Thinkboxes April 2009 Winner: Comparethemarket ‘Sergei’ by VCCP

Aleksandr Orlov shot to fame as the face of, the website he claims is consistently confused with price-comparison site, much to his annoyance.

In this third spot in the acclaimed campaign by ad agency VCCP, Aleksandr reinforces the message by introducing his friend Sergei,’s head of IT. Aleksandr bemoans the fact that people keep overloading his server, giving Sergei ‘nervous meltdown’, he tells viewers.

The challenge for this phase of the campaign was to create an ad that improved brand recall and increased the number of drivers that actively searched for by name.


We identified name recall as the number-one thing to address,’ says Mark Vile, director of marketing at The success of the first ads meant we had to think carefully about how to keep it fresh. We felt that Sergei was a good contrast to the over-exuberance of Aleksandr. Our visits increased 100% year on year and have remained at that level since the campaign started.

Mark Vile Director of Marketing at

Aleksandr and Sergei proved a winner with the judges, with the ad beating Toyota’s ‘Unveiled’ to the Thinkboxes’ top spot.

The Toyota work promotes four of its models – in the ads, the skin of each car acts as a dustsheet that is whisked off to reveal the next car underneath.

Third place in the April Thinkboxes went to J20’s ‘A horse called Cynthia’, which cleverly mixes dialogue with visuals.

Client Mark Vile; Ad agency VCCP; Creative team Darren Bailes, Steve Vranakis, Matt Lloyd, Rich Connell, Clem Woodward; Media agency Zed Media

Other ads on the podium

Toyota: Unveiled  (2nd)

  • Creative agency: CHI & Partners
  • Creative team: Angus Wardlaw, Alexei Berwitz
  • Client: Lisa Fielden
  • Production company: RSA Films
  • Director: Brett Foraker

J20: A Horse called Cynthia (3rd)

  • Creative agency: BBH
  • Creative: Nick Gill
  • Client: Jonathan Gatward
  • Director: Chris Palmer

Also shortlisted

Pot Noodle: Kebablab

  • Creative agency: Mother
  • Creative team: Mother
  • Client: Noam Buchalter
  • Production company: Hammer & Tongs
  • Director: Garth Jennings Calendar

  • Creative agency: Grey London
  • Creative team: Grey London
  • Client: Matt Robinson
  • Production company: Moxie Pictures
  • Director: James Griffiths

Click here to see who won the previous award

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