The best TV adverts of 2011

What do gin, crisps, meerkats, Darth Vader and Christmas have in common? Watch the top five TV ads of the year...

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A gin-swilling pensioner has swept aside talking meerkats, a crisp-obsessed former footballer and a Star Wars villain to see a commercial for cut-price supermarket Aldi named the nation’s favourite television advertisement of 2011.

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The poll, carried out by research agency Nielsen, asked participants to rate the adverts on likeability and recall – take a look back at the top five ads of the year to see how many you remember, and whether or not you like them…

1. Aldi’s gin-loving pensioner

The star of the Aldi ad tells us her husband likes nothing more than a nice cup of tea – be it a big-name brand or supermarket’s own – before sneaking a glass of her own favourite tipple from behind a packet of PG Tips and declaring: “I don’t like tea. I like gin.”

2. Comparethemarket.com’s meerkats

Last year’s number ones – the bizarrely successful Russian meerkats – present users of the insurance comparison website with their very own cuddly meerkat toys. An old-fashioned marketing ploy, proving that sometimes the best ideas are simples…

3. Volkswagen’s Darth Vader

A youngster dressed as the Star Wars villain attempts to exert the power of The Force on a variety of household objects – not to mention his pet dog – to the dramatic strains of the Imperial Death March. This is one frustrated Sith Lord – until he encounters his dad’s Volkswagen Passat, that is…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

4. John Lewis’s Christmas

One of the most talked-about TV ads of the year sees a young boy counting down the days until he can give his parents their Christmas present. Many viewers were reduced to tears, others found it vomit-enducing and diehard Smiths fans bemoaned the use of a cover version of Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSLOnR1s74o

5. Walkers Crisps’ Comic Relief comedians

Celebrity crisp lover Gary Lineker joins forces with the Red Nose brigade, bringing together some of the cream of British comedy – Jimmy Carr, Stephen Fry, Al Murray and Frank Skinner – in a battle of the crisp flavours.

Which was your favourite ad of 2011? Post a comment below and let us know.

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http://www.youtube.com/v/uCKgCkubGc0