The ad, created by McCann Manchester, which launched in August, features a woman sitting next to packs of PG Tips and Aldi tea, saying: "I don't like tea. I like gin".
Despite drawing complaints from members of the public who claimed the ad made a joke of alcoholism, the ad beat off competition from John Lewis, CompareTheMarket.com and VW Passat to win the top spot as the most-liked ad of the year.
VCCP's CompareTheMarket.com ad came second, followed by the Volkswagen Passat super bowl ‘Darth Vader’ ad, created by Deutsch, featuring a young boy dressed as Darth Vader.
Adam and Eve's "the long wait" ad for John Lewis was the fourth-most-liked ad for 2011, followed by ads for Walkers Crisps, Foster's beer, Skittles Candy, Boots Pharmacies, Dreamies Cat Treats and PG Tips.
The research complied by Nielsen used almost two million survey results from viewers watching evening TV in the UK. Scores for likeability and recall were tracked every day for each of 2011's 4,000 new ads, shortly after each had been broadcast.
Last year's top-three winners were CompareTheMarket.com, Magner's Irish Cider and Maltesers.
Darren Moore, vice-president for advertiser solutions at Nielsen, explained: "2011 is the year that relatable characters replaced celebrities in the list of most-liked ads. The 2011 list also suggests that children and animals are triggering a more positive response for advertisers. Humour, too, is a big theme in the list. Nine of the top 10 most-liked ads are funny or comedic in tone. Only the John Lewis ad, which instead uses pathos and an emotive pull, takes a different route to engage viewers."
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This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk