BT scrapped ET, Camelot created Jack Pot andB&Q topped the Adwatch tables once again. Gail Kemp looks back on amemorable year for TV ads

Whatever happens to the economy in 2002, it will be a challenging

time for advertisers and agencies.

While mindful that brands supported with consistent advertising are more

likely to survive recession, advertisers will put increased pressure on

agencies and media owners to prove the value of every pound spent above

the line.

Marketing's Adwatch, the only column to monitor TV advertising recall on

a weekly basis, is a reliable record of the country's most - and least -

memorable commercials.

NOP's poll of 1000 adults shows the prompted awareness of every

commercial launched on more than 75% of UK terrestrial television, with

the 20 top-scoring brands forming the weekly Adwatch table.

Adwatch of the Year 2001 amalgamates the 50 tables published between

December 7, 2000 and November 29 this year into a two-table super


The tables show which campaigns achieved cut-through with consumers.

The main table totals the number of adults who have recalled a brand's

advertising over the year, while the second table shows the

highest-scoring individual commercials. Marketing has also totalled

every Adwatch mention for creative agencies and media buyers to create

mini-leagues for the top-performing agencies.

For the second consecutive year, B&Q tops both tables and, although its

overall recall figures are slightly lower than in 2000, it has increased

its lead over its closest rivals in the table. While last year's main

table revealed a gap of only 2000 mentions between first and third

places, B&Q this year scored 3400 mentions more than its nearest rival,


B&Q's heavy TV presence kept it almost permanently in the Adwatch top

five during 2001, despite a budget cut of more than 12% according to AC

Nielsen MMS. Most of this year's top 20 spent less above the line than

in 2000; the only substantial increases came from Argos, Halifax, Claims

Direct, Sainsbury's, KFC and Walkers.

Other brands that performed impressively in both tables were the

National Lottery, Halifax, Woolworths and Claims Direct. Claims Direct,

MFI, KFC and DFS, make their Adwatch of the Year debut. Andrex, Direct

Line, Specsavers, One 2 One, Budweiser and Currys have fallen out of the

main table.

The unlucky losers who ended up just outside the main top 20 table are

Orange, the Mail on Sunday, Courts, Vodafone, Currys and Budweiser -

although Orange is in the second table with Lowe Lintas' 'hands'

commercial. Other stars in the second table are PC World's 'Kodak

Digital Camera' ad through M&C Saatchi and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's

Christmas campaign for WH Smith.

The big trend made clear by this year's league is the rise of the


With 16 retailers in the main table, high street names continue to

dominate the ad break.

What has happened to the automotive sector, the traditional FMCG

superbrands and the telecoms companies? These - BT apart - are

conspicuous by their absence from the main table. Even FMCG brand giants

such as Coca-Cola, Nescafe and Kellogg are missing.

Only four of the top 20 highest recall ads (National Lottery, BT, Claims

Direct and Walkers) are for brands that lack dedicated retail


Last year, the figure was seven, in 1999 and 1998 it was ten, and in

1997 it was 12. It seems clear that retailers are getting more powerful

by the year.

Despite cautiously optimistic forecasts from some media agencies, many

marketers fear the UK will find it hard to avoid full-blown


One of them is Camelot's outgoing sales and marketing director Ian


"Businesses are rightly concerned: 2002 will be a very difficult year.

Audiences will be hard to deliver and agencies will be under pressure to

create big ideas across a range of marketing communications," he



Bates UK, B&Q's ad agency for 18 years, made 75 commercials for the

brand in 2001, all with the 'You can do it when you B&Q it' strapline

and its trademark employee presenters.

Last year's Christmas campaign proved the top-scorer, and it was

followed in the New Year by a collection of 'every day low prices' ads

countering other stores' January sales.

From the start of B&Q's new fiscal year in February, commercials fell

into three categories, two of which were noticeably different from

previous work. 'Traditional', ten- and 20-second product-and-price ads,

shot in-store with colleagues talking straight to camera, continued to

run at key Easter and bank holiday trading periods.

