Cara Confused was the icon of UK price comparison site Confused.com from September 2010 to May 2013, designed by Dan & Jason at Hornet's New York studio. Made to resemble the otherwise gendereless character in the company logo, which was later changed to resemble her, she is a squiggly-haired woman created to compete with the icons of Go Compare and Compare the Market at the time who has hammerspace pockets, pulling out anything she can think of. Her speaking voices are unknown, but her singing voice was provided by Louise Dearman.
In earlier ads of hers, Cara's accent proves her of Scottish descent, but in later ads her accent is Welsh. Cara made her debut in "Interweb", in which she revealed herself to be a divorced mother of three children; her ex gained weight throughout the years after their divorce. However, this was never spoken of again, as in November she revealed herself to also be a singer, accompanied by thousands of customers as backup dancers.
To celebrate 18 million customers for Confused.com, which was not the precise amount at the time, she covered Queen's "Somebody to Love" and Diana Ross' "Chain Reaction" at 20 million. Her official theme song was "Con-fused-dot-com", sung to the tune of Village People's "Y.M.C.A.". One of these backup dancers, a large black woman who was eventually given the name Bertha, became her best friend and driver. She obtained a dog named Alan as her pet.
Cara has midly tanned skin and nine streaks of hair, resembling a sketch of a frustrated person. She wears a long-sleeved shirt striped with blue and a slightly brighter shade and a blue skirt that measures down to her knees, with pockets at each side, that are never visible unless she pulls something out of them, and black leggings and shoes so tight that her legs resemble that of a stick person. In later ads, her shirt's sleeves are slightly shorter and she wears no leggings, revealing more natural legs, with blue flats on her feet. Her favourite colour is always blue.
Controversy and criticism
Viewers have given mixed reactions towards Cara's advertising campaign. While some people have praised Louise Dearman's vocal performance, others thought these ads were irritating and/or overly sexualized. In the ad titled "Interweb", Cara says, "The internet is the most important invention of the 21st century". People took this quote the wrong way for its misuse of the word "invention". Confused.com's support team responded:
- "Cara (the character in our ad) is saying that the internet was the most important invention of the 21st century, in terms of impact and not that it was actually invented in the 21st century."
- —Confused.com Customer Support
It wasn't until April 2012 that members of the general would take notice of the sexualization of Cara and her supporting dancers, including their large, bouncing breasts, bikinis and exposure of underwear in the ad "Nectar Fun Fair". 37 complaints were filed to the ASA, who dismissed all of them. Other complaints were directed at the misrepresentation of Nectar points.