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.

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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:


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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™.

Alerts on UK Xmas Ads: Orange is the colour

David Whitelam, Head of New Client Development at BrainJuicer, reflects on 2016’s UK Christmas adverts – highlighting Aldi’s “Kevin the Carrot” Christmas advert and what makes it a solid 3-Star performance.

Aldi’s offering was the season opener in this year’s Christmas ad parade. Quite surprising, in that it stars a root vegetable, viewers found Kevin the Carrot to be a happy, innocent and cute little chap; his triumph at the end of his exciting adventure leads to good levels of happiness and an effective resolution.

Taking place among a Christmas feast, and with the Jim Broadbent voiceover, Kevin’s scrapes (including literal ones on a grater, echo Indiana Jones but with roast potatoes rather than boulders tumbling down behind him as he pursues his goal of meeting Santa. As in the Waitrose ad, and indeed the M&S ad, the mince pie plays a key role. Will such exposure lead to record mince pie sales in 2016?

captureWhile the advert showcases Aldi food, the products are sufficiently part and parcel of the action to not feel forced under the viewer’s noses. As such, they enhance, rather than disrupt, the storyline so engagement is maintained throughout. This said, the intensity of emotion is not at the same level as we have seen in the leading ads we have tested this year M&S’s “Mrs. Claus” and Waitrose’s “Home For Christmas”.

On our 1-to-5 Star scale, Kevin the Carrot achieves a solid 3-Star rating on BrainJuicer’s  FeelMore50™.

Alerts on UK Xmas Ads: The Lure Of The Mince Pie

David Whitelam, Head of New Client Development at BrainJuicer, reflects on 2016’s UK Christmas adverts – highlighting Waitrose’s “Home for Christmas” ad and what makes it a 4-Star success this Holiday season. 

As noted in our previous post “Applause for Mrs. Claus”, 2015’s Christmas offering of ‘sadvertising’ has been followed by a more optimistic tone in 2016. Lunar loneliness has ceded to bouncing Boxers and Mog, the feline pyromaniac, is nowhere to be seen.

Waitrose’s beautifully-filmed “Home for Christmas” shows a robin making its way through more-than-a-few scrapes on a mission to reunite itself with a Waitrose mince pie.  It’s a simple plot, well-told, and a specially-adapted soundtrack from Jóhann Jóhannsson fits the mood like a snug glove.


Most of the frames could be screengrabbed and made into a Waitrose Christmas Card compilation; there are beautiful forests, lakes and mountains, all with a dusting of gentle, festive snow. But it’s the fact the scenes are interspersed with driving rain, territorial polecats, swooping kestrels and squally storms that not only emphasise the risks poor robin is taking, but keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.

Our testing found that engagement levels are very strong, and the ad hits 4 Stars on our 1-to-5 Star scale.  The emotional journey is also highly dynamic, with both sadness and fear playing key roles within the story. The film-making masterstroke is that these emotions are completely resolved at the end of the ad. As such, we see the highest levels of happiness in the last 5 seconds, when the Waitrose branding is revealed, the mince pie is tasted, the family sit down to feast and, lo! another robin makes an unexpected appearance.

Verbatim comments reveal viewers’ fondness for robins (it won a vote for Britain’s national bird last year, don’t you know?) and that they find the ad “captivating”. However, the theme of “coming together” also comes through clearly. This ties in well with the intended strategy, described, more eloquently, by Waitrose as “the spirit of connection”. And there’ll be no lack of opportunity to get more connected either, as accompanying robin books, kitchenware and clothing are all leading in-store activation.

Congratulations to Waitrose and Adam&EveDDB for another captivating and emotionally-engaging Christmas ad.

Watch Waitrose’s “Home for Christmas” on BrainJuicer’s FeelMore50™.