Bates also ran new, 'project-based' advertising throughout the year,

showing ways of refreshing lounges, gardens and kitchens. These 30- and

40-second spots aimed to develop the campaign by showing staff in

relevant locations rather than in-store.

In the autumn, the newly arrived David Roth, B&Q's director of brand and

marketing, launched several premium-priced, own-label ranges. The first

products ('Tate' and 'New England' paint and 'Power-Pro' power tools)

were advertised with commercials different in tone and with just the

final five seconds featuring a B&Q employee.

Roth says: "TV is the most significant element of our current marketing

mix, but a lot depends on what happens next year. We have to make our

budget work as hard as possible and the decline in ITV audiences does

worry us. We are keeping a close eye on cost and what the marketplace is


But with third-quarter sales up 12.4% on last year, B&Q can afford an

enviable degree of optimism. Whether the property market stays buoyant

or plunges into crisis, people will spend money on DIY.


Two factors dominated Leo Burnett's work this year - a continued push

behind menu innovation and a focus on tactical activity, reflecting

increasing competition between fast-food chains.

The second table's top-scorer was the Christmas 'Great Escape' ad

promoting the bacon double cheeseburger, which was reminiscent of some

of the best McDonald's work. But overall, this year's ads have been

largely tactical, from the January buy-one-get-one-free offer to the

Indian and Italian promotions, and the work for hotdogs and Chicken


Last year's experiment with ten-second commercials proved successful

('The Plumber', 'Alan Hansen' and 'Estate Agent' ads won a gold lion at

Cannes this year) and prompted a string of humorous ten-second ads in

the summer, showing ways of keeping cool.

Some of the year's best-recalled work has been the 'ladies wot lunch'

film for Chicken Wrap and the Dani Behr campaign for Chicken Premiere,

McDonald's most significant product launch for several years. McDonald's

clearly sees chicken as a key development area - although, far from

quaking in his boots, KFC's Colonel, at number 17, is making his Adwatch

of the Year debut, boosted by the effect of BSE and the foot and mouth

crisis on beef sales.

McDonald's says 2002 will see big 'theme' advertising developing its

relationship with the British consumer. And, in a World Cup year, it

will almost certainly use advertising to leverage its status as an

official sponsor.


To describe WCRS' past year with Camelot as trying would be an

understatement. Yet the agency has survived endless rumours of a review

to produce Camelot's best Adwatch performance for years.

In the main table, lottery advertising reached third place, with a

Lottery Extra commercial (starring the animated Jack Pot) recording the

year's second-highest individual recall score.

In the final months of the licence period, there has been a distinct

feeling of Camelot's advertising 'marking time', although outgoing sales

and marketing director Ian Milligan said that he was "much happier with

the standard of creative work".

The advertising for the National Lottery itself - Instants is excluded -

has incorporated several key strands. In the early months of 2001, much

of it was the 'Jack Pot' work for Lottery Extra. In addition, three

ten-second animated films ('Alien', 'Boulder' and 'Caber') have run in

rotation to support the year's 16 rollovers.

Camelot has held four £20m Superdraws in 2001, all supported on

television. The first two, in January and March, used the theme 'Have

you got your dream ticket?' while the September and November ads

illustrated 'a ridiculous amount of money' by showing a man carrying a

huge pink foam sign saying '£20 MILLION'.

In the summer, Camelot ran three 30-second commercials which showed how

real lottery winners have spent their money. This work launched the

strapline 'What would you do if you won?', which was extended to cover

all Camelot activity but, because it ran regionally, it did not make

much of an impact on Adwatch.

Now, with the new seven-year licence period about to begin, Camelot has

upgraded its store presence and confirmed a 2002 marketing budget of


Next year will be the most important since Camelot launched in 1995 and

beleaguered media owners can celebrate the fact that massive brand

advertising is a certainty.


This time last year, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was denying rumours that

BT was dumping ET even though the little alien was barely evident in the

'talk together' ads, which ran until April promoting BT's unlimited


But by June speculation was over: the telecoms giant had launched its

biggest commercial for years as a massive, corporate platform for all

its marketing activity, under the theme of 'more connections, more


The 90-second St Luke's 'stadium' epic, inspired by Gladiator and

showing people addressing a huge amphitheatre, achieved BT's highest

awareness score of the year.

