How Do Consumer Insights Influence the Creative Process?


We know that human truths drive advertising creativity. The assumption is that you provide consumer insight to a creative professional, and they work their magic, choosing freely among appeal types. What’s not clear is what role the insight plays in the making of that magic. Here’s a preliminary roadmap for finding the emotional pulse of the creative process.

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NYCU: Four Measures of Super Bowl Ad Popularity -- USA Today, Ipsos, Tweets and YouTube Views

Again, this year, Super Bowl commercials are a hot topic and we hear many announcements proclaiming which ads were audience favorites. Here are four reports that rank the ads. They use very different methods – and come to different conclusions.  In next week’s NYCU, we will address a question one might consider even more important: “Are Super Bowl ads worth their price tag?” 

 The USA Today Ad Meter: The newspaper writes that Super Bowl advertisers faced a unique set of challenges this year in both production and messaging. The tumultuous events of 2020 served as a complicated backdrop for brands, leaving them to wonder whether their ads would strike the right tone. The COVID-19 pandemic also created practical obstacles in terms of filming, forcing some brands to limit crew sizes or move their sets outdoors. Nearly 60% of commercials featured an appearance by at least one celebrity or prominent athlete. This is USA Today’s Ad Meter Methodology: Ad Meter participants logged in, watched and rated this year’s Super Bowl ads starting Wednesday, Feb. 3. Ad rating ran through the big game and officially closed on Monday, Feb. 8 at 1 a.m. ET. Each participant rated every commercial that aired during the Super Bowl for their ratings to be counted. The findings:
  • Rocket Mortgage’s two, 60-second Super Bowl ads placed first and second. Both spots starred comedian Tracy Morgan – who urged his 2.9 million followers on Twitter to sign up for Ad Meter and vote for the commercials.
  • Amazon finished third with its ad starring Michael B. Jordan as a seductive version of Alexa, while M&M's humorous spot featuring Dan Levy was fourth; fifth was Toyota's moving ad about Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long; sixth was General Motors: “No Way Norway”; seventh was Cheetos: “It Wasn’t Me”; eighth was State Farm: “Drake from State Farm”; ninth was Doritos: “Flat Matthew”; and tenth was Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade: Last Year’s Lemons.
 Source: Schad, T. (2021, February 8). Rocket Mortgage pulled off a surprising double Sunday night. USA Today. ____________________________________________________________________________ Ipsos Creative Excellence Award: IPSOS’s new report says:  Appealing though it may be to single out a ‘winner,’ more sophisticated and rigorous research shows how little sense that makes. Ipsos leveraged its depth and breadth to analyze this years’ Super Bowl ads through both traditional and cutting-edge methods – from surveys to social listening to AI. This combination of approaches provides a more robust and nuanced picture of Super Bowl success. Here is their methodology: Here are their findings:    Note – all the Ipsos award winners are available via the link below Source: Howard, P. and Colligan, T. (2021, February 9). Ipsos Creative Excellence Award. Ipsos.
 The best Tweets: Twitter released an analysis of their internal data that ranks Super Bowl ads based on tweets. #1 Pepsi- “The MVP.” The brand that drove the largest overall conversation among Big Game advertisers was Pepsi. From giving fans a chance to win halftime prizes, to sharing exclusive content, Pepsi and The Weeknd (memes and all) stole the show to own the conversation before, during and long after the performance. #2 T-Mobile- “The Retweet Rusher.” The brand with the most retweets on a single Tweet from a brand’s handle among Big Game advertisers. #3 Verizon- “The Most Creative Play.” The brand that best used Twitter to creatively breakthrough, beyond promoted Tweets and video. The brand partnered with artists like Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus to live-stream #BigConcertSmallBiz. #4 Budweiser- “The No-TV Touchdown.” The brand without a national TV spot drove the largest, overall conversation. Budweiser did things differently this year by stepping up its game and the nostalgia on Twitter, iconic Clydesdales and all. #5 Disney+- “The (Re)Play of the Game” was the brand with the most engagements on a single video Tweet from a brand’s handle. Fans couldn’t stop talking about the latest Marvel series. #6 Indeed- “The Audible.” Indeed tackled the unemployment crisis by reacting to real-time events during the game and Tweeting job opportunities from brands that were advertising. Source: Len, L.; Samson, EJ; Bigelow, M. (2021, February 8). Best of Tweets Brand Bowl LV Twitter Sources:
  1. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Total Tweets
  2. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Twitter-Only Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Ranked by Total Tweets
  3. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Total Retweets
  4. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Total Engagements (RTs, QTs, and Replies) on Video-Only Tweets

