PEOPLE’S JURY: Fiesta slot scores top marks - Car brands perform better as spring fever takes hold of viewers, John Tylee says

It must be spring. The first cricket of the season has been snowed off, Everton are staging their annual dance on the Premier League’s trapdoor, and car makers are jostling on TV for the attention of anybody contemplating acquiring a set of nifty new wheels.

It must be spring. The first cricket of the season has been snowed

off, Everton are staging their annual dance on the Premier League’s

trapdoor, and car makers are jostling on TV for the attention of anybody

contemplating acquiring a set of nifty new wheels.



How else to explain the Ford Fiesta’s pole position (courtesy of Young &

Rubicam) in the latest People’s Jury, while the Vauxhall Vectra and

Renault Laguna ads, by Lowe Howard-Spink and Publicis respectively,

chase its exhaust pipe.



The weather also influenced the preferences expressed by the viewers

Campaign asks each month to score Britain’s 20 most watched ads. The

scores range from zero (a turkey) to ten (get the Cannes chairman on the

phone pronto).



So it’s a commendable 6.0 for Y&R’s ad for Schweppes tonic water,

inspired no doubt by wistful thoughts of long evenings on the patio, G &

T in hand.



If the drinking threatens to get out of hand there’s always the sobering

thought of some seasonal decorating. But the 5.6 rating for the

Sainsbury’s Homebase ad featuring Neil Morrissey - who must be to home

decor what the Incredible Hulk is to ballroom dancing - must have more

to do with the halo effect of Men Behaving Badly than anything else.



Still on the subject of drink, there’s little hope that the Government’s

idea of putting ’health warnings’ on alcohol ads to curb teenage

drinking will have the desired result. Eighty-seven per cent of those

questioned say such warnings will have no effect on their booze-buying,

with only 11 per cent claiming it would make them cut back.



Tellingly, the figures are consistent irrespective of age, sex, class

and locality. To make matters worse for nannying New Labour, 16- to

34-year-olds are just as likely to ignore a health warning as older

consumers.



It also looks like a rough landing for ET, Steven Spielberg’s friendly

alien, who has yet to regain our affections as he returns to front BT’s

new consumer campaign. A worrying 41 per cent of those questioned say

they don’t like the newly launched ’stay in touch’ advertising through

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, with only 31 per cent giving it the

thumbs-up.



It’s early days. The campaign is barely beyond the teaser stage and more

than a quarter of the jury members say they are still out. The

commercial in which ET makes his debut had not hit the screens at the

time of the survey - the alien may yet win through.



Audience Selection carried out telephone interviews between 23 and 25

April, with a cross-section of 1,000 adults.



TOP 20 ADS.

Rank  Ad campaign                     Agency                   Points

1     Ford Fiesta                     Young & Rubicam             6.1

2=    Vauxhall Vectra                 Lowe Howard-Spink           6.0

2=    Renault Laguna                  Publicis                    6.0

2=    Schweppes Tonic Water           Young & Rubicam             6.0

5=    Sainsbury’s Homebase            Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO    5.6

5=    VNU ComputerActive              Broadway Communications     5.6

5=    Kellogg’s Choco Krispies        Leo Burnett                 5.6

5=    Kwik-Fit                        Morgan Partnership          5.6

9=    Pedigree Chum Crufts            Grey                        5.5

9=    Jewsons Builders                J. Walter Thompson          5.5

9=    National Bingo                  WCRS                        5.5

9=    Dove Deodorant                  Ogilvy & Mather             5.5

9=    McDonald’s McRib                Leo Burnett                 5.5

14    B&Q Easter                      Bates Dorland               5.4

15    Compaq                          BMP DDB                     5.3

16    Schwarzkopf Boots Promotion     J. Walter Thompson          5.2

17=   Burger King                     Ammirati Puris Lintas       5.1

17=   Cheltenham & Gloucester

      Mortgages                       Saatchi & Saatchi           5.1

17=   Comet                           Saatchi & Saatchi           5.1

20    DFS Furniture                   Grey                        4.1

Source: Audience Selection

Tel: 0171-608 3618

LEADING QUESTIONS

                                                Yes      No    Don’t

                                                                know

Q1 Do you think Government health warnings on   11%     87%       2%

   alcohol will affect how much you buy?

Q2 Do you like the new British Telecom          31%     41%      28%

   advertising featuring ET?



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