AMV BBDO worked alongside St Luke's, taking one of the 'stadium'

characters, Randolph, and developing a series of follow-up commercials

aimed at residential customers. The strategy, showing how BT enables

connections between people, has created what BT director of marketing

services Amanda Mackenzie describes as "our best-ever awareness

performance and a dramatically improved return on investment".

For the first time in years, BT has no ad frontman in the Buzby, Maureen

Lipman, Bob Hoskins or ET mould.

Mackenzie explains: "It is time for us to stand up and talk directly to

the consumer. Tonally, people consider the advertising is very much for

them because it is perfect for the world we now live in."


Christmas begins when the first Woolworths ad hits the screens - or so

the retailer used to say. But two years ago, Woolworths and Bates UK

dropped the Easter/Christmas strategy and adopted an all-year round TV


The idea was to give the core target, mums with young children, a reason

to visit the store more regularly. Bates believed it could reach into

women's "intimate media time" by using daytime TV to promote special

offers on products that challenged perceptions - such as a wok rather

than a traditional saucepan set.

The result was the 'don't forget what you went in for' campaign which

has incorporated 200 different commercials over the past year showing

people going into Woolworths and coming out loaded with shopping - but

without the item they were originally seeking.

All the ads, the ones featuring 'ordinary people' as well as the

celebrity-sprinkled Christmas specials, use the 'Woolworths, well worth

it' tagline to reflect the store's value, service and product ethic.

The 20- and ten-second daytime commercials use a template with a

seven-second centre reflecting offers that can be changed and monitored


Bates says the two-year-old campaign has resulted in a 'startling'

correlation between advertising and sales.

It is certainly doing the business in Adwatch. Last year, just a few

months into the campaign, Woolworths hit Adwatch of the Year's number 16

slot, after an absence in 1999. This year, it rose higher than any other

established brand to reach number seven, thanks to its best-remembered

commercial - one of last Christmas' celebrity series - featuring stars

such as Richard Whiteley and Norman Wisdom.


In Status Quo parlance, Argos' year has been more 'Up Up' than Down Down

- up in sales, up in advertising awareness and up six places in Adwatch

of the Year.

The 'Brighter Shopping' campaign, with its colourful block imagery and

Whatever You Want soundtrack (replaced by Down Down for sale

commercials), has run since 1999.

The campaign positioned Argos as the way to brighter shopping for savvy

consumers. And, throughout 2001, it has been a consistent factor in a

year of client instability with the arrival of a new managing director

Kate Swann and a new marketing director Paul Geddes.

Ogilvy & Mather made 11 commercials this year for the core Argos brand,

supporting sales, two catalogue launches and bank holiday peaks. In

addition, it created the first ads to specifically promote Asda's home

and internet shopping division, with similar colourful imagery but with

a different music track - Telephone Man.

The work's down-to-earth popularism has clearly tapped the public

consciousness - but O&M now has to ensure that the music, such a key

element of its success, does not obscure specific messages.


Love it or loathe it, Halifax is the most remarkable campaign of the

year. Its homespun 'stars' - Howard, Yvonne and Matt - have taken 2001

by storm, giving the brand a significant Adwatch presence for the first

time since Halifax's conversion campaign of 1997.

Delaney Lund Knox Warren's work had to match the impact of the brand's

much-loved 'people' campaign, which ran a decade previously and had a

human feel to it, while communicating a strong product message.

Philip Hanson, head of marketing for HBOS Retail, admits that DLKW's

solution carried a risk of being imitative and cheesy.

But DLKW gave the staff professional help - such as voice coaching and a

top promo company to film the ads.

Howard, promoting the current account, hit the TV screens on Boxing Day;

he was joined in February by Yvonne singing about credit cards, and then

by Matt flogging mortgages. Since then, says Hanson, "we have measured a

tremendous correlation between advertising and sales".