YouTube Hits: According to Google, viewership of Super Bowl ads on YouTube during the game rose over 70% on TV screens from last year. The YouTube channel for half-time show headliner The Weeknd peaked at over 1.6 million views per hour at 8 PM EST. Here are Top 10 ads, as measured by YouTube views, by Gameday (Global) through 7pm PT / 10pm EST:
  1. Amazon – Alexa’s Body. The company’s Super Bowl ad asks the question, “What would be the ideal body for Alexa?” The answer is Michael B. Jordan, star of Black Panther and Creed.
  2. Jeep – The Middle. This two-minute spot features the usually commercial-shy Bruce Springsteen in an ode to unity, healing the divide, and common American ideals.
  3. Cadillac – All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | ScissorHandsFree pays homage to a classic Tim Burton movie in its “Edgar Scissorhands” spot, starring Timothée Chalamet as the clumsy Edgar who discovers the joy of hands-free cruise control.
  4. Uber Eats – Wayne’s World & Cardi B’s Shameless Manipulation | Eat Local | Uber Eats Saturday Night Live nostalgia revisiting the basement, public-access show Wayne’s World. Rapper Cardi B pops in to spice things up.
  5. Paramount Plus – Paramount+ Expedition | Sweet Victory | Super Bowl LV Spot SpongeBob, RuPaul and James Corden joined an all-star cast of heroes from Paramount’s streaming service Paramount Plus.
  6. Marvel Entertainment – Official Trailer | The Falcon and The Winter Soldier | Disney+ The second Disney+ series to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  7. Amazon Prime Video – Coming 2 America Official Trailer #2 | Prime Video. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite in this highly anticipated sequel.
  8. Anheuser-Busch – Let’s Grab a Beer | Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl LV Commercial | :60 Anheuser-Busch’s first ever company ad which shows everyday people enjoying beers together in a poignant reminder of pre-pandemic life.
  9. Doritos – Doritos 3D | Flat Matthew. Matthew McConaughey appears as a flattened 2D version of himself who gets bowled over by a football and tangles with a robot vacuum.
  10. Chipotle – Chipotle | Can a Burrito Change the World? Chipotle seems to think so.
Source: Andreeva, N. (2021, February 7). Michael B. Jordan, Bruce Springsteen & Timothée Chalamet Super Bowl Ads Most Watched on YouTube. Deadline.   Methodology Google Sunday night released data about the Top 10 most viewed ads globally on its video platform Feb. 7 through 7 PM PT.  And one final thought:  There were already a number of commercials released heading up to Super Bowl 55. Tide, GEICO and Guinness all released ads the week prior — leading to the confusion as to what, exactly is a Super Bowl ad anymore? Source: Rivera, J. (2021, February 9). Sporting News

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When Are Dogs an Advertiser’s Best Friend?

  • Rohit H. Trivedi; Thorsten Teichert

Animals have been used in ads effectively for decades, yet little is known about their effects on consumer reactions along the purchase-decision process. New research shows evidence of animals’ influences on different stages of the decision-making journey, with women reacting more positively than men. But the outcomes changed when human models were included in the ads.

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NYCU: Has Media Usage Reached a Plateau?

Data on the amount of time spent on media over a 50-year+ period is very rare. Germany has conducted research on this with comparable methods since 1964. The findings reveal a dramatic increase between 1964 and 2005 – from about 3 ½ hours per day to over 8 hours – but no increase during the last 15 years.    The public media organizations in Germany conduct a complex “Mass-Communication-Long-Term-Usage Study” every year. Their analysis of the trend data as well as the 2020 study reveals that during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the increase in time spent with media in Germany was driven by the increased availability of TV and radio choices, while time spent reading remained steady. The internet brought the next major increase around 2000.  The total media time budget for most population segments did not increase after 2005 for these reasons: 

