News

December 19, 2012

Waitrose has funniest overall joke, but Aldi gives more laughs for your money

Millward Brown’s award winning Neuroscience practice has put the UK’s top supermarket Christmas crackers to the test to decide once and for all, which crackers have the funniest jokes. Using facial coding technology, the team has been able to identify which cracker gives you the biggest laugh for your money.

Supermarkets Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi’s own brand crackers were put to the test using Millward Brown and Affectiva’s Facial Coding analysis tool which records participants faces while they watch ads (or in this case, watch as the joke is flashed up on screen), and automatically codes the viewers’ facial expressions. Importantly in this case, this includes the size of their smiles.

The research found that Waitrose had the funniest joke of all those tested, but hot on their heels, was Aldi, who were deemed to have the most consistently funny jokes hidden in their crackers. Tesco crackers scored lowest on the smile factor, whilst Asda jokes scored the highest on ‘groan’ factor.

Top Five UK Supermarket Christmas Cracker jokes of 2013:

  1. Waitrose: What does a clock do when it’s hungry? Goes back 4 seconds!
  2. Aldi: What do you call a dog with a bunch of daisies on its head? A Collie- flower!
  3. Aldi: On which side do chickens have the most feathers? On the outside!
  4. Asda: How do Monkeys make toast? Put some bread under the gorilla!
  5. Morrisons: Why was the computer so tired? Because it had a hard drive!


The research involved 200 participants between the ages of 18 and 60. Each person was shown a series of jokes from a selection of crackers from the supermarkets tested. The results are based on how much each person smiled, based on Facial Coding metrics, as the punch line was revealed.

Interestingly, 75% of respondents agreed Christmas wouldn’t be the same without an awful gag shared with loved ones around the dinner table, with the older age group (40-59) finding the jokes the funniest. Interestingly, over 80% of participants laughed at the jokes shown- even the ones they said they didn’t like!

Sarah Walker, R&D Director of Millward Brown’s Consumer Neuroscience Practice said; “This fun project demonstrates the variety of ways in which Facial Coding can be used by marketers and advertisers. We’re delighted with how well received and at how quickly the technology has been accepted and used by clients around the world.”

In usual circumstances the data can be used to understand the emotional triggers in an ad campaign, or the moments at which the audience switch off. It also highlights which advertising ideas and motifs work well in a given market, or which claims are more powerful than others. All of this informs ad edits, campaign longevity and ultimately, allows clients to ensure repeatable success in their marketing.