THE PEOPLE’S JURY: Anti-drink-drive ad hits a high - Seasonal ads dominated the popularity and buying tables, Harriet Green says

A public information film seems an unlikely candidate for the most popular ad of the month. However, DMB&B’s latest anti-drink-drive campaign for the Department of Transport struck a deep chord with viewers in the run-up to Christmas.

A public information film seems an unlikely candidate for the most

popular ad of the month. However, DMB&B’s latest anti-drink-drive

campaign for the Department of Transport struck a deep chord with

viewers in the run-up to Christmas.

The ad, which features a young woman bravely coping with deep facial

scars (a result of her boyfriend’s drunk driving) scored an

unprecedented 7.9 on the likeability scale. Women liked the ad most,

giving it a massive 8.3, with men scoring 7.7 - a heartening result.

Shame, then, that many motorists failed to take heed of the message -

the number of drink-drivers caught in the Christmas period leapt by 18

per cent.

Each month, Campaign lets the People’s Jury loose on 20 mainstream

commercials, chosen at random, but all are either new or recently back

on air. Jurors give each ad a mark out of ten, from one (did not like at

all) to ten (loved). We then rank the ads by their mean score (top

table). The panel illustrates the five ads that are most persuasive in

getting people to buy the brand.

There was quite a gap between the anti-drink-drive winner and the


Second in the popularity stakes (but lagging more than one point behind)

was Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper’s debut campaign for Cadbury’s Roses, the

brand’s first new TV work in five years. The ads, which show a small boy

agonising over a thank-you note for his gran and an ex-con bouncer

struggling to find a way to thank his boss for taking him on, also

proved the most effective at persuading viewers to buy. In all, 58 per

cent of respondents claimed they were more likely to buy a box of Roses

chocs after seeing the ads.

Close behind Cadbury’s Roses, with a joint score of 6.7, were Safeway’s

seasonal special - which showed Harry and Molly exchanging gifts (or

mince-pies) under the Christmas tree - and Wieden and Kennedy’s

basketball film for Nike starring Michael Jordan.

Tesco also did well coming fifth. The result showed the lasting impact

of a strong brand-building campaign, since Lowe Howard-Spink’s ads

starring Prunella Scales and Jane Horrocks did not air in December,

having been replaced by tactical spots. Both Safeway and Tesco scored

highly in the propensity to buy table, with Tesco persuading 51 per cent

of respondents, and Safeway 33 per cent, to visit their stores.

In sixth place, was Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s new work for Alka Seltzer

- an audacious film for the indigestion remedy which features a

shipwrecked boatswain who has turned cannibal, accompanied by the

voiceover: ’Alka Seltzer - when you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t


Euro RSCG did well with its Cadbury’s Roses campaign but, according to

the People’s Jury, its work for Hooper’s Hooch stank. Lurking right at

the bottom of the table, the first alcopop to advertise on TV scored a

miserable 4.8. The ’Hooch man’, a burly, tattooed man, who struts around

in a yellow flowery dress, was perhaps too perplexing for our

all-encompassing jury, which represents a cross-section of the

population. Not surprisingly, the ad was much preferred by 15- to

34-year-olds (the target audience), who gave it a healthy 5.7.

Audience Selection carried out the telephone interviews between 19

December and 22 December with 1,000 adults who represent a cross-section

of the population by age, class, sex and geography.


Rank  Ad campaign                  Agency                       Points

1     DoT Anti-drink-drive         DMB&B                           7.9

2     Cadbury’s Roses              Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper           6.8

3=    Safeway Christmas            Bates Dorland                   6.7

3=    Nike Basketball              Wieden and Kennedy              6.7

5     Tesco Christmas              Lowe Howard-Spink               6.4

6     Alka-Seltzer                 Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO        6.3

7=    I Can’t Believe It’s Not

      Butter                       McCann-Erickson                 6.2

7=    Courvoisier                  Saatchi and Saatchi             6.2

9=    Budweiser                    BMP DDB                         6.1

9=    Weetabix                     Lowe Howard-Spink               6.1

11    Colman’s Condiments          J. Walter Thompson              6.0

12    British Airways Club World   M&C Saatchi                     5.9

13    Opium for Women              In-house                        5.8

14    Homepride Korma              Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury    5.7

15=   BT Mobile                    Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO        5.5

15=   De Beers Diamonds            J. Walter Thompson              5.5

17    Kleenex Ultrabalm            Publicis                        5.4

18    American Express             Ogilvy and Mather               5.3

19    Advil                        Publicis                        5.1

20    Hooper’s Hooch               Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper           4.8

Source: Audience Selection. Further information and copies of the full

results are available. Tel 0171-608 3618

We asked the people’s jury whether the advertising was more likely to

encourage them to buy or use the product.