Super Bowl Ad Testing: WHY We’re Testing Every Ad LIVE on Sunday

It’s almost time for Super Bowl, which means it’s almost time for our groundbreaking LIVE testing of every Super Bowl ad. As you might have heard, we’ve teamed up with ZappiStore to test the ads in real time. During the match, our Facebook page will be hosting several five-minute live webcasts bringing you up to date on each quarter’s best performing ads (and maybe even a bit of game-appropriate content too..!). Meanwhile, we’ll be posting results as they come in on our Twitter, and writing analysis right here on the blog.

What you might not know is why we’re doing this. Continue reading

Super Bowl Ad Testing: Live like you’ve never seen it done before!


Everyone’s excited to watch the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots battle it out on February 5th to decide who will be crowned Super Bowl LI Champs.  But that’s not all we are excited about. We also tune in to see which brands will leave us talking about their advertising the most.  Who’s going to make us LOL, smirk or even cry, we will find out in a few short weeks.

There is no shortage of updates in the industry from AdWeek’s Super Bowl Ad Tracker and Ad Age’s Ad Chart  providing details on the brands, the spots (as they are leaked or posted) and the agencies working to the 11th hour on the creative. There are even reports of Fox rejecting an ad for being “too political”, so the advertiser is going to air it online the day before the game.  Now that’s an interesting way to harness digital to maximize media spend!

There is always punditry and “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” on which brands fumbled and which ones threw touchdowns. USA Today’s Ad Meter has a second-by-second ticker counting down to the moment consumers can sign up to be panelists rating the ads. They publish the rankings the next day.

Once again BrainJuicer and our research automation platform partner, ZappiStore, are suiting up for the game to test the Super Bowl Ads. But this time, we are going be testing all of the Super Bowl ads LIVE (using the ZappiStore Pro platform) and reporting  the results in REALTIME,  quarter by quarter.

Alex Hunt and Brent Snider from BrainJuicer and Julio Franco from ZappiStore will video stream commentary on FaceBook Live from our “sports-like anchor desk” in New York as the results come in each quarter!  Tom Ewing, who is usually comfortably ensconced in the UK, will be Live Blogging in New York with the team as the game unfolds.

We’re also doing a joint webinar  the next day to showcase the results so please check it out!

We’re very curious to find out which ad from Super Bowl LI will top last year’s Dorito Dogs by PepsiCo [top ad of the Super Bowl 2016 ranking in FeelMore50™].  But more than that, we want to show that the right kind of ad testing can be highly effective building and measuring 5-Star marketing, and identifying ads that are most likely to drive profitable growth for the brands with the courage to make them.

Join us Sunday night, Febraury 5th for FeelMore50 and Super Bowl LI! Live and in RealTime.

FeelMore50™ Ad of the Moment: Hungry Hounds Against the Forces of Authority

Welcome back to another FeelMore50 “Ad of the Moment” spotlight! With the Super Bowl just around the corner we felt it’d only be fitting to shine a light on 2016’s FeelMore50 Super Bowl winner – Super Bowl 50’s most emotional ad of the night – PepsiCo’s Doritos “Dogs”.

This 30 second spot that ran during the third quarter, keeps it short, simple and funny.  The three dogs yearn for bags of Doritos they see inside the grocery store. The only problem, no dogs allowed! Watching the dogs try multiple tactics to sneak into the store, you cannot help but laugh at the whit of these furry creatures. And with a fun, playful soundtrack in the background it keeps the viewer feeling upbeat and cheerful throughout. The peak of emotion comes in when the Dogs create a successful plan to get their Doritos – and you can’t leave out the memorable reaction from the cashier.


This crowdsourced ad (in collaboration with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners) keeps a light-hearted and humourous theme throughout, leaving viewers with high levels of happiness and surprise, earning it an Emotion-into-Action™ score of 90.90 and a well-deserved 5-Star rating. PepsiCo’s Doritos ‘Dogs’ is an example of the best of brands striving to make consumers feel something, which translates to long term brand growth.

It’s a shame Doritos has ended their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign – which was built on short crowdsourced skits – but they sure ended it on a high note.

Each year, BrainJuicer tests the Super Bowl ads – an event for which brands are known to part from the persuasion-based models of traditional advertising and take a chance at developing emotional, truly fame building creative – with its validated, award-winning BrainJuicer Ad Testing methodology. If a consumer feels nothing, they will do nothing. If they feel more, they’ll buy more.

A big congratulations to Doritos on their 2016 Super Bowl win, and with Super Bowl 2017 just around the corner we can’t help but ask who will take home the top spot this year. To find out join us 5 February (the night of the Super Bowl) as we live test the ads of the Super Bowl to reveal their emotional scores in real time! And join us the following day for our fifth annual FeelMore50 Super Bowl webinar.

