FeelMore50 2016: UPS Keeps On Truckin’

Great news for fans of advertising that makes people feel more and buy more! The 2016 FeelMore50 ranking launched yesterday– our annual list of the global Top 50 most emotional ads. Congratulations to Doritos, whose hilarious “Dogs” takes the top spot – proof once again that the Super Bowl is where US advertisers invest most heavily in making audiences happy.

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But this year’s FeelMore50 goes a lot deeper than just the global ranking. Our new look website also features micro-rankings for the first time, looking at the most successful ads not just by region but by format (short-form, long-form and digital-only), by industry sector, and by event (from the Rio Olympics through the UK Christmas Ads to this year’s Super Bowl). Over the next week on the blog we’ll be spotlighting some of the most intriguing ads and trends we’ve found, starting with our #1 winner in the digital category (and #2 overall), UPS’ Wishes Delivered: Driver Training Camp.

The ad is the follow-up to a previous commercial, Driver For A Day, which UPS made in 2014 in response to a disappointing 2013 holiday season that had seen the brand face user backlash on social media. That ad focused on a young boy who gets a very special wish granted – he can drive a UPS truck himself. (The miniature trucks are specially made for the young drivers).

Driver Training Camp, the follow-up, picks up the story, and introduces not one but three new children who our original kid driver trains. At the end of the video, they are sent out in their mini UPS trucks to deliver presents to sick kids.

It’s a heartwarming commercial which enjoyed a hugely positive reaction among viewers, winning a high 5-Star rating on our Ad Testing metric. The overall campaign won an Effies Silver Award for Corporate Reputation, as it shifted social sentiment on UPS back to positive.

As well as doing wonders for UPS’ Feeling, the ad has also performed well on several of the other measures we use to check an ad’s potential. It scored a very good 83% on our Brand Fluency Check – the proportion who recall the brand unaided after viewing. It also managed to sustain positive feeling throughout the ad at very high levels, so the retention level (the number of people sticking around for more than 25% of the ad) was unusually good.

This emotional profile – strong, unwavering happiness – means the ad lacks a little dynamism: its sharing and click-through potential ,as measured in our Digital Content Test, don’t hit the 5-Star heights of its brand-building ability. If these short-term activation measures were the main goal of the work we’d advise changing the story a little to add a bit of tension. But since the goal of the ad was to rebuild UPS’ reputation and enhance the brand, it’s perfect as it is, and a worthy 5-Star winner.

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