The power of Brand Characters

Many but not all brands use a character/mascot or recognisable face to help consumers relate to a brand…instantly making them recognisable (Think Ronald McDonald here) Some are decades old and some fall by the wayside.

According to a study by The Moving Picture Company it found that “advertising with characters and brand mascots not only has a long-term effectiveness, but can facilitate stronger brand engagement, increase profit and share of voice and create a deeper emotional connection with consumers”.

The use of a mascot can increase market share by 41% (MPC)

Using characters such as Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot can increase market share by 41% (MPC)  compared with 29.7% for a push not featuring a character.

According to brand agency This Way Up characters that connect clearly to the values and brands they front up cut through way more effectively ie Captain Birdseye delivers the daily catch, M & M colourful characters.

Not all characters have to likeable, the Pepparami “animal” is portrayed as aggressive and forthright, Go Compares opera singing front man is divisive but has provided a distinctive and instantly recognisable character.

Celebrity endorsed characters can be less believable as they can often represent multiple brands meaning their endorsement and consumer trust is watered down and weaker. Cardi B represents both Pepsi and Reebok.

Sentimentality encourages trust and recognition with characters from childhood continuing connection with brands. Some of the most recognised characters have been around for years ie Frosties – Tony The Tiger. On the other hand other characters have not stood the test of changing times and values such as the Oxo family and PG Tips chimps

As societal attitudes have changed many characters have been left behind; Uncle ben has re-aligned its marketing strategy. The obesity crisis has ended many characters such as cartoon mascots on cereal packaging.

The Grocer has named captain Birdseye as the most iconic advertising character on British TV who has been on our screens for 55 years closely followed by Cadbury’s chocolate frog Freddo, Aldi’s Kevin The Carrot and Marks and Spencer’s Percy Pig.

According to The Grocer “More memorable than a slogan and more reliable than celebrities, mascots have been ‘visceral shortcuts’ for grocery brands seeking cut-though for years.”

Top 10 telly ad icons and when they were created

1. Captain Birdseye, Birds Eye – 1967

2. Freddo the Frog, Mondelez/Cadbury – 1973

3. Kevin the Carrot, Aldi – 2016

4. Coco the Monkey, Kellogg’s – 1963

5. M&Ms, Mars Wrigley – 1954

6. Julius Pringle, Kellogg’s – 1967

7. Bunny, Duracell – 1973

8. Percy Pig, Marks & Spencer – 1992

9. Peperami Animal, Jack Link’s – 1991

10. Aunt Bessie, Nomad Foods – 1995

If you need help with planning your TV or Video On demand adverts (mascot or not) please contact [email protected]

Lego is Brits’ favourite brand, but Amazon named most ‘relevant’

For the second year in a row, UK consumers have named Lego as their favourite brand. However, when asked to name the company they considered most relevant to their lives, Amazon took the crown.

Lego has once again topped the annual Superbrands index, which each year invites 2500 British shoppers and industry experts to judge 1500 brands based on quality, reliability and distinction.

For 2019, Apple moved up one place to second in the overall rankings, reversing positions with Gillette which completed the top three.

Lego’s accolade follows on from a year in which the toymaker managed to stave off slow sales and return to growth.

In the past 12 months, Lego has premiered its long-awaited Lego Movie sequel and reaped the rewards of uniting entertainment franchises like Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics and Harry Potter in stores.

Top 10 UK consumer brands

1. Lego
2. Apple
3. Gillette
4. Rolex
5. British Airways
6. Coca-Cola
7. Andrex
8. Mastercard
9. Visa
10. Dyson

Most relevant brands

According to Superbrands, Amazon is the business Brits consider to be gaining the most relevance to people today.

Despite consumer concerns around its working practices, how much tax it pays and its market dominance, the retailer bet off 1,595 other brands in to top the ‘relevancy index’ rankings of the Superbrands research.