Happy New Product Development

After festivities and the respite of public holidays, it’s that time of year when we pause for a breath to refocus, re-energise and rebuild.  In many ways it is a clean sheet – new diaries, new calendars, perhaps some new socks? And of course there’s the formality of new year resolutions that we hope can make us better versions of ourselves, or at least make us temporarily tougher on our perennial feeble-mindedness.

One of the phrases bandied about is “out with the old and in with the new” and while 2016 has generally been given a poor end-of-year report due to celebrity deaths and political uncertainty, should we be so radical in dismissing it, and indeed other things, quite so wholeheartedly?

Behavioural science tells us that we seek and reward familiarity because our prevalent System 1 thinking is a pattern recognition machine.  When you’re introducing something new (a resolution to stop smoking, BREXIT legislation, a new flavour of cheese), the disappearance of any such familiarity creates uncertainty and diminishes the likelihood of buy-in.  This makes some of the traditional metrics used in New Product Development testing rather more questionable, such as combining New and Different into one “New and Different” attribute.  We might say, when asked in a survey, that we want things that are new and different, but the reality is that if it is too different then our System 1 thinking will struggle at point of purchase.  We see this time and time again when testing food ideas.  We may not like to admit it but we are creatures of habit, as those probably-already-smashed new year resolutions demonstrate.

After exploring our data on new product launches we’ve tested, BrainJuicer has introduced the notion of Fluent Innovation.


The core foundation of Fluent Innovation is that it takes more than a good idea to create a great innovation; it’s about making that idea acceptable so that people get (understand) it, and are therefore more likely to get (buy) it. As such, Fluent Innovation is all about combining genuine, surprising novelty with stuff that is already fluent and familiar. It is not about “out with the old and in with the new”, it is about combining novelty with familiarity.  Neither the new nor the familiar is enough in itself.

We believe successful innovation is 20% the new and surprising, 80% the familiar and pleasing. You have to have that core good idea, but so much of what makes the difference between success and failure lies in framing it for acceptance.  How much is pleasing and familiar about a Hard Brexit compared to a Soft one?

Human beings have a gut liking for the familiar. A lot of people who want to innovate push against that – work to find a disruptive, highly original idea and present it as radical. But as is always the way, you get much better results by working with the grain of System 1 thinking. Take that same game-changing idea and find what makes it familiar, and you’re on the path to Fluent Innovation.

The nutribullet craze – it’s a glorified blender, The ION AIR LP: It’s a record player with Bluetooth, the newly-announced Sony NW-A35  – it’s a Walkman with a beefed-up spec.  And how might Christians ever get pagans take up Christmas: by tying it in with their existing pagan solstice festivals, complete with their penchant for decorating trees.

Happy January, and Happy New Product Development.

FeelMore50™ Ad of the Moment: One Man’s Adorable Quest to Master the English Language

Welcome back to another FeelMore50 “Ad of the Moment” spotlight. Since we discovered the Polish auction website Allegro’s holiday ad, “English for Beginners,” we’ve fallen in love. This Polish ad was created by the Warsaw agency Bardzo and was directed by Sweden’s Jesper Ericstam of The Social Club.

Continue reading

Our Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016

This year has been filled with uncertainty and unexpected events, but here at BrainJuicer we have kept ourselves very busy — both in our offices and on this blog. We launched System1 Politics, following two major political events in the UK and US, and introduced System1 Agency, our very own creative agency. We ranked and tested Olympic-themed adverts in markets across the world and saw some major changes in digital and marketing — not to mention working on our usual projects and endeavours! With the end of 2016 quickly approaching, it’s time to take our annual look back at the most read posts of the year. Without further ado, here are the top 10 posts of 2016:


Continue reading

Alerts on UK Xmas Ads: Bouncing High

David Whitelam, Head of New Client Development at BrainJuicer, reflects on 2016’s UK Christmas adverts – highlighting John Lewis’ “Buster the Boxer” Christmas advert and what makes it a 4-Star performance.

John Lewis wanted to make people smile this year with an ad that embraces a sense of fun and magic. They’ve certainly managed to achieve that with the appropriate help of a trampoline and some animal assistance.

With a hallmark “classic cover” soundtrack, the advert creates plenty of joy and surprise from viewers as they see an assortment of airborne woodland creatures enjoying the new trampoline, as a wistful Buster watches on. The advert then ends on a real (and literal!) high with Buster’s final bout of gleeful bouncing.


Our testing showed that a strong majority of consumers are indeed left feeling happy, driven by a sense that the Magic of Christmas is captured, reminding everyone what it feels like to give the perfect gift. The cuteness of the animals is, unsurprisingly, not too far behind as a reason for happiness. There is dynamism too, not just on the trampoline, but emotionally, as viewers empathise with Buster’s mood.

On our 1-to-5 Star scale, the advert achieves a strong 4 Stars and, with the added bandwagon (more a bandjuggernaut) of publicity, social media buzz will help no end in making John Lewis even more mentally available to shoppers when present buying time arrives.

Well bounced, Buster!

Watch John Lewis’ “Buster the Boxer” on BrainJuicer’s FeelMore50™.