THE PEOPLE’S JURY: Walkers Lites wins top places - This month’s favourite ad is voted the most effective too. Richard Cook reports

It’s not often that an affectionate homage to the dour directing ace, Ingmar Bergman, emerges as the most popular ad of the month. But, on a mission to educate as well as persuade, step forward and take a bow BMP DDB, which hasn’t allowed its first-class campaign for Walkers crisps to go stale yet.

It’s not often that an affectionate homage to the dour directing

ace, Ingmar Bergman, emerges as the most popular ad of the month. But,

on a mission to educate as well as persuade, step forward and take a bow

BMP DDB, which hasn’t allowed its first-class campaign for Walkers

crisps to go stale yet.



The latest work, for Walkers Lites, steered clear of the frankly

unbelievable ’crisps are good for you’ message, even if the offbeat

result must have had the client swallowing hard. But when you’ve got the

celebrities, Gary Lineker and Ulrika Johnsson, to sweeten the pill you

can get away with almost anything. You want to shoot in black and white?

No problem. You need subtitles? Piece of cake. Just come up with one,

half-serviceable gag - Gary prefers his crisps to the gorgeous Ms

Johnsson - and wait for that celebrity chemistry to do the rest.



Walkers is the most popular of the 20 new ads surveyed this month. It is

also the most effective, in that it induced more than half of the 500

viewers questioned to consider buying 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 then rank

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

ads that convinced the highest percentage to buy the brand.



Despite the obvious charms of Ulrika, the Walkers ad was more popular

with women than with men. And, although the ad was a comfortable winner

overall, it was Lowe Howard-Spink’s spot for Pillsbury Toaster Pockets

that garnered the most first-place scores. This also leaned heavily on

the charisma of a celebrity to sell its product, although charisma is

not the right epithet to apply to the stroppy teenager, Kevin, that

Harry Enfield portrays.



Lowes not only ignored the Enfield clutter on our screens by allowing

him to star in the ad, but also to direct it. Enfield also managed to

take fourth place with his ’slam-dunk’ execution for Hula-Hoops that,

maybe not surprisingly, was 50 per cent more popular with men than with

women.



Sandwiching the two Enfield efforts was another ad that succeeded by

leaving the creative thinking to a master. For the new Lee Jeans

commercial, though, the creative spark looked like it had been provided

by another jeans manufacturer circa 18 months ago. The spot, which

showed two astronauts making love in space, was nicely made, however,

and no-one seemed to mind the resemblance to Levi’s ’spaceman’ work. The

ad was popular across the sexes and especially among the core 18- to

24-year-old target age group.



It was quite a month for BMP DDB, whose three ads all made the top seven

with two topping the propensity to buy table - the Terry’s Chocolate

Orange ad finishing a creditable runner-up to Walkers in the latter

list.



At the other end of the table, McCann-Erickson made all the wrong

headlines with its ads for the dubious Murder in Mind partwork,

none-too-sensitively released a few weeks before the Dunblane

anniversary. Hostile press and TV may have helped account for its woeful

performance.



Audience Selection carried out the telephone interviews between 28

February and 2 March with 1,000 adults who represent a cross-section of

the population by age, class, sex and geography.



PROPENSITY TO BUY



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

encourage them to buy or use the product.



SELECTED ADS: FEBRUARY 1997

1     Walkers Crisps Lite            BMP DDB                    6.7

2=    Lee Jeans                      Grey                       6.4

2=    Pillsbury Toaster Pockets      Lowe Howard-Spink          6.4

4     KP Hula-Hoops                  Publicis                   6.3

5     Volkswagen Golf                BMP DDB                    6.2

6=    Fiat Punto                     DMB&B                      6.0

7=    Unipath Clearblue              Ogilvy and Mather          5.9

7=    Terry’s Chocolate Orange Bar   BMP DDB                    5.9

9=    Lynx Inca                      Bartle Bogle Hegarty       5.8

9=    Kleenex Ultra Balm             Foote Cone Belding         5.8

11=   COI/Energy Saving Trust        Saatchi and Saatchi        5.6

11=   Shredded Wheat                 McCann-Erickson            5.6

13    Prudential                     Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO   5.5

14    UPS                            McCann-Erickson            5.4

15    Cussons Carex                  BDH                        5.3

16=   Clerical Medical               BDDH                       5.1

16=   L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara     McCann-Erickson            5.1

18    Now magazine                   In-house                   5.0

19    The Mirror                     M&C Saatchi                4.9

20    Murder in Mind magazine        McCann-Erickson            3.6

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

results are available. Tel 0171-608 3618