Home News Post Christmas Blues Don’t Deliver Memorable Ads According to Research

Post Christmas Blues Don’t Deliver Memorable Ads According to Research

Following the recent Christmas advertising deluge, most of which tugs at the heartstrings, the first two months of 2024 have failed to deliver advertising that many people can actually recall, according to the latest Interesting Index.

It’s time for our third instalment of The Interesting Index – the project that tests which ads resonates with people and why.

A collaboration between The Public House, Bounce Insights and Adworld.ie, the bi-monthly survey is conducted amongst 1,000 people nationwide with the latest leg of the research taking place in February.

After a brief boost during Christmas period when the festive nature of many of the ads provided a seasonal lift, the perception of the quality of advertising in Ireland has worsened since then, with the majority of people deeming it to be just “ok”, “nothing great” or “bad”.

In fact, perceptions of advertising have snapped back to almost exactly where they were in October – clearly, the switch to more brand-led, emotive advertising during the Christmas period had a massive impact on attention.

The impact of the perceived drop in standard of advertising was evident in how much people struggled to recall detail in the ads they had seen over the past two months. Overall, only five ads stood out as being significantly remembered during this period.

They were:

  1. Guinness 0.0 – Ronan O’Gara’s Team Talk for the 2024 Guinness Six Nations
  2. Lidl – Get Behind the Fight for Ladies Gaelic Football
  3. Tesco – Clubcard Accepted
  4. Rockshore – Refreshingly Irish
  5. Cadbury – Yours For 200 Years


It’s clear from Guinness and Lidl’s strong performance how powerful sponsorships can be when executed well. Many mentioned Six Nations advertising in general, without connecting it to specific brands, showing how top of mind this tournament is in Ireland and therefore how strong the property is.  But Guinness took the top spot by electively leveraging humour, cultural relevance and of course celebrity power with Ronan O’Gara.


Meanwhile, Lidl’s LGFA campaign really captured hearts with a powerful emotive analogy and was remembered in detail as a result.

“The Guinness TV ad . Six Nations rugby with Ronan O’Gara speaking in French in the dressing room and then drinking a pint of Guinness 0.0 and saying bring on the Six Nations . I remember it very well as its great advertising.”
“Social media ad for Guinness 0.0. Ronan O’Gara is giving a pep talk to fans ahead of the Six Nations, mostly in French. You first think he’s coaching a team but then it’s revealed that he’s talking to Ireland supporters. He then enjoys a pint of 0.0 in the pub.”
“Lidl ad for LGFA. Breaking the glass ceiling. I think of this ad a lot.”
“About breaking expectations for women’s participation in sport. I think Lidl was the one supporting it. It has a good message and is prevalent on my bus route.”

Once again, humour and music proved to be two of the most effective ways to grab attention – these devices have been empirically proven by System 1 to trigger memory and have cropped up in every wave to date. By cleverly leveraging both tactics, Tesco demonstrated that even value-based campaigns can be interesting, while Rockshore became the first campaign to make it into the Top 5 in two separate editions of The Interesting Index.

“Tesco – elderly couple scan their club card to get more savings. I remember this ad because it is funny when they mime “I got the power.”
“It was for Rockshore lager it had a guy playing the piano and that’s why it stuck in my head.”


Finally, the fifth spot was rounded out by Cadbury’s 200th birthday celebration. What’s interesting about the way people remembered this campaign is that hardly anyone picked up on the ‘200 year’ message, even though they remembered the story of the ad in great detail. As Mark Ritson rightly pointed out in relation to this campaign, nobody really cares about brand birthdays – but Cadbury managed to execute theirs in a way that still caught attention, even if people didn’t quite catch the key message!

“I remember an ad for Dairymilk. It was a little girl who goes into a shop and asks the shopkeeper for a bar of chocolate for her mom. She pays him with buttons and a small my little pony toy. She clearly loves that toy so he gives it back to her as her change and she goes outside the shop and says happy birthday to her mom and gives her the Dairymilk.”

While some brands – in particular retailers, utilities and telcos – received high numbers of mentions, no single ad was recalled. Instead, people remembered vague details like ‘offers’ and ‘sales’ – likely a result of the more tactical advertising that is common at this time of the year. Perhaps these ads were partly to blame for the poorer perception of advertising over the past two months.

The emotions people selected to describe how they felt in relation to the ads they remembered were notably more muted when compared with previous editions – with ‘happy’, in particular, dropping significantly and ‘neutral’ increasing vs previous waves.

As the days finally start to get longer and we all look towards summer, maybe there’s one thing we should be holding onto from winter – the higher standard of advertising!

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