No, The Super Bowl Ads Weren’t ‘Too Emotional’

We know one big Super Bowl winner already – hip-hop legend Missy Elliott has seen an 1000% boost to her iTunes sales after she joined Katy Perry for the half-time show. For the brands who paid to advertise, the picture is inevitably less clear. After all, the short-term benefits won’t be known for weeks – and the long-term benefit of famous advertising is best measured over years.

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That isn’t stopping commentators weighing in, of course. Consensus has it that 2015 saw a dreary crop of ads, and we wouldn’t necessarily argue. What’s more concerning is where the finger is being pointed. In a Forbes piece yesterday, Derek Rucker of the Kellogg School made a curious comparison. “There were lots of ads trying to pull at heartstrings with different levels of success. There was less of your funny, humorous, in-your-face advertising [in this game], and clearly a lot more emotional advertising.”

This, according to Rucker and Jennifer Rooney, the piece’s writer, was a problem. Tilt the balance of ads too far to the sombre and it stops being congruent with the Super Bowl’s party atmosphere. It’s a good point. The trouble is, Rucker’s apparent distinction between “emotional advertising” and “funny, humorous, in-your-fact advertising” is just not right. Continue reading

Super Bowl XLIX: From Sadvertising To Dadvertising?

The game was close – the advertising battle really wasn’t. At least that’s if you take USA Today’s Ad Meter rankings seriously – and as an overnight measure, we do. While they aren’t perfect, their simple measurement of how likeable an ad was stands as a reasonable instant proxy for a more in-depth emotional assessment. According to USA Today’s scores, Budweiser is – yet again – the Super Bowl champion, romping to a win with a direct sequel to last year’s “Puppy Love” in the form of “Lost Dog”.

“Lost Dog” tweaks the formula a little: a slowed-down cover version rather than a famous original song, a new antagonist in the form of a wolf, and last year’s hint of a love story is shunted aside so the ad can go big on its dog-horse bromance. Will the changes help “Lost Dog” maintain the five-star status of previous ads in the sequence, once we test it more rigorously? You’ll have to pop into our results Webinar on the 17th to find out. But we wouldn’t bet against it. Continue reading

Stunts, Surprises and Sappy Endings: 6 Paths To Online Video Emotion

One of the things you might have noticed looking at the FeelMore50 list of the world’s most emotional ads, is that a bunch of them are long – around the three minute mark, and sometimes more. The thirty or sixty second TV spot can still pack a big emotional wallop – after all, this year’s winner was thirty seconds – but advertising made for and watched on the internet is getting increasingly emotional.

Online video itself is hardly a new trend! But looking at the online and viral ads in the 2014 Feelmore50, what’s obvious is the sense of a rejuvenated industry, figuring out what works and getting better almost by the month. People have known now to make great TV ads for a long time – even if their actually doing so has been held back by caution and by bad models of how advertising works. But the longform online video, designed for sharing, is newer, and agencies are still learning how to use it well and make it emotional.

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This means two things. It means there’s a palpable buzz around the best examples as bold creatives try new tricks. It also means that an approach that works is very quickly copied, and then mutates as its DNA is spliced with other successful examples. For instance, Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” and P&G’s “Thank You Mom” were both massively shared, and we’ve seen a lot of campaigns building on and trying to improve on their ideas. But we’ve also seen campaigns – like Cardstore’s “World’s Toughest Job” – which take the Dove empowerment activation and mix it with a shot of P&G style gratitude.

My guess is that in even three years’ time online videos will look very different. Not just because there will be more points of interaction and personalisation, but because agencies will have learned to use their two-to-three minute canvas even more efficiently and emotionally.

But for now here are the six dominant ways of making an emotional longform ad right now: the Stunt, the Surprise, the Sappy Ending, the Social Experiment, the Spectacular – and of course the Story. Continue reading

It’s Our Birthday!

It was fifteen years ago today Sgt Kearon found the juicy way! Yes, we’re 15, and we’re off celebrating at the inaugural BrainJuicer Movie Morning (showcasing the best ads of 2014 on the big screen) but the Chief Juicer has given an interview to that other champion of maverick research Lenny Murphy – in which he talks about BrainJuicer’s origins, what he’s learned, and his opinions on the state of the industry.


But there’s more! Like any fifteen year old worth their salt, we’ve been busy staying up and writing dodgy poetry – and you can see the results in our anniversary booklet, The 15 Things Every Modern Marketer Should Know About Famous Brand Building. You’ve seen free books of marketing advice before – but this one’s better. And, indeed, verse.

Go have a read online – or get hold of a physical copy if you’re at a BrainJuicer event this year. That’s just the start of our literary aspirations for 2015… but enough of that for now. Enjoy the FeelMore50, enjoy the booklet, and we’ll be back after the party to kick off the next fifteen years of juicy ideas!

Thanks to all our readers for reading the Brian Juicer Blog, and thanks to all the brave marketers and researchers who’ve helped BrainJuicer grow into what it is.

The Year Of The Mom? (And Dad)

A couple of months back, when we talked about Le Trèfle’s “Emma” ad – announced yesterday as our first ever FeelMore50 Global winner – we focused strongly on the ad’s humorous content. Quite right too – it’s officially the most amusing ad in our entire database.

But there’s something else to note about the commercial. The long-suffering Emma is a mother. And moms played a starring role in a lot of the best ads of 2014, it turns out.

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There are the real-life moms given a surprise on their baby’s first birthday in the Pampers “Mom’s First Birthday” spot in Japan (#5). There are the candidates lining up for an impossible job that turns out to be motherhood in the Cardstore ad (#13). There is the ad for DTAC with a mother looking on in worry then delight as her husband cuddles his child (#6) and there is the Brazilian Mom on the beach knowing that cool piece of tech from Nivea will protect her kid (#21). Continue reading

It’s Time To Feel More: Introducing the Global FeelMore50™!

This time last year we launched the FeelMore50 list of the most emotional ads in the USA.

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Today, the FeelMore50 is back – and we’re taking it wider. The Global FeelMore50 list of emotional ads is now live for your interest, enjoyment and debate. What’s number one? Go and find out for yourself! Continue reading

FEELMORE AD SPOTLIGHT #5: Turkish Airlines – “Dreams”

In the FeelMore Ad Spotlight we post about an ad we’ve tested that made people feel more. This ad is number two in the Global FeelMore50 – the definitive list of emotional ads that kicked up a commotion in 2014.

It’s an ad! It’s a plane! It’s Turkish Airlines! They’re the brand behind the latest in our series of ads from around the world that we’ve tested and that have emerged five-star winners: some of the most emotionally effective commercials of 2014.

This one’s about four kids and a shared dream – they want a Turkish Airlines plane to land near them. Give it a look. Continue reading