Although Matt scored highest in Adwatch, Howard is the campaign's

undisputed star, even outperforming Britney Spears and Christina

Aguilera in a survey monitoring the PR value of celebs in ads. Indeed,

he is now a full-time, in-house Halifax 'star', opening branches and

starring in the internal TV service.

New faces will join him in the campaign next year - and they will have

to work even harder than before.

Halifax believe it is no coincidence that four rivals - NatWest,

Barclays, HSBC and LloydsTSB - reviewed their advertising following the

DLKW work.

Hanson anticipates a stream of new competitor campaigns and is

committing even more resources to TV advertising in 2002. "TV is the

medium that works best for us, especially in the tough market that next

year will undoubtedly prove to be, and we will continue to invest in



If you thought Harry Potter was the country's top bespectacled child

star, think again. In Adwatch, that particular accolade goes to the

unfortunate Declan Swan.

Declan helped personal injury specialist Claims Direct come from nowhere

to grab 14th place in Adwatch of the Year's main table and an

astonishing joint fifth place in the single-week table. This means

Declan has achieved the same awareness as Woolworths' Christmas stars -

and on a lower budget.

Claims Direct, which launched on TV some three years ago, has had a

terrific year in Adwatch. Declan was followed by the equally appealing

Carl Scaife who, although successful, failed to achieve the

nine-year-old's extraordinary cult status.

Hanrahan Media, the agency behind Declan, lost the account early in 2001

to ARM Direct, which created the Carl Scaife film and the current


The latter has abandoned real-life testimonial ads in favour of

presenter-led films with high-speed computer graphic images. So far,

there have been six commercials, two 60- and four 40-seconds, showing

accidents being reversed.

Claims Direct head of marketing operations Beth Powell explains: "The

60-second ads enhance the key brand attributes of Claims Direct and its

service offering, while the 40-second ads focus in greater detail on

positive elements of our service.

Our media spend has never worked harder and we will continue testing and

monitoring new media mixes in 2002."


2001 2000 Brand Agency/TV buyer Total Budget

recall (pounds

(adults) m)*

1 1 B&Q Bates UK/Zenith Media 13,599 31.00

2 3 McDonald's Leo Burnett/Starcom Motive 10,191 38.00

3 10 Nat'l Lottery WCRS/OMD UK 7236 15.48

4 4 Comet Saatchi & Saatchi/ 6254 19.71

Zenith Media

5 7 Tesco Lowe Lintas/Initiative Media 6122 25.20

6 5 BT Abbott Mead Vickers 6035 92.11

BBDO, St Luke's/

The Allmond Partnership

7 16 Woolworths Bates UK/Zenith Media 5992 24.91

8 2 Asda Publicis/Carat 5464 25.00

9 15 Argos Ogilvy & Mather/MindShare 5266 19.12

10 - Halifax Delaney Lund Knox Warren/ 4842 37.80

Zenith Media

11 6 Iceland HHCL and Partners/MediaCom 4747 14.11

12 - Boots J Walter Thompson/ 4681 33.53

OMD UK and MindShare

13 8 Homebase Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/PHD 4570 18.78

14 - Claims Direct Hanrahan Media, ARM Direct/ 4550 20.18

ARM Media & Brilliant Media

15 14 Sainsbury's Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/PHD 3526 50.65

