There are periods (the 1990s in particular) when the adverts in the UK are better than the programming.

The Tango adverts were a case in point …

Some achieve almost national cult status. The ‘meerkats’ adverts introduced ‘simples’ to the national psyche in much the same way The Fast Show did ‘scorchio’, “I’ll get my coat”, “Jumpers for goalposts” and “Suits you! or Little Britain did “Yeah, but, no, but, yeah, but …”

e.g. after searching for ‘uk meerkat advert’ not only was I supplied the Wikipedia ‘simples’ redirection before the actual ‘Compare the Meerkat’ page itself was listed, but just stop and think about the fact that Wikipedia even has a redirection for a word introduced into common parlance (in a single nation) as the result of an advertising campaign!

Not only did the phenomenon expand way beyond the original scope of simply drawing attention to the quasi-homophonic comparethemarket.com website …

… but it further resulted in a demand for meerkats as pets (with predictable results).

The Lynx Effect adverts were another series that became something of a phenomenon with people enjoying the increasingly ludicrous scenarios …

And beyond that campaign, the Lynx Effect was always a subtext, even when not explicitly mentioned …

The Love It Or Hate It adverts for Marmite were another campaign that had a wider cultural impact, resulting in the ‘Marmite Effect’.

It’s proven difficult to track down a reliable link for these, however — pretty much all the ones I can find point to the same ‘Marmite Neglect’ advert or else the much older ‘My mate, Marmite’ campaign.

But, you get the idea …

Its success was not unrelated to a product-range that subsequently came to include Marmite filled chocolates, Marmite and peanut butter in a jar, Marmite and chocolate spread and all manner of things that … whilst I don’t actually dislike the stuff myself (and, if push came to shove and I had to make a choice, I’d probably be obliged to lean toward the ‘like’ side of the scale) … are fundamentally disgusting — there is, quite literally, no accounting for taste, it seems.

The campaign was even spun off into a game …

But I’m really not sure the Lynx Marmite range is going to be a hit …

It’s an amusing concept to be sure … but I’m really not convinced by this one — quite apart from the Marmite Effect playing havoc with the Lynx Effect in and of itself … what woman is going to find the odour of ‘walking yeast infection’ alluring?

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