The ad features The Muppets musically pitching their idea for giant crumpets to Warburtons’ chairman. It came out on top in a survey of the best Christmas TV ads.
The choice is likely to raise controversy over whether the ad is actually a Christmas ad. The two-minute film's only festive reference comes at the end when Kermit the Frog delivers the pun, "Merry crumpets, everybody".
The survey of 500 people asked participants to rate ads on 12 factors, including branding, persuasion and involvement. The Warburtons’ campaign beat competition from 18 other brands including Debenhams, Burberry and Lidl, to be voted number one.
Jonathan Warburton, the chairman of Warburtons, has been delighted by the positive reaction to the ad. He said: "We set out to bring some joy and fun to advertising at Christmas, and this is proof that we’ve achieved it with 'the giant crumpet show'."
Despite creating a viral sensation on social media, and racking up over 26 million views on YouTube, John Lewis’ highly anticipated "man on the moon" ad did not reach the top spot and did not score as highly as last year’s "Monty the penguin".
Amanda Phillips, the UK head of marketing for Millward Brown, said: "Last year’s John Lewis ad created warm and fuzzy feelings. Perhaps the 'man on the moon' left us a little melancholy.
"The story was powerful, however, and its virality is immense. John Lewis continues to herald the start of the festive season."
Other ads which performed in the survey well include Cadbury’s "free the joy", which came second overall, and Argos’ "just can’t wait", which received the biggest increase in score compared to last year.
In the battle for attention at Christmas the survey showed that one key to a successful Christmas ad revolves around good storytelling. Ads such as "man on the moon", and Sainsbury’s "Mog’s Christmas Calamity" captured the viewers imagination, despite a lack of overt branding, and scored highly in the survey.
Millward Brown said they could not provide rankings for each ad surveyed across all metrics, but said "it was clear" that Warburtons scored highest.
Instead, they provided Campaign with the top ten ads that made viewers "love" the brand the most:
7= John Lewis