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Super Bowl 50 Advertising Sells-Out at Record Nearly $5 Million for :30; What Can Advertisers Expect in Return?
Jan22

Super Bowl 50 Advertising Sells-Out at Record Nearly $5 Million for :30; What Can Advertisers Expect in Return?

Communicus has evaluated the effectiveness of over 150 Super Bowl commercials between 2011 and 2015. Advertisers who have invested the $5 million or more[…]

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Super Bowl Frenzy, Part 50
Nov09

Super Bowl Frenzy, Part 50

It’s only early November, and CBS says that they’re almost sold out of ad inventory for Super Bowl 50, which will be held nearly 3 months from now, on February 7 of next year. What is it about this event that drives so many advertisers to line up to pay the going price of $5 million per :30 of commercial time, plus all of the production and PR costs that go along with the buy? It can’t be the numbers. On the basis of the conservatively estimated $10mm total investment, a typical CPG brand would have to sell 50 million additional units beyond what they would have sold without the commercial buy to recoup the investment. An auto company would have to sell over 7,000 additional cars which without that 30-second experience would have gone unsold to recover the cost of being on the Super Bowl. What’s more, we know the odds are stacked against this happening – while some commercials do better than others in breaking through and persuading, the average Super Bowl commercial achieves branded awareness among about 9.5 % of American adults, or 2.3 million consumers. Okay, that’s a pretty big number on the basis of a single exposure. However, the odds are only one in five that this one commercial exposure is going to actually convince a meaningful number of that 2.3 million consumers to do anything differently, in regards to the brand, than they otherwise would have. The math just doesn’t add up. But of course, each individual advertiser is convinced that this year, this spot is going to break out and win it all. And, in fact there are the winners. Some win big in a short-term way. Budweiser’s 2014 pairing of its iconic Clydesdales with a puppy, in the widely heralded Puppy Love execution, didn’t only generate strong awareness and buzz for the brand – Communicus data suggests that it also had a significant impact on building favorability for the beer itself. Some win big over a longer period. GoDaddy first started advertising on the Super Bowl in 2005, and for the next seven years was highly effective in using the venue to build awareness of the company and its products. However, the brand has been off its game recently, having stalled in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in its use of the Super Bowl buy to leverage its way into the consideration set of those who are in the market for domain names and websites. For some Super Bowl advertisers, the allure may be more about getting to have a really good time developing creative concepts that become high-budget, talked about TV...

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Hispanics’ View of Corporate Social Responsibility
Oct29

Hispanics’ View of Corporate Social Responsibility

In this exclusive piece, Aleena Astorga Roeschley, senior project manager and multicultural expert at Communicus, Inc., discusses Latinos’ perspectives on corporate philanthropy. Many brand marketers have developed corporate responsibility programs where they team up with consumers to help those in need–General Mills’ Box Tops for Education, for example, is one of the longest running and most visible initiatives. But while Hispanic consumers are generous and philanthropic by nature, it is worth questioning how well these type programs can engage them. Click HERE for...

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Copy Testing Without Accountability
Oct22

Copy Testing Without Accountability

Most advertisers would love to know in advance whether the new ads in which they invest so much were going to actually work in-market. So they copy test, often testing several different concepts, selecting a winner, and then fine-tuning on the basis of the diagnostic feedback they gain. But how well does copy testing work? Two of the larger copy testing systems have been developed and refined – reverse engineered, really – on the basis of those companies’ in-market measurement systems. For reasons discussed below, there is a fairly wide margin of error in the predictive accuracy of these systems, but advertisers who use them do at least improve their odds of success. Then there is the rest of copy testing – the non-accountable systems. Copy tests that claim to predict how well the ad is going to work in-market (either via traditional survey designs or biometric measurement) but have no in-market feedback loop cannot provide any degree of confidence in their predictions. If you keep testing ads, keep deciding which are the winners based on getting better scores on your metrics, but haven’t validated and refined your algorithms, how can a client be sure that your system works? The ‘diagnostics’ that are provided by these non-accountable copy testing systems are equally suspect. The supplier can tell you with a high degree of confidence how to make the ad better. But if better means it’ll score higher in their system, and scoring higher in their system has no apparent correlation with in-market success, you’re refining to the copy test, not to the real world. Based in part on the frustration with traditional copy testing, another new category of diagnostic systems has emerged. Because we know that advertising often works most powerfully on an emotional level, advertisers have been experimenting with brain wave analyses, facial expression tracking and other means of observing how ads make people feel. Some have found this feedback to be of value as they seek to improve their ads’ ability to connect and persuade. These emotion-based measurement systems are, however, a long way from providing predictions of in-market performance, with most not even attempting to build quantitative links with actual in-market performance. But even the copy testing systems that do have the feedback/refinement loop struggle mightily to provide reliable predictions. You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard – Will this ad engage? Will the brand be remembered? Will it persuade? Copy testing fails in large part because it does not acknowledge that the world has changed. First, people don’t watch TV the way they used to – there’s less family around the TV all watching together,...

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Screen Time
Sep29

Screen Time

Ever since the DVR was introduced in 1999, pundits have been telling us that the days of brands being able to advertise via the traditional TV commercial were soon to be gone. Since then, there have been a number of additional marketplace dynamics that have helped to reinforce this doom-and-gloom scenario. Interestingly, the traditional TV commercial is still around today, with U.S. marketers spending nearly $80 billion per year on TV advertising. In fact, Nielsen and others have confirmed that while hours spent on the Internet have increased, TV continues to comprise the lion’s share of our entertainment consumption, and data on advertising effectiveness from a wide range of sources confirms that TV commercials contribute far more to the overall advertising awareness and impact for a typical consumer-targeted campaign than do all other media venues and creative elements combined. At the same time, changes in consumer behavior over the past few years cannot be discounted. Click HERE for...

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