  • While internet usage increased, time spent on other media TV, radio and print -decreased. (This is most pronounced among young people.) 
  • Concurrent use of two or more media increased. (This, too, is driven by young people.)
These long-term data demonstrate the role of media choices available to consumers, but they also point to the crucial role that lifestyle factors play. In this context, it is noteworthy that despite these dramatic changes, the times of the day during which media are consumed have changed very little.  
  • In sum, there appears to be a limit to the amount of time people can or are willing to spend with media. This suggests continued, if not increasing, competition among media.   
  Source: Christian Breunig, Marlene Hande, Bernhard Kessler, Massenkommunikation 1964-2020: Mediennutzung im Langzeitvergleich. Media Perspektiven   

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NYCU: In Brief - The #RaiseItUp Campaign

Procter & Gamble's Secret, in cooperation with YWCA USA and the Women's National Basketball Association, unveiled an in-house "#RaiseItUp" campaign that spotlights the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, particularly minorities. An anthem, 60-second spot is set to an original poem by Black poet Jasmine Mans. The push includes a social challenge promoted by WNBA players and actress Gabrielle Union as well as national and regional newspaper ads.    Click here for a link to the 60-second spot https://youtu.be/yUGHpxXFV4Y  Source: Brownfield, A. (2020, October 5). P&G and YWCA partner to help women most impacted by coronavirus. Cincinnati Business Courier

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NYCU: Digital Subscriptions & Paywalls See Growth

The publishing industry has been challenged for many years now. However, this report should come as a ray of hope. Data show that consumers recognize the value of content and that, increasingly, they are prepared to pay for it. As consumers go in search for well-researched stories on the pandemic, they’ve increasingly gravitated toward trusted news sources and have been willing to pay for quality content. “Digital subscriptions and paywalls are rapidly emerging as the primary revenue driver for many media businesses,” said James Hewes, President and CEO of FIPP. “The phenomenon of digital subscriptions and paywalls is global. There is not a country on Earth where this model is not working.” A primary example: The New York Times has doubled their growth in the first true quarter of reporting coronavirus results and now has 5.7 million digital subscribers overall. Other success stories include Dow Jones, where digital subscriptions now account for 67 percent of subscription revenues, and The Athletic, a sports website that has managed to hit the one million subscriber mark in September (a growth of 66.7%). Topping the list of the new entries in the report is The Atlantic, whose paywall had a rocky start but who has now reached the phenomenal figure of 500,000 digital subscriptions in a short space of time. Other newcomers include Business Insider (200,000). According to Marc Isler, Chief Revenue Officer, Tamedia AG, “Users also spend much more time on an article. It’s mainly corona content, but content that goes more in depth. What makes me happy is that it’s not a completely new audience, which will disappear after corona. It’s users who were already heavily engaged before, but didn’t convert. So far, they mostly stay with us.” While newspapers have forged ahead when it comes to digital subscriptions, the magazine industry continues to largely ignore the model. York Walterscheid, Managing Director of CeleraOne, believes they should test the waters more. “Technically, from a software side, a paywall is not a big thing. More important is that you have a strategy in place – objectives, key results, what is your USP, what product do you want to offer and what pricing models you want behind that. If you don’t have the right strategy in place, the software won’t help.” Source: De Villiers, P. (2020, October 12). “Digital subscriptions and paywalls are rapidly emerging as the primary revenue driver for many media businesses”: FIPP Report. WNIP (What’s New In Publishing).  

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NYCU: Global Marketing Budgets Trend Upward

Four months of data show improvement rising each month across the six measured media. However, only September's mobile and digital conditions have risen to the growth line. Developed by WARC, the GMI is a monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry, based on current conditions among practitioners. An index value of 50 indicates no change, below 50 indicates decline and above 50 indicates growth. The Global Marketing Index tracks current conditions among practitioners. The global panel consists of experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies and other organizations serving the marketing industry. Read the Full Article

Source: Mc Cready, Z. (2020, October). Digital Budgets Back To Pre-Pandemic GrowthWARC.

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How Political Ideology Drives Response to LGBTQ Imagery

  • Gavin Northey (Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus), et.al.

We know from prior research that different consumers give  different emotional responses to ads that show images of gay men and women. New research shows evidence that political ideology is a key determinant, suggesting that marketers consider geopolitical segmentation and targeting to reduce potential negative outcomes to sales.

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