THE PEOPLE’S JURY: Old advertising ideas die hard - The revival of advertising classics is favoured by the jury, Richard Cook writes

They might not make ’em like they used to. Things might well have been better in the ’good old days’. But in one particular aspect the current generation can hardly be faulted. At the very least it can be counted on to wring the last drop of creative nectar out of some of the most venerable and best- loved campaigns of the past. The ’p-p-p penguin’ idea might have been around since those days when they really knew how to make good advertising, but the new campaign twist proves there’s more than a little life left in the lovable creatures.

They might not make ’em like they used to. Things might well have

been better in the ’good old days’. But in one particular aspect the

current generation can hardly be faulted. At the very least it can be

counted on to wring the last drop of creative nectar out of some of the

most venerable and best- loved campaigns of the past. The ’p-p-p

penguin’ idea might have been around since those days when they really

knew how to make good advertising, but the new campaign twist proves

there’s more than a little life left in the lovable creatures.



Publicis’s current role reversal ad, where the penguins sit around

chewing the fat and laughing at the colourful antics of cuddly little

humans, was a clear winner with 7.3 points. The ad was considerably more

popular with women than men - one in five women gave it top marks,

compared with fewer than one in ten men.



Penguin was the most popular of the 20 ads surveyed this month. But it

was only the third most effective, trailing Ammirati Puris Lintas’s

Flora spot and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s Yellow Pages ad, which

persuaded more than half of the 500 viewers questioned to consider using

the product.



Each month, the People’s Jury gauges public reaction to a selection of

mainstream ads, either new or newly back on air. Jurors give each a mark

out of ten: from one (did not like at all) to ten (loved). We rank the

ads by their mean score (top table). The panel indicates the five ads,

led by Yellow Pages, that convinced the highest percentage to buy or use

the brand.



Although Penguin was a clear winner as the most popular ad, 11 of the

surveyed ads scored higher than six points out of ten.



Yellow Pages proved the value of appealing to our romantic side. The

execution, depicting a baby growing up to better things than it has any

right to expect, was slightly more popular with women.



Elsewhere in the survey a couple of crucial category battles were being

waged. Reebok signed up some top footballing talent, including the

Manchester United stars, Ryan Giggs and Peter Schmeicel, and cast them

as flower seller and pig farmer respectively - the jobs they might have

had if they hadn’t invested in the right kit. The Lowe Howard-Spink ads

proved popular, behind Wieden and Kennedy’s Nike ’do running’ spots, the

second most popular ads among the 15- to 34-year-old category of

respondents.



And in the four-way car competition, it was the Honda Accord campaign by

CDP that performed best. The spot, which features a clutch of rival

engineers spying on the latest Honda model, was not a critical

favourite, but did anchor Honda’s most comprehensive integrated

marketing campaign.



At the other end of the table, L. G. Electronics was always facing an

uphill struggle in rebranding the little-known Goldstar brand as LG for

UK consumers. More surprising was the performance of Everest on its

return to TV after an eight-year break. The classic ’Fit the best, fit

Everest’ endline was revived by the new agency, J. Walter Thompson, but

alas Ted Moult and his feather were for different reasons not available.

Maybe the current generation isn’t quite so good at reviving the pick of

the past after all.



Audience Selection carried out the telephone interviews between 25 April

and 27 April, selecting 1,000 adults who represent a cross-section of

the population by age, class, sex and geography.



This was despite the hefty dollop of male wish fulfilment in the story

of a beauty and a beast, finding true love.



PROPENSITY TO BUY



We asked the People’s Jury whether the advertising was more likely to

encourage them to buy or use the product



Ad                         % likely

                             to buy

Yellow Pages                     54

Flora margarine                  50

McVitie’s Penguin                42

BT Friends and Family            38

Robinsons                        37

SELECTED ADS: APRIL 1997

Rank  Ad campaign                Agency                        Points

1     McVitie’s Penguin          Publicis                         7.3

2     Yellow Pages               Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO         6.7

3     Nike ’do running’          Wieden and Kennedy               6.6

4     Reebok                     Lowe Howard-Spink                6.3

5=    Budweiser                  BMP DDB                          6.2

5=    Dairy Crest Clover         Young and Rubicam                6.2

5=    Flora margarine            Ammirati Puris Lintas            6.2

8=    Honda Accord               CDP                              6.1

8=    BT Friends and Family      Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO         6.1

8=    Adidas                     Leagas Delaney                   6.1

11    Nissan Primera             TBWA/Simons Palmer               6.0

12    Vauxhall Vectra            Lowe Howard-Spink                5.9

13    Robinsons                  HHCL and Partners                5.7

14    Ford Ka                    Ogilvy and Mather                5.5

15    NatWest ’Cannings’         Bartle Bogle Hegarty             5.4

16    Specsavers                 In-house                         5.3

17=   Ariel Superior             Saatchi and Saatchi              5.2

17=   Everest Double Glazing     J.Walter Thompson                5.2

17=   Salon Services             Bartle Bogle Hegarty             5.2

20    L. G. Electronics          Kelly Weedon Shute               5.1

Source: Audience Selection. Further information and copies of

the full results are available. Tel 0171-608 3618