According to a recent Nielsen report, Compare the Market’s TV ad featuring “compare the meerkat” founder Sergei handing a free meerkat toy to a window cleaner, was more “liked” than The British Heart Foundation’s ad featuring footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, demonstrating CPR to the tune of Staying Alive.
Nielson has compiled a top ten most-liked and most memorable TV ads of 2012, with the Compare the Market ad clinching the top spot ahead of The British Heart Foundation and Kerrygold Butter in third. It is the third year that Compare the Market has featured, and their second time at the top, whilst it is the second time for retailer John Lewis, who managed fourth place this year.
The report has lead to the thought that animals have replaced celebrities as the must-have to make ads more memorable, with four of the top ten featuring animals, whilst only 1 features a celebrity, this is a trend that has seen the number of celebrities being in the top ten drop from 2 in 2011 and 4 in 2010, whilst the number of memorable ads involving animals was 2 for both years. The other conclusion marketers can take from this is that a strong emotional situation in adverts can help people connect to them more, such as the children returning home in the Kerrygold ad, where-as comedy is not as important as it once was.
Darren Moor, Nielsen’s VP of advertising effectiveness, says: “Animals have replaced celebrities as the new stars of many of the nation’s favourite TV ads in 2012, and we expect their effectiveness as brand icons and storytellers to continue as a theme next year.”
Moor adds: “The glaring, and surprising, omission is that not a single Olympic or sport-related ad features amongst the most liked in what has been the most successful year in the history of British sport. Advertisers may need to work harder to find out why sports ads are not connecting as well with a nation that loves its sport if their ads are to appear on the winners’ podium in 2013.”
Nielsen ranked the TV ads on ‘likeability’ and ‘memorability’ each day with the list based on over 1.25 million survey results from viewers watching evening TV in the UK. The likeability index is a measure of the number of TV viewers who like an ad they saw, and whose brand they can remember, during the normal course of their TV viewing. Scores for likeability and memorability have been tracked every day for each of this year’s nearly 7,000 new ads, shortly after each has been broadcast.