday cake, painting a wall mural, or even building a working rocket. What kind of dad is this? Thank goodness the one thing he can do is make a knockout cheese and pickle sandwich.


Ginsters: Feed the Man

Savoury pastries: chilled

A wry campaign that takes a self-deprecating look at masculinity, tapping into those moments when a man wishes he could have an injection of more – such as kicking a football back to a Sunday league team with power and accuracy when strolling in a park with a girl. The solution? Eat a peppercorn steak slice and you’ll be fine. Nothing complex – but then again, neither is a Ginsters.


Mattessons Double 
Dippers: Miss Marvins

Savoury pastries: meat snacks

A surrealist vision of a world full of female Hank Marvins, this ad builds on the success of its quirky, cockney rhyming slang slogan. Depicting women in all manner of everyday situations dressed as the legendary guitarist, it is only when one of them tucks into their Double Dipper chicken snack that she can stop being ‘absolutely Hank Marvin.’

Rustlers: Hunger Monkey

Savoury pastries: microwaveable snacks

The animal embodiment of those mischievous hunger pangs that make it impossible to ignore that microwaveable burger in your fridge, the Rustlers Hunger Monkey just doesn’t let up. His latest victim is a poor, unsuspecting chap who’s simply trying to get his work done. But the monkey won’t be satisfied by a meagre biscuit, instead luring him to the delicious Rustlers in his fridge.

Durex: Turn On to Turn Off

Sex care

People are obsessed with smartphones, laptops and iPads these days. Durex is concerned this is creating a barrier to physical intimacy, so it capitalised on Earth Hour – a movement to switch off as many lights as possible for 60 minutes every March – and encouraged consumers to take advantage of the moment, stop using electricity, and generate some heat of their own.

Unstoppable Volcanicity

Soft drinks: bottled water

After China embraces democracy; after Israelis and Palestinians hold hands and sing songs of peace; after you and everyone you will ever love have died and returned to nothing; after all that, there will still be volcanoes. Volvic hunted high and low in order to find one that could talk to star in this epic, beautiful advert, which speaks to the cool freshness of the product.

Innocent: Chain of Good

Soft drinks: juices & smoothies

It’s easy to get swept up by ‘connectedness.’ A few years ago, we were all convinced we were best mates with Kevin Bacon, and now Innocent would have us believe you can send a young African to engineering school by buying a smoothie. It may take a bit more than that, but this ad is full of good vibes, and it doesn’t hurt to remind us the business gives 10% of profits to charity.

Lucozade: The Yes Moment

Soft drinks: sports & energy drinks

Some call it being in the zone. For some, it’s a flow state. Others think of it as ‘dancing to tasty beats in the sunshine with lots of young, cool, attractive people.’ However you choose to describe that magic moment when everything just clicks, Lucozade wants you to know it can help you get there. A clever and effective way to associate its brand with happiness, satisfaction and productivity.

Squash’d: Robinsons Set Free

Soft drinks: squashes

Whether it’s being hurled across a busy office or sent flying by a tennis racket, the emphasis is all on the portability of the pocket-sized Squash’d from Robinsons, which contains 20 squirts of super-concentrated squash per bottle. No longer to be left in kitchen cupboards, this soft drink gets out and about to add a pick-me-up to water wherever it may be in this fun and effective ad.


Experience the Breakthrough

Tobacco: e-cigarettes

Smokers will definitely link nicotine with “a moment of pure satisfaction,” but dashing towards a person of the opposite sex surrounded by a cloud of white mist harks back to the days when smoking was presented as stylish. The row over whether e-cig ads are really aimed at ex-smokers could keep going as a result, but there is no doubt the ad itself looks great.

See also: Top Products Survey 2014