Gio, Cara, Hagglehero, Aleksandr: Vote for your favourite price comparison site advert

As we’ve already discovered, people think that is now some sort of dating site thanks to its latest weird-ass ads featuring a swivel-eyed mentalist thrashing around on the screen.

After the swivel-eyed loonie warbled and wailed its way through Somebody To Love and Chain Reaction, making everybody believe that the price-comparison outfit had ventured into some sort of lonely hearts website for crazy cult members, there’s now an advert out trying to reiterate the point that it’s actually a website about comparing insurance quotes – something about ten billion miles away from a strange karaoke with a load of weird squiggles bouncing their tits around.

Too little too late? However annoying the meerkat, Go Compare and Moneysupermarket ads are, there’s an undoubted clarity of purpose to them. The new Gio-in-space and John Prescott Money Supermarket ads suggest that these memes have a lot further to run, so I thought I’d do a poll to see which are peoples’ favourites of the price comparison ad wars.

Vote for your favourite at the bottom. Before you get there, here’s a reminder.

Cara Confused thing

• See more adverts

Meerkat thing

• See more ComparetheMarket adverts

Omid Djalili thing

• See more Moneysupermarket adverts

Fat tenor thing

• See more Go Compare adverts

Vote now!


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)


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.