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If you’re happy and you know it: Cadbury, Google and Heinz in top ten happy brands


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

March 5, 2014 | 2 min read

If you’ve given up chocolate for Lent, look away now: Cadbury has been ranked the number one ‘happy brand’ in the UK, while rival brand Mars came in eighth.

The research, carried out by advertising agency isobel in association with Cog Research, saw 1,250 adults asked to identify brands against a number of ‘happy’ criteria including brands considered to be optimistic or pessimistic, playful or boring, happy or sad, trustworthy or not trustworthy.

While Cadbury topped the list, Andrex came second, followed by Google, Fairy, Nivea, YouTube, Amazon, Mars, Walkers and Heinz.

Steve Hastings, planning partner at isobel, explained: “We believe if we can connect a brand to a feeling of personal happiness, in however small a way, then that brand will have a stronger emotional connection within the consumer and stronger place in his or her long-term memory. And so that brand will be better liked, better recalled and chosen more often. So a happy brand will be a successful brand.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, seven of the bottom 10 places in the Happy Brands study are either political parties or banks, with the Liberal Democrats coming last, following by RBS, the Conservative Party and Ryanair.

“Political parties are not usually intrinsically happy units,” Hastings added, “and their low score here reflects that. Party politics are losing relevance for many as they become less central to our sense of identity.

“Despite much advertising aimed at the emotions, the banks are all in the bottom quarter of the ranking, with only around 33 per cent claiming they are trustworthy. Perhaps there is an opportunity for a brave brand here.”

Facebook ranked 72 on the list, while Twitter came in at 74.

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