The relevancy index reduces the influence of longer-term goodwill and emotional bond on voters, focusing consumers’ minds on shifts in use and importance.

Discount grocer, Aldi, took second place, while rival Lidl placed sixth.

Revealing the nation’s growing concern over one of Britain’s top five causes of premature death, Macmillan Cancer Support came third in the relevancy rankings. Netflix clocked in at number four (moving up from eighth last year).

Google, meanwhile, completed the line up at number five, having placed at number nine in 2018.

YouTube also took a spot in the top 20. However, for the second year in a row – and following on from several high-profile scandals like Cambridge Analytica and questions over harmful content – Facebook and Instagram were nowhere to be seen among the top brands for relevancy.

Although tech behemoth Apple placed in the top 20 at number 16, rival Samsung was higher up in ninth position, potentially signalling an increasing shift in power between the two competitors.

Top 10 most relevant UK consumer brands

1. Amazon
2. Aldi
3. Macmillan Cancer Support
4. Netflix
5. Google
6. Lidl
7. PayPal
8. Visa
9. Heathrow
10. Purplebricks

How can we help your brand stand out?
Get in touch today at [email protected]


UK consumers wouldn’t care if 75% of ‘tired brands’ ceased to exist

New research from independent creative agency Impero has determined that the vast majority of UK consumers (70%) are more likely to avoid brands that they see as tired.

The study of 2,000 shoppers of all ages and incomes across the UK mirrors recent studies that suggest consumers wouldn’t care if up to three-quarters of brands ceased to exist.

Ben Hyde of Impero said: “Through this study, we were able to identify four pillars of brand vitality: ambition, boldness, surprise and relatability. Ambitious brands don’t follow trends, they create them; bold brands challenge the status quo and reinvent themselves; surprising brands can adapt and excite and don’t get bogged down in their own heritage; while relatable brands genuinely share the values of their target market.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, vitality is even more important to the youth. An incredible 88% of consumers aged 16-28 say they ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ spend more with brands that are bold, surprising, ambitious and relatable

Within some industry sectors, around a quarter of higher earners are spending more than £1,000 a year with brands that are ambitious, bold, surprising or relatable, over their tired competitors.

Hyde added: “We believe fixing brand tiredness can boost profits and win back shoppers, and is a particularly effective way to engage younger consumers and higher earners, with significant sums at stake in key sectors. The good news for all brands is that 85% of respondents say they would go back to a formerly beloved brand if it revitalised itself to be ambitious, bold, surprising or relatable once again.”

Source: Media Tel

Brand rankings: who do young people love?

According to new research led by YouGov, Netflix is the most positively talked about brand among 18-34 year olds.

For the second consecutive year the streaming service leads YouGov’s Millennial Rankings with a score of 77%. Followed by Spotify at 73%. Primark and Apple share third position at 71%.

Facebook and McDonalds both share a score of 70%. The rest of the top ten is made up of gaming (PlayStation: 69%), travel (Airbnb: 69%), tech (Apple iPhone: 69%) and homeware (IKEA: 68%) industries.

“Netflix’s popularity shows no signs of abating,” said Michael Stacey, marketing insights manager, YouGov. “The streaming service continues to expand its offering, as well as investing in its own ‘Netflix originals’.

“By its very nature Netflix’s content invites discussion, and YouGov’s rankings show that the brand has certainly harnessed the power of word of mouth recommendations to gain a loyal following among a younger generation of viewers.”

There is still a strong presence from ‘affordable brands’, such Primark, McDonalds and IKEA. Even though Stacey also noted that tech features prominently in the rankings. 

Cinema chain Vue (11%), Visa (9%), Google Phone (7%), and Grey Goose (6%) experienced the largest uplift in ‘positive word of mouth.’

Source : Mediatel

#flashbackfriday: Gregory & Gregory

This week we were tickled by the re-brand of Greggs as hipster-foodie outlet “Gregory & Gregory.”

