2010’s ‘best-loved’ adverts

These were, apparently, the best-loved adverts of 2010, according to some kind of complicated algorithm from Nielsen.

The research includes 1.5 million votes cast by British viewers on the ‘likeability’ of various adverts and how much they remembered it.

On this basis, the ubiquitous meerkat adverts came out on top, with a ‘likeability index rating’ of 256; 2.56 times more popular than the average new commercial during 2010.

Second was an advert for Magners, one of many overwhelmingly Oirish adverts that blighted the channels over 2010; while utterly forgettable adverts for the likes of Maltesers, Cushelle and Velvet were also ranked in the top ten.

So, what does all of this mean? Very little, beyond the redundancy of many tracking metrics deployed in advertising and marketing to reassure advertisers and marketers that they’re doing a top-hole job.

These adverts may have been ranked as memorable and likeable, but it’s hard to read anything more significant into these figures. Are these good adverts? In the main, no. Did they give a return on investment? There’s no data here to suggest they did. What was the penetration? Who knows? Did they raise the profile of the brand? Perhaps, that’s the easiest conclusion to draw from this bizarre set of data, though how familiar and fondly thought-of the brand already is is debatable; as is how memorable they after after a year; while how these adverts automatically become ‘best-loved’ is beyond me.

No doubt Nielsen would love to tell you more about its advert rankings and audience research – for an absolutely whopping fee. I’d be more than happy to give rather more succinct views on the adverts below, for a much smaller one.

‘Best-Loved’ Adverts Of 2010

(Descriptions in italics are Nielsen’s; in plain are mine)

1. CompareTheMarket.com

Story of meerkats fighting an army of mongooses in a snowy landscape

Meerkats uber Alles.

2. Magner’s Irish Cider

Clonmel home of Magners Cider; lorry over golf course; through brick wall

Begorrah, bejoisus, becroikey. Fucking champ. Patronising Oirish drivel.

3. Maltesers

Two couples watch a movie; girlfriends position boyfriends so that they are cuddling

Meh. Variation of the stupid-Dad meme.

4. Santander Bank

Family driving in car; boy falls asleep with red legos; featuring Lewis Hamilton

Everyone likes lego; kids probably like Lewis Hamilton (though probably don’t do a lot of banking).

5. Snickers Candy

Mr. T doing pushups; listen up, suckers; get tough, one-fingered push-ups

Hard to ignore, hard to forget, hard not to like – at first at least.

6. Cancer Research

Race for Life this summer, beat cancer, enter now

Don’t remember ever seeing this.

7. Marks & Spencer Christmas ad

Come on girls first positions; featuring Peter Kay, Twiggy and Dannii Minogue

Noisy, unloved-celeb cluster-fuck.

8. Velvet Paper Towels

Boy in suit points to where trees should be planted in forest; adults hold trees in pots

Quite like this, couldn’t connect it with a brand though.

9. Cushelle Bathroom Tissue

Cartoon koala bear leaps and hugs pack of tissue; new name (previously Charmin)


10. Pepsi Max

Professional footballers, including Lionel Messi, play kids for a Pepsi Max

Cash-spunking corporate obligation pay-day.

ITV’s Best Adverts Of The Decade

As has become more apparent of late, I do like some adverts. As it’s the end of the decade it’s the season for ‘best of’ lists looking back over the last ten years. Inevitably, rather than do something more interesting like putting an angry Charlie Brooker in a room with some ad execs, there’s a perfunctory ‘best 20 ads of the decade’-type programme tonight titled ITV’s Best Adverts Of The Decade.

ITV's Best Adverts Of The Decade

All of the choices are pretty obvious, which is not to say they’re not good, by and large. Frankly the programme doesn’t do them justice, nor do the awful talking heads who contribute absolutely fuck all to our appreciation or understanding of the ads.

Some people called Mark Charnock, Andrew Castle, Sharon Marshall, Jonny Vegas (actually I like Jonny Vegas), Stephen Mulhern, Anthony Worrall-Thompson, Claire Beale, Paul Ross, Kym Marsh, Duncan Bannatyne and some dancing kid compete to be the biggest twunt on display.

Astonishingly it’s not Paul Ross, but Andrew Castle – a man with all the charm and searing insight of a pile of dog shit. Anyway, I’ve collected them all below, along with my own pithy opinions of the ads in question.

ITV’s Best Adverts Of The Decade

Halifax – Howard

No, no, no, no, no. Fuck no.

Budweiser – Wassup!


Cadbury’s eyebrows


John Smiths Peter Kay adverts

Funny, probably Peter Kaye’s best work.

Carlsberg – Old Lions

Brilliant, lovely to see everyone’s favourite old footie players in action one more time.

Waterslide – Barclays

Event ads jump the shark. Patronising, twee and fairly disingenuous drivel.

Volkswagen Golf GTi – Singin in the Rain

An undisputed classic.

Sure For Men – Stunt City

Quite amusing.

Sony Bravia – Balls

A nice ad that looks phenomenal.

Citroen C4 – Transformer

Fun, funky, French. Stone-cold classic.

PG Tips – Monkey and Al

Quite funny.

Sony Bravia – Paint

Quite pleasant.

John West – Bear

Quite amusing.

T-Mobile Dance

This first example of flash mob advertising is quite good.

Guinness – Tipping Point

I’ve long since tired of Guinness’ smug, ethnic vibe. And it’s a rip-of of the far-superior Cog.

Cadbury’s – Gorilla

Quite funny.

Skoda Fabia – Cake


Honda – Cog

It had to be. It’s not my personal favourite but it’s a slice of fried gold.

Compare the Meerkat

Funny and gains points for subverting an awful genre, but rapidly becoming tiresome.


Well observed, but hardly the best ad of the last ten years.