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Tops of 2014: Advertising

2 minute read | January 2015

Consumers have a multitude of options when it comes to content, which means advertisers have myriad ways to reach them. So it stands to reason that connecting with consumers would be a veritable cakewalk. But as any marketer will attest, it’s not that simple, especially with respect to Millennials, a segment that advertisers are eager to reach. Not only can these viewers can flip through 180+ channels during commercial breaks, they can multi-task on multiple screens and live Tweet their reactions and opinions in the blink of an eye. So with so many distractions, the odds seem stacked against advertisers hoping to connect amid the whirlwind.

Despite the odds, some advertisers have risen to the occasion with compelling creative that captivates Millennial audiences.

Fast food and quick-service restaurant (QSR) ads dominated among the Millennials in 2014. Campaigns that focused on fun new menu items, such as Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger ads did, proved to resonate with this demo, as did food ads that highlighted discount offerings, like Subway’s $3 Italian sub spot.

Food ads performed well among all Millennials and among different ethnic segments, representing eight of the 10 top ads among African-Americans, nine of 10 top ads among Hispanics, but only three of the 10 top ads among Asian-Americans. The top ads among Asian-Americans were balanced across food, tech/telecom, insurance and finance.

Across all categories, ads that featured humor or touted an ownable campaign concept were top performers last year.

The categories represented among the top advertisers based on ad dollars spent in 2014 are also well represented among the top-performing ads. The QSR category was the second-highest ranking product category based on ad spend in 2014, and when we consider how well they ads in this category performed among Millennials, it was well worth the investment. Other categories that ranked high based on ad spend for the year included automotive, pharmaceutical and motion picture.

Among the top advertisers, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Toyota, AT&T and Ford all went above and beyond with their ad investments to reach consumers last year.

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