But pastry fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as Greggs were just pranking foodies at gourmet festival, Syon’s Park Foodie Festival. Promoting their new summer menu, the chain recorded customers reactions to being told their posh snack was in fact, Greggs.

Foodies Festival is a three-day event attended amongst some of the biggest names in the business including Michelin-starred chefs from the UK’s top gourmet restaurants and TV chefs. Gregory and Gregory were bebuting new menu items such as a feta and beetroot dip salad with a roast vegetable grain, an oriental chicken sticky rice salad and their first ever vegan addition – a Mexican bean wrap.

When told he was in fact eating Greggs, one surprised festivalgoer said: “You wouldn’t normally find me in a Greggs but I think what they’ve done with these new salads is brilliant. I’ll certainly be popping in there for lunch in future.”


The Media Angel in National Finals of Prestigious Marketing Awards

For the second year running we are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for The Drum Marketing Awards. Our entry for “Public Sector Marketing Strategy of the Year “ was for The National Botanic Garden Of Wales’s Summer Campaign for 2017 which helped to dramatically increase their family footfall by 43%  to the Gardens .

The Drum Marketing awards celebrate the best marketers and campaigns nationally and internationally. Open to advertising agencies, in-house marketing teams, design consultancies, digital agencies, PR companies and integrated agencies we are pleased to represent Wales against some of the larger UK agencies.

The Drum Marketing Awards are considered to be one of the industry’s most sought after accolades and have many prestigious judges such as Michal Szaniecki, marketing Director, Volkswagen and…. Vanessa Fitzgerald Regional Director, Northern Europe, Facebook.

We created a multi faceted campaign which focused around the new British Bird of Prey Centre utilising Out of Home (OOH), On line, regional press and radio.  We are shortlisted along with some impressive national campaigns such as BBC Children in Need “Do Your Thing” and Kindered for HM Treasury and The Royal Mint.

Alison Debono, MD of The Media Angel said “We are beyond thrilled to be representing Wales as finalists at The Drum Awards 2018, especially as we are in the same category as such huge brands.”

The results will be revealed and the trophies handed out at the award ceremony on 30th May at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London.

Finalists at The Drum Marketing Awards 2017

The Media Angel are thrilled to have been shortlisted for The Drum Marketing Awards 2017. These awards celebrate the best marketers and campaigns and were internationally open for the first time this year. The Awards are open to advertising agencies, in-house marketing teams, design consultancies, digital agencies, PR companies and integrated agencies.

Submissions were judged by a panel of senior marketers from globally renowned household brands including Andrew Rayner, Marketing Director Nando’s and Faye Harcourt, Head of marketing Nickelodeon UK & Ireland to name a few.

The Awards are open to advertising agencies, in-house marketing teams, design consultancies, digital agencies, PR companies and integrated agencies. Submissions were judged by a panel of senior marketers from globally renowned household brands including Andrew Rayner, Marketing Director Nando’s and Faye Harcourt, Head of marketing Nickelodeon UK & Ireland to name a few.

We have been nominated for Media planning and Buying Strategy of the Year- for work with our client The National Botanic Garden of Wales on their summer 2016 marketing campaign which helped boost their family visitor numbers by a massive 63%. A creative multi faceted campaign which focused around the opening of their Butterfly House/Plas Pili Pala, included video, on line quizzes, OOH, radio and print.

We are delighted to be finalists and to have been given this accolade. In our category we are amongst national agencies and national & international campaigns from well known brands such as Dominos Pizza/ Arena Media, AXA/Havas Media, Heineken UK/ Mediavest, Channel 4/ OMD, Sainsburys and Virgin Atlantic/ PHD.

Alison Debono, MD of The Media Angel said “We are beyond thrilled to be representing Wales as finalists at The Drum Awards 2017 especially as we are in the same category as such huge brands.”

