PEOPLE’S JURY/FAVOURITE ADS: Jury votes with its taste buds - Britain still adores its furry friends, but chocolate has to come first

Over the past couple of years, the People’s Jury has revealed much about the attitudes and tastes of the British public.

Over the past couple of years, the People’s Jury has revealed much

about the attitudes and tastes of the British public.

Taking the 20 most-watched new ads, we ask two groups of 500 viewers to

give each ad a mark out of ten, then list the average scores in

descending order.

The process has given us ample proof of the country’s love affair with

animals, with high marks for everything from Andrex toilet tissue to

Penguin biscuits. We’ve seen that, despite the supposed ’advertising

literacy’ of late 90s culture, most people still believe what they read

in the papers. How else can you explain the popularity of heavily PR-led

campaigns for the Renault Clio, Nescafe Gold Blend or Pizza Hut?

This month, we have uncovered another fundamental truth: we are a nation

of chocoholics.

Let’s face it, if you live in a roof-terraced residence in Ladbroke

Grove, work in a creative department in Soho and have a burning desire

to end up on a podium in the Grosvenor House, the thought of working on

a chocolate account is not going to get your juices going. The rest of

us, however, would be salivating at the thought of all that free


And, without being unkind to the advertising, one suspects it’s really

the product that has propelled Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Rowntree’s

Quality Street to first and third in the People’s Jury poll this


The latest Dairy Milk ads, billing the chocolate as ’the bar and a half’

for all sorts of ’situations and a half’, are highly polished and mildy

amusing. But would they have registered 6.7 if they’d been for any other

product category?

Even stronger evidence of chocolate bias is supplied by the 6.4 awarded

to the latest Rowntree’s Quality Street ad. A real creative tour de

force, this one, with its slick, contemporary fairground setting and

clever use of a fruit machine to introduce four new sweets in the

Quality Street range.

Good sense has prevailed and the real reason everyone loves Dulux ads

has not been jettisoned completely. The cuddly Old English sheepdog

remains one the strongest icons in British advertising - even when

relegated to the end frame, as it has been for the past year or so.

Below these three, the increasing likeability of the BT ads is reflected

at number four and seven, while Asda’s chief executive, Allan Leighton,

will be pleased to note that his self-proclaimed ’wallpaper’ ads are so


But Orange’s chief executive, Hans Snook, another of Campaign’s recent

Boardroom Players, will be disappointed to see the reaction to his

company’s switch to artistic, animated commercials.

Mark Booth, the Sky chief executive, may also be upset to find the

launch work for Sky Digital languishing at number 15. But if anyone at

Norwich Union is surprised by the low score given to its latest ad, then

they really are as out of touch as the ad suggests.

Our two topical questions both polled huge majorities. No, sponsorship

is not irritating. And no, no-one cares that cricket coverage won’t be

on the BBC anymore. Not as long as they’ve got a nice bit of chocolate

to hand, anyway.

And, talking of Pizza Hut with its ’rent-a-star’ approach, we’ve had

confirmation, that most ordinary people are obsessed with famous


Stand up, among others, Nicholas Lyndhurst (W. H. Smith), Jack Dee (John

Smith’s) and Prunella Scales (Tesco). Not so fast, Bruce Forsyth

(Courts) - it doesn’t always work.

Do you have a problem with cricket going from BBC to Channel 4?

Yes       No       Don’t know

14%       84%      2%

Does the company sponsorship of TV programmes bother you?

Yes       No       Don’t know

8%        91%      1%


Rank  Ad campaign                   Agency                     Points

1     Cadbury’s Dairy Milk          TBWA GGT Simons Palmer          6.7

2     Dulux                         Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO        6.5

3     Rowntree’s Quality Street     Ammirati Puris Lintas           6.4

4     BT (Momentum)                 Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO        6.1

5     Duracell Ultra                Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO        6.0

6=    Asda                          Publicis                        5.8

6=    BT (Home Highway)             Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO        5.8

8=    British Gas                   BMP DDB                         5.7

8=    Skoda cars                    Creative Strategy               5.7

10=   McCain’s Micro Chips          DMB&B                           5.6

10=   Nivea Visage                  TBWA GGT Simons Palmer          5.6

12=   Cheltenham & Gloucester       Saatchi & Saatchi               5.5

12=   Argos                         Ogilvy & Mather                 5.5

12=   Take A Break magazine         Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy    5.5

15    Sky Digital                   M&C Saatchi                     5.2

16=   Comet                         Saatchi & Saatchi               5.0

16=   Orange                        WCRS                            5.0

16=   Norwich Union                 Saatchi & Saatchi               5.0

19=   MFI                           Publicis                        4.9

19=   Computer Active               Broadway Communications         4.9

Source: Audience Selection

Tel: 0171-608 3618


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