It's no surprise that, of the ten campaigns VCCP submitted for the public to rate, the majority featured cutesy, furry animals either talking, singing or wagging their tails. From the expected cast of Russian meerkats to cheeky monkeys trying to flog Jammie Dodgers, cynics could be forgiven for imagining that VCCP's creatives reach for a picture of Noah's Ark as soon as they walk into their brainstorming sessions.
But that's unfair, considering VCCP clearly has a far greater breadth of bold and distinctive ideas coming out of it. More to the point, the simplistic reaction of hearing the name "VCCP" and seeing a meerkat in your mind's eye just doesn't do the agency creative justice.
Clearly for the public, though, Aleksandr Orlov remains a favourite commercial appearance. For it was two meerkat executions that were the most popular out of the ten spots, when 2,000 punters scored the ads on how impressed they were with them, how likely they would be to tell a friend about them and how much they make them like the brand.
By contrast, the animal-less spot for Coors Light beer, which stars a rather past-it-looking Jean-Claude Van Damme in an absurd denim outfit, was the least popular ad, rating an average 4.89 out of ten, despite Van Damme talking about the beer being as refreshing as his icy nipples.
Animals made a reappearance in the Muller Corner and 5 Alive spots, which featured a running cow and a dancing dodo respectively. These were more popular among those surveyed than two ads for O2, which were rated 5.3 and 5.4, and starred Coldplay and the England rugby team promoting the O2 Priority offering.
The agency's first campaign for easyJet (and the first-ever brand campaign by the client), which uses the strapline "Where are you going?", scored just 5.2. This spot was part of a £50 million pan- European campaign seeking to reposition the carrier as one for businesspeople as well as holidaymakers. But it struggled to connect with 25- to 34-year-olds - arguably, a demographic that a no-frills airline does not want to lose.
How VCCP Ads scored
Comparethemarket.com - Meerkovo - 6.08
Comparethemarket.com - Office - 6.04
5 Alive - Dodo - 5.81
Muller Corner -Thank you cows- 5.60
02 - Get up for England - 5.40
02 - Coldplay - 5.30
Jammie Dodgers - Toffee Dodgers - 5.23
EasyJet - Where are you going? - 5.20
More Th>n - Alfie - 5.20
Coors Light - Closest to cold- 4.89
Source: OnePoll Research. Sample: 2,000 people (1,051 female, 949 male).