The results will be revealed and the trophies handed out at the award ceremony on 30th May at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London.

For more information click here

Brands are losing consumer trust on social media

Recent research conducted by YouGov for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, shows 25% of consumers claimed to have seen a fake online review, increased from 17% when the survey was last conducted in 2014. Also, 21% (up from 14% in 2014) of consumers say they have seen a brand incentivising customers to share positive comments on social media without making it clear to the users, with 16% saying that brands pay someone for promotion without payment being declared.

“This has led to consumers querying if what they are seeing is genuine. There is a growing awareness of certain practices out there, brands should be wary,” says CIM CEO Chris Daly.

Brands social media platforms are losing trust with consumers. 30% say they have little or no trust in the brand information they view on Facebook, 20% rise since 2014. The increase is matched across Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 11.22.48Brands should be concerned as social media is a key source of information for consumers when making purchase decisions. When questioned by CIM, 62% of people said they now ‘Often’ or ‘occasionally’ use social media when deciding whether to make a purchase.

“Consumers are looking for reassurance on social media that the restaurant they have booked for a special occasion or laptop they are thinking of buying is the right choice.

“Creating a degree of transparency and honesty will make brands appear authentic and boost loyalty.” – Chris Daly, CEO, CIM

The Advertising Standards Authority has undertaken work to engage with, raise awareness of and produce advice and training to marketers. 52% of marketers have little or no understanding of regulations about marketing on social media,“We take a dim view of marketers who ignore the ad rules,” says an ASA spokesman. “They risk having their ad banned and the resulting negative publicity and damage to their brand and could land them in hot water with the CMA for potentially breaking the law.”

“With consumers increasingly expecting a two-way conversation, brands must be far more honest and authentic in trying to build that trust and engender customer loyalty,” says Daly. “Brands that try to cut corners or be disingenuous will be found out through social media.”

CIM has issued guidelines to help brands navigate social media. These include making sure marketers know the rules, are equipped with the right skills and knowledge, have a social media policy and talk about it with customers.

Get in touch with one of our team at The Media Angel on 02921 320 200 for award-winning advice. Alternatively, send an email to [email protected] and one of the team promises to be straight back in touch.

Top UK Storytelling Brands 2015

The first job of any advertising creative is to engage the audience, to attract and hold their attention, and story ads do just that. Story ads typically result in greater enjoyment and engagement than non-story ads, observed as providing greater ability to attract attention and be remembered.

In 2015, it seems tech brands are embracing and delivering more effective storytelling techniques in their advertising against many food and drink brands for the first time, according to the UK top storytelling brands survey commissioned by Aesop. The report, now in its third year surveyed the views of over 2,800 people on their views about 154 major brands.

Top Storytelling Risers and Fallers:

The usual food and drink favourites have been overtaken by tech companies that have boosted their credentials in the public’s eyes through storytelling:

  • Virgin Atlantic was one of the biggest risers in the top 20, from 46th to 17th.
  • Cadbury falls from second place in 2014 to 27th.
  • McDonald’s tumbles from 3rd to 43th.
  • Walkers from 5th to 29th.
  • Coca-Cola from 6th to 39th.

Top UK Storytelling Brands 2015
See full report results: Click here


British Heart Foundation - Sports Day
Click here to see how British Heart Foundation tells the story how Calum made it to sports day.

Although tech giant Apple has reigned as the UK’s top storytelling brand for two consecutive years, other significant sprinters in this survey are a number of charities. Since last year…

  • Macmillan Cancer Support has jumped from 9th to 2nd place.
  • Cancer Research UK has leaped 16th to 10th.
  • British Heart Foundation from 15th to 12th.
  • Oxfam from 28th to 12th.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube have helped these charity organisations make the top rankings, offering charities an affordable platform for spreading their inspiring stories on a precious budget. Charities are better disposed than other sectors to emotional, purposeful storytelling. Case studies and personal stories like Archie’s, used in our client Tŷ Hafan’s Legacies campaign, helped to outline the work of the hospice in an emotive and meaningful way. Executed on a small budget the campaign did exceptionally well in motivating audiences to support the charity through donations.

