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Effective Ads Marry Message with Impact

2 minute read | October 2012

Making sure that consumers remember not only an ad but the brand behind it is the key to advertising effectiveness. A recent Nielsen analysis of CPG TV ads from 2012 found that Ocean Spray’s signature “Men in a Cranberry Bog” commercial tops the list of ads that not only resonated with consumers, but also were linked with the brand itself. In fact, consumers were 59 percent more likely to connect that ad with the Ocean Spray brand than the typical brand linkage of a commercial.

“A memorable commercial is important, but won’t be effective if viewers don’t make a connection between the ad and your brand,” said Joe Stagaman, EVP, Advertising Effectiveness Analytics for Nielsen. “The best ads both breakthrough and accomplish a strong brand association. The latter is necessary if you want the advertising to drive sales in the store versus having a great piece of art.”

An ongoing campaign theme is also a proven successful tool in establishing a memorable brand identity. Dr. Scholl’s “You’re Not My Dad” ad was the one ad in the top five list not part of a larger campaign, but did an excellent job of integrating the brand  and using humor to showcase the product.

Leading the pack with brand linkage of at least 50 percent higher than the average TV commercial, the best ads for brand linkage of 2012 are:

Rank Brand Ad Description Brand Linkage Index
1 Ocean Spray Men in Cranberry Bog – Can’t Tell a Lie :15 159
2 Febreze Experiment – Week’s Worth of Bad Odors :15 155
3 Dr. Scholl’s You’re Not My Dad :30 153
4 Smucker’s Boys Play Hide & Seek on Farm :30 153
5 Bush’s Beans Opening Day of Summer :15 152
Read as: Consumers are 55 percent more likely to connect Febreze’s “Week’s Worth of Bad Odors” TV commercial back to the brand than the average television commercial.The Brand Linkage Index was calculated by taking the Brand Linkage score (% of ad recallers who connected the ad back to the brand) for each top ad and indexing versus the mean score of all new CPG ads during the same time period.*

The top five characteristics of ads that exhibit strong brand linkage among consumers are:

1.    Brand Cues Early & Often, Visual & Verbal – The brand’s representation should be pervasive throughout the advertisement, depicted with auditory cues that mention the brand as well as visual cues, such as the actual product or brand logos.

2.    Leverage Brand Icon – Using a recognized icon is a tried-and-true technique that both injects the brand into the advertisement and makes the story about it.

3.    Integrate Brand Into Storyline – A storyline creates a scenario  to which your audience can relate. Adding brand elements into the scenario allows the audience to connect with the brand.

4.    Establish an ‘Ownable’ Creative Concept – From a signature character to a theme that spans across a campaign, some creatives are truly unique to the brand.

5.    Message as Brand Cue –A storyline is an effective way to deliver brand messages in a meaningful and memorable way.

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