16 - DFS Bates UK and Ward Longworth 3520 57.76

Camponi/Brilliant Media

17 - KFC Ogilvy & Mather/Zenith Media 3448 14.09

18 12 Burger King Lowe Lintas/Carat 3018 8.77

19 13 Walkers Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/ 2945 13.20


20 - MFI Publicis/Optimedia 2928 16.71

*AC Nielsen MMS data for the period Nov 2000 to Oct 2001


2001 2000 Brand Agency/TV buyer Score(% Week Budget

recall) (pounds


1 1 B&Q Bates UK/Zenith Media 83 Dec 18 31.00

2 8= Nat'l Lottery WCRS/OMD UK 81 Mar 1 15.48

3= - Orange Lowe Lintas/Media 78 Feb 22 42.85

Planning Group

3= - Halifax Delaney Lund Knox 78 Jun 14 37.80

Warren/Zenith Media

5= 10= Woolworths Bates UK/Zenith Media 77 Jan 11 24.91

5= - Claims Direct Hanrahan Media, ARM 77 Mar 1 20.18

Direct/Brilliant Media

7 - Argos Ogilvy & Mather/ 76 Jan 11 19.12


8= 18= PC World M&C Saatchi/Walker Media 75 Jan 25 28.00

8= 5 McDonald's Leo Burnett/ 75 Jan 25 38.00

Starcom Motive

8= 2 BT Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/ 75 Jul 19 92.11

The Allmond Partnership

8= 4= Walkers Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/ 75 Mar 1 13.20


12= 10= One 2 One Bartle Bogle Hegarty/ 72 Dec 14 26.81

Starcom Motive 2000

12= 13= Tesco Lowe Lintas/ 72 Aug 23 25.20

Initiative Media

12= - WH Smith Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/ 72 Jan 11 8.29

Starcom Motive

12= - Sainsbury's Abbott Mead Vickers 72 Nov 8 50.65


12= - BT Cellnet Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/ 72 Dec 14 35.57

The Allmond Partnership 2000

17= - Homebase Abbott Mead Vickers 71 May 17 18.78


17= 3 Direct Line Mortimer Whittaker 71 Feb 15 25.03

(Motor) O'Sullivan/MediaCom

19= 6= Asda Publicis/Carat 70 Mar 15 25.00

19= 6= Andrex J Walter Thompson/ 70 Feb 15 5.98


19= - Velvet toilet Roose & Partners/Carat 70 Nov 15 4.87


19= - Comet Saatchi & Saatchi/ 70 Dec 21 19.71

Zenith Media 2000

*AC Nielsen MMS data for the period Nov 2000 to Oct 2001


Adwatch of the Year has monitored the year's performance of agencies and

media buyers since 1999. This year, both top tens are remarkably similar

to their 2000 counterparts, with exactly the same agencies - albeit in

slightly different orders.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO retains its top spot for the third year

running, thanks to regular Adwatch appearances for Sainsbury's,

Homebase, BT Cellnet.

Walkers, WH Smith, Dulux and Guinness. Although it scored two more

mentions than last year, the gap between first and second places has

narrowed to just nine mentions, putting the top three shops in much

closer contention for the top spot.

Last year's number two agency, Publicis, has fallen to joint fifth

position, while Lowe Lintas and Bates UK - the latter bolstered by its

many commercials for Woolworths, B&Q and DFS - climbed the Adwatch

league to reach second and third place respectively.

Zenith Media causes the closest thing to an upset by stealing top media

buying honours from Starcom Motive for the first time, with 36 more

mentions than it achieved last year thanks to clients such as B&Q,

Woolworths, KFC and Halifax.

Whereas Starcom had just a three-mention lead on Zenith Media last year

(125 versus 122), Zenith is now 62 mentions ahead of its nearest rival,

with Carat, MindShare and Initiative jostling for third place.

With its new account group structure under CEO Simon Marquis, the agency

is positive about 2002, maintaining that adspend should hold up well

next year.


2001 2000 Agency Appearances*

1 1 AMV BBDO 96

2 3 Lowe Lintas 85

3 4 Bates UK 70

4 6 Saatchi & Saatchi 62

5= 7 J Walter Thompson 52

5= 2 Publicis 52

5= 5 Leo Burnett 52

8 10 Ogilvy & Mather 49

9 8 BMP DDB 41

10 9 McCann-Erickson 40

*in Marketing's Adwatch table


2001 2000 Media buyer Appearances*

1 2 Zenith Media 158

2 1 Starcom Motive 96

3 3 Carat 87

4 5 MindShare 81

5 9 Initiative Media 80

6 4 OMD UK 69

7 6 PHD 66

8 8 Universal McCann 54

9 7 MediaCom 51

10 10 MediaVest 38

*in Marketing's Adwatch table


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