Archie’s story


Does your marketing tell a story? And is the storytelling meaningful? Through investment in advertising; focusing on creativity, purpose and emotional resonance brands from all sectors can strike a chord with the public. At The Media Angel we can help you bring your brand to life and put you on the right media platforms to connect with your audience.

Get in touch with us for more information.

Christmas Ads: Which one is your favourite?

Winter is that one time of the year that Christmas ads are anticipated as much or even more than the programme and film line-up. Last year brands, such as Sainsbury’s and John Lewis rivalled in a cinematic emotional battle for the best Christmas ad. This year some brands take a very different turn to the latter, with less ‘sadvertising’, storytelling and more positivity! See some of the top ads making the round up below…

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 – #ManOnTheMoon:

Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert 2015 – Mog’s Christmas Calamity:


ASDA Christmas Advert 2015:


Aldi Christmas Advert 2015 – #AldiFavouriteThings


Debenhams Christmas Advert 2015: #foundit:


M&S: Christmas Advert 2015 – #TheArtOfChristmas


House of Fraser Christmas Advert 2015 – #YourRules (ft Grace & G-Eazy)


Boots Christmas TV advert 2015: #DiscoverMore


Waitrose Christmas Advert 2015: What Makes Your Christmas? Christmas Advert 2015 – The Journey

Cinemagraphs could become Facebook’s new trend

Today’s social newsfeed of posts are far from the static state they once were. Have you noticed more videos than ever on Facebook? They could soon allow moveable images as eye-catching as these in social posts and ads…

Cinemagraphs are a type of GIF, a photo in which only a piece of the image subtly moves. Some social-networking sites and apps, such as Instagram currently support auto-play videos on loop, with the potential for moveable images to be able to do exactly the same.

Balenciaga Perfume:

Many popular cinemagraphs are borne out of the extraordinary design work of Ann Street Studio. This frosted perfume bottle reminded the designer of a block of ice, a place where creative ideas are frozen and then emerge into fruition; beginning to melt away, slowly, as ice turns into liquid.

Christian Louboutin:
Although Christian Louboutin’s cinemagraph ad is a few years old, it is one of our ultimate favourites at The Media Angel. Seductive, subtle, sparkley.
A simple, yet eye-catching concept for Kleenex tissues.
Ecco Domani:

This cinemagraph for Italian Pinot Grigio Ecco Domani, anchors the allure of modern Italy and the perfect summer evening, dining al fresco. The image perfectly captures the sleek, crisp and fresh taste of a glass of Ecco Domani. It’s truly captivating.

Gilt Taste:

This cinemagraph was featured on Gilt Taste, a former online magazine and market for food and wine lovers. Imagine M&S recreating something similar online…

Tiffany & Co:

This ad as part of a series of cinemagraphs for Tiffany and Co. is made to capture the warm beauty of the Tiffany 1837 Collection in RUBEDO – a jeweler’s metal that radiates with the warm tones of first morning light… The image is so lifelike, we just can’t take our eyes off this one.

Coca Cola Can:

Coca Cola’s cinemagraph was instantly popular on Tumblr, receiving 35,000 “notes,” which is Tumblr’s term for likes and reblogs combined. This rate of engagement speaks for itself.

Calvin Klein:

Calvin Klein uses CGI rain to drive users to the Encounter Calvin Klein website, were they could view the full fragrance film, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Lara Stone.


And 2014’s Top TV Christmas Ad is…

Here’s the top 10 Christmas ads for 2014, polled by phone number provider, City Numbers.

More than 1,000 consumers were asked asked about the effect of Christmas branding. 37% surveyed said it made people feel good. Take a good look at the top adverts raising spirits this season…

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