The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

John Lewis Compare The Market Birds Eye

The 10 most liked TV ads of 2012

By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

Grey London


John Lewis article

December 31, 2012 | 4 min read

Global information and measurement company Nielsen has used its TV Brand Effect service to pull together the most popular TV ads of 2012.

1. Compare the Meerkat

The results show that CompareTheMarket’s meerkats have fended off Vinnie Jones to claim top spot as the most-liked TV ads of 2012, showing animals have become increasingly effective at engaging with the British viewing public at the expense of celebrities. The price comparison brand is the only advertiser to appear in the annual top 10 creative TV spots in each of the last three years.

2. British Heart Foundation

In second place was the British Heart Foundation’s advert starring Vinnie Jones. Developed by creative agency Grey it aimed to teach people how to do CPR correctly as well as engage with the British public.

3. Kerrygold Butter

The ad for Kerrygold Butter's first national advertising campaign in more than two years came in third. Developed by Karmarama it aimed to communicate the care and dedication that the brand puts into its product through the fable of The Butterman, a "mythical hero of Irish folklore".

4. John Lewis

John Lewis’s £7 million campaign featuring two star-crossed lovers decades apart came in at number four on the most liked ads of 2012.

5. Bird's Eye

Actor William Defoe signed up as the voice of the polar bear for the Bird’s Eye advertising campaign this year. The £9 million campaign, from ad agency AMV BBDO, included TV and radio ads with Dafoe's polar bear act as a ‘conscience’ to consumers who might be tempted to buy inferior frozen food products.

6. Lindt

The long running Lindt advert showing how its chocolates are made came sixth in Neilsen’s list.

7. Andrex

Animals star in four of 2012’s top 10 ads, compared to just two in both 2010 and 2011. The meerkats stole the show to come first for Compare the Market but coming in seventh are the adorable Andrex puppies. Its advert for 2012 aimed to promote the Guide Dogs charity.

8. Thinkbox

Coming in eighth position in the list of most liked adverts 2012 was Thinkbox’s The Dog and The Rabbit advert developed by The Red Brick Road. The TV ad sees Harvey the dog – star of Thinkbox’s previous TV ad, ‘Dogs Home’ - use emotional story-telling to persuade his owner not to throw away his best friend and constant companion, a stuffed toy called Rabbit.

9. Carte Noir Coffee

Work Club developed the creative for the ad which came in at number nine on Neilsen’s list. The ad for Carte Noir Coffee featured a woman telling her scruffily dressed partner that her friends are about to arrive. He leaves the room and remerges as a well-dressed, better-looking version of himself, carrying a tray of the coffee drink.

10. Cathedral City

Finally, the tenth most liked ad of 2012 came from Cathedral City in a £5 million ad developed by Grey London. It was the brands first ad since 2009 and shows children running home from school against the 'Homeward Bound' soundtrack, originally recorded by Paul Simon, and covered by musician, Ed Prosek.

John Lewis Compare The Market Birds Eye

Content created with:

Grey London

Find out more


Karmarama is the UK’s most progressive creative agency, now part of Accenture Interactive.Its services include advertising, direct and digital marketing, digital...

Find out more


Find out more


Find out more

The Red Brick Road

Red Brick Road are a 14 year old independent agency based in London's Clerkenwell area. Our proposition is clear and focused: we specialize in creating ideas that...

Find out more

Work Club

Find out more

More from John Lewis

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +