With millions of marketing dollars at stake for one Super Bowl commercial, modern marketing methods can mitigate the risk of failure while maximizing creative output to package a commercial product that’s both persuasive and entertaining and meets marketing goals. KERN recently used marketing techniques rooted in neuroscience to break down six of 2022’s Super Bowl commercials into winners and losers.
“I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and the halftime show.” It’s an ongoing joke as the whole country tunes in for the Big Game every year. Whether the commercial is memorable, iconic or just plain bad, people are itching to weigh in at the water cooler first thing Monday morning, or in real time over social media.
Commercials are just as, if not more, important than the Big Game itself. A 2020 survey revealed that 79 percent of viewers see the commercials as entertainment and almost 71 percent stated that they enjoyed watching the commercials as much as the game.
Their importance is also reflected in the exorbitant media spend behind them. The Super Bowl pulls in over $100 million and charges advertisers $6.5 million for a 30-second commercial. This cost doesn’t even factor in the several million dollars required up front for the creative concepting and production of these star-studded spots.
But, like movies, not all commercials are blockbuster hits. Some unfortunately flop. With over $10 million on the line, marketers must think pragmatically, financially and creatively. The spend must be justified by a commercial that’s both memorable AND persuasive, ultimately translating into product buys and increased product awareness.
Millions of dollars of shareholder’s money are still wasted on ineffective commercials that don’t meet marketing goals. Modern marketing can mitigate this potential risk by applying objective research methodologies up front and throughout the process of commercial creation.
REVENUE POWERED BY NEUROSCIENCE
KERN is an Omnicom Agency and a division of the Omnicom Precision Marketing Group. Our mission is to generate revenue for clients by harnessing the power of neuroscience. We put these methods into practice using neuroscientific methods to quantitatively measure the “persuasive effectiveness” of six selected Super Bowl 2022 commercials.
An advertiser should rely on neuroscience rather than their agency’s creative intuition during the concepting phase of creating an ad.
Six ads were selected across categories from a mix of independent and network agencies. Celebrity casting has been shown to result in a 10% lift in overall messaging effectiveness; thus, all six commercials selected featured celebrity personalities.
The ads selected were:
- Lays – “Golden Memories”
- BMW – “Zeus and Hera”
- Michelob ULTRA – “Welcome to Superior Bowl”
- Squarespace – “Sally’s Seashells”
- Sam’s Club – “VIP with Kevin Hart”
- Expedia – “Ewan McGregor x Expedia”
NEUROMARKETING RESEARCH APPROACH IN DETAIL
The neuromarketing analysis was conducted in partnership with persuasion neuroscientist Dr. Christophe Morin, founder and CEO of SalesBrain. To be effective, a message needs to appeal to the primal brain FIRST before it can be understood by the rational brain. When studied across a quadrant, the most effective messaging has a strong impact on both the primal and rational brain.
Primal decisions are based on six forms of stimuli:
- Personal – Threats to/pleasure resulting from one’s well-being and survival
- Contrastable – Binary before/after allows for quick decision-making
- Tangible – That which is familiar and friendly
- Memorable – Simple 3-claim stories that are easy to remember
- Visual – The most direct and dominant sense
- Emotional – Strong trigger for decision-making
The A to D scores were assigned to the six evaluated commercials relative to one another. The results may have differed if evaluated across the total spread of commercials.
Of the six spots we evaluated, Lays’ “Golden Memories” had the highest relative score and Expedia’s “Ewan McGregor x Expedia” had the lowest.
Why Lays? Lays scored the highest relative score of A−, engaging four of the primal brain’s six stimuli. Variety, surprises and clever twists keep the viewer engaged from start to finish. The bag is featured nearly 50% of the time, capturing nearly 70% of the viewers for a total of three seconds. In addition, the spot showcases strong brand exposure and fixation points, and scored highly on emotional moments.
Why Expedia? Expedia had the lowest relative score of D. This spot engaged the rational brain instead of the primal brain. The talent, Ewan McGregor, was relegated to a reporting, monotone head. Pain points are implicit and vague, both the beginning and end of the ad are slow, and the ad is not effective emotionally. Viewers found the clip more confusing than entertaining, and the spot scored the lowest in contrast.
FOR MORE DETAILED FINDINGS
With media spend in excess of $10 million per Super Bowl commercial and total marketing investments averaging over $20 million, advertisers cannot afford to gamble away their shareholder’s money solely on creative intuition.
In short, our methodology is a win/win/win strategy on these points:
- Maximizing advertising spend while mitigating risk
- Taking into account both subjective creative executions and qualitative research methods
- Providing a flexible, scalable solution across all forms of media
Subjectivity under the intuitive hand of an experienced creative director can only be fortified by utilizing neuromarketing techniques in tandem throughout the creative process.
KERN’s solution is to establish an objective and quantitative metric, using neuroscience as a check and balance in tandem with the creative process to increase the success of a high-stakes media spend such as a Super Bowl ad.
Furthermore, these techniques are scalable. The same methods can be applied directly to digital ads, social posts, websites, outdoor boards, print ads and direct mail.
Want to learn more about how neuromarketing techniques can help your business? Let’s talk. Follow kernagency.com/insights and reach out to [email protected] for more info.