Online brands irritate TV viewers

12 January 2011

LONDON: Online brands were responsible for the TV ads that most annoyed UK consumers in 2010, a survey has revealed.

Marketing magazine allied with research firm TNS to interview 1,011 adults, 59% of whom were irritated by ads for which features an opera singer called Gio Compare.

This repeated last year's result, although the proportion of respondents providing negative feedback had climbed from the score of 56% delivered in the prior report.

"The strategy and objective of the campaign is to raise awareness of the Gocompare brand and ensure that it's front of mind, and we have certainly achieved that," said Nick Hall, Gocompare's marketing director.

Having developed the "big idea" in-house, the company has extended its activity beyond TV, such as by releasing a song, performed by Gio Compare, to support the Teenage Cancer Trust in late 2010.

"It is so much bigger than an ad now," Hall added. "He is completely part of the brand now … He has the potential to run and run as a character."

Elsewhere, online firms, and took the next three places, receiving 48%, 42% and 36% respectively.

Two of these efforts were created internally, but partnered with The Gate Films.

Halifax, the financial services group that bases communications on a fictitious radio station, followed on 35%.

Foxy Bingo, also an internet specialist, posted 31%, ahead of Nintendo, which has used a variety of celebrities to promote the DS and Wii devices, and generated 29%., allowing customers to order personalised greeting cards through the web, recorded 28%, and price comparison site recorded 26%.

Tom Huxtable, managing director of independent agency 23red, suggested the large number of insurance and financial brands in the rankings was no coincidence.

"These categories are so commoditised they often feel they need to ram the message down people's throats," he said.

Microsoft's Windows 7 and L'Oréal's Elvive made up the top ten, both scoring 24%, beating Danone Activia and supermarket chain Iceland, registering 21% apiece.

Two separate ads by, another price online comparison platform, also appeared on the list, with Pantene Pro-V, BT and retailer Marks & Spencer also irritating consumers.

Data sourced from Marketing magazine; additional content by Warc staff