Power To The People: Two Homemade Remakes Of Classic Ads From ITV’s ‘The People’s Ad Break’ More Emotionally Engaging Than Originals

Video ad tech company Unruly compares emotions and brand uplifts of commercials featured in broadcaster’s initiative; Brand recall for remakes higher across board

LONDON – How do your average Joe’s ad creation skills compare to some of the country’s most renowned brands? Even better than the real thing. That’s certainly the case with ITV’s The People’s Ad Break after two homemade remakes of classic ads were found to be more emotionally engaging than the originals.

The broadcaster invited the public to recreate five much-loved commercials from Aldi, Haribo, Honda, Walkers and Weetabix for its initiative, with the best remakes aired during Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday (May 23).

To see how the public’s remakes compared with the original creatives, video ad tech company Unruly used its emotional testing and targeting tool, UnrulyEQ, to measure the emotional and brand impact of both sets of videos. 

The result showed that – even with just a few props from home and a humble mobile phone – two of the remakes generated more intense levels of positivity than the original classic commercials. Honda’s famous “Cog” commercial, which features a chain reaction of car parts that culminates in a finished Honda Accord, wowed the public when it first came out in 2003. But while it left 20% of viewers feeling intense positive emotions, the 2020 homemade version – featuring coveted lockdown item the loo roll and plenty of giggling – left 30% with the same intense levels of positivity. 

The remake’s EQ Score – a composite Unruly score out of 10 based on a campaign’s effectiveness and ability to not only engage consumers but also drive brand metrics such as brand favorability and purchase intent –  was also higher than the original.

Similarly, Aldi’s “Tea”, featuring a gin-loving grandmother, may have had viewers chuckling into their cups of tea (and glasses of spirits) in 2011, but the 2020 public remake for The People’s Ad Break, featuring a lovable pooch comparing dog foods in the lead role, made 22.3% of viewers feel intensely positive, slightly more than the 21.8% managed by the original.  

Of the others, the resounding message is: probably best to leave it to the professionals. 

Unruly –  People’s Ad Break – Originals v Public Remakes (in no particular order)

CampaignEQ scoreEmotional intensity (%)
1. Original: Walkers: “Snack Stash” 624.70%
1. People’s Ad Break remake: Walkers5.922.70%
2. Original: ALDI: Like Brands Tea5.621.80%
2. People’s Ad Break remake: Aldi5.222.30%
3. Original: HARIBO: “Boardroom”6.329.10%
3. People’s Ad Break remake: Haribo5.828.70%
4. Original: Honda: Cog 20204.820.00%
4. People’s Ad Break remake: Honda5.630.20%
5. Original: Weetabix: Submarine5.723.60%
5. People’s Ad Break remake: Weetabix5.521.20%
UK norm520.10%

Rebecca Waring, Unruly’s Global VP, Insight & Solutions, said: “The People’s Ad Break was such a fun way to engage people with advertising and keep families occupied during lockdown, and we were really impressed to see the levels of engagement the People’s Ads generated, just using props from around the home. 

“These results show that ads featuring people are much more engaging if they have professional actors – it’s difficult for amateurs to elicit the same level of emotional response, especially when it comes to humour. The big shock was that viewers found the stunt in the Honda remake significantly more amazing (+70%) and surprising (+89%) than the original, because it was executed at home with such humble props and no signs of editing. The giggling and cheering in the background also helped to create a sense of warmth and happiness that wasn’t present in the original.

“While the Aldi remake managed to more than match the overall emotional intensity of the original, it was much less funny (-55%). The cute dog compensated for this by evoking happiness instead (+30%).”

Interestingly, Unruly’s research also found that brand recall among all of the remakes was higher than the originals. 

People’s Ad Break – ranked by brand recall

CampaignBrand recall (%)
People’s Ad Break remake: Haribo84%
People’s Ad Break remake: Honda82%
People’s Ad Break remake: Walkers74%
People’s Ad Break remake: Weetabix74%
People’s Ad Break remake: Aldi73%
Original: Walkers: Snack Stash 72%
Original: HARIBO: Boardroom71%
Original: Weetabix: Submarine68%
Original: Honda: Cog 202067%
Original: ALDI: Like Brands Tea59%
UK norm65%

Waring added: “All the remakes performed really well for brand recall. For example, in the Haribo remake it seems to have made a big difference that the woman was holding the bag up clearly to the camera at the centre of the screen in the first scene. For Honda, the homemade sign at the end coincided with the peak in emotion as they celebrated the stunt – our research shows that this is an excellent way to make the brand more memorable. While in the Aldi remake there is less confusion around branding – in the original, a significant number of viewers misattributed the ad to PG Tips.

“However, purchase intent and intent to find out more was generally better in the originals. This is partly due to the viewers understanding that the remakes are intended as a bit of fun rather than a real ad. But the lower quality feel of the videos, along with less compelling messaging (knowledge was on average 9% lower), most likely made the products seem less appealing.” 


Unruly analysed the emotional responses of almost 2,076 UK consumers to 5 classic commercials and their remakes, aired during ITV’s The People’s Ad Break on Saturday, May 23 using its content measurement tool, UnrulyEQ. The results from the original ads were then compared with the public remakes’ results and Unruly’s database of thousands of ads. Each emotion is scored out of 10, with responses that score 9-10 considered ‘intense’.  

To find out more about Unruly EQ, click here

About Unruly

Unruly wins minds and steals hearts through the power of our data-driven, omnichannel marketplace. Part of the Tremor International group (AIM: TRMR), we use emotional data to deliver brand-safe, awesome advertising to more than 1.2bn people around the world. 

With more than 2,700 direct publisher relationships globally, and exclusive video access to more than 50 News Corp titles, Unruly delivers premium supply across all screens and ad formats at scale.  

Founded in 2006, Unruly was the first vendor to bring emotional intelligence to video advertising.  

Unruly is committed to raising standards in digital marketing and is a founding member of the WFA’s Global Alliance for Responsible Media. We’re connected to the world’s biggest DSPs and work with 95% of AdAge top 100 brands. Unruly was acquired by Tremor International, a global leader in advertising technologies, in January 2020.