Hello, and a very warm welcome to the new System1 Research blog. We used to be BrainJuicer, and as of April 4th this year we’ve rebranded as System1 Research, part of the wider System1 Group.
Great news for fans of advertising that makes people feel more and buy more! The 2016 FeelMore50 ranking launched yesterday– our annual list of the global Top 50 most emotional ads.
Agency co-founder Rod Connors gives his insight into why Adidas chose not to endorse and run student-made ad ‘Break Free’.
Super Bowl debutants have a big job to do. They have to hold their own against some of the biggest brands on the planet, and they have to introduce themselves to a super-size audience for the first time.
In recent years, a pillar of Super Bowl advertising has been the sentimental ad. Usually – but not always – built around telling a moving story, sentimental ads work by tapping different types of happiness – awe, joy and particularly uplifting emotion. They also often toy with negative emotions, and if they resolve those feelings of sadness into happiness, such ads can be highly emotionally dynamic (which tends to mean better sharing and interaction rates).
Emotional advertising isn’t all about emotion – while Feeling is the thing advertising does best to build brands, advertising is also a great opportunity to build Fluency. What is Fluency? It’s making your brand easier to recognise, easier to process mentally, and easier to choose quickly. You build Fluency by creating and using what Professor Byron Sharp calls “distinctive assets” – anything that brings your brand quickly to mind. Logos, slogans, songs, shapes, even colors can be distinctive assets.
Humor has always had a big part to play in Super Bowl advertising, and the last few years have seen the most emotional ads shift between commercials to make you laugh, and commercials that bring a happy tear to your eye.
Adorable snowmen, woolly hats and scarves, and a heart-warming story of togetherness… this ad from China could be a typical Western Christmas-themed ad. But the fireworks might give you a clue that this Coca-Cola commercial is something a little different.
Everyone’s excited to watch the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots battle it out on February 5th to decide who will be crowned Super Bowl LI Champs. But that’s not all we are excited about. We also tune in to see which brands will leave us talking about their advertising the most. Who’s going to make us LOL, smirk or even cry, we will find out in a few short weeks.
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”.
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.
It’s been a difficult year and there is no better way to raise the country’s spirits than with funny, heart-warming ads.
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.
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.
After many commentators bemoaned the melancholic tone of 2015’s adverts and sensed that the emotional heartstrings were being over-plucked, 2016 has already shown it’s still an emotional playing field, albeit with a very different tone. As emotional engagement correlates best with long-term business success, this is not too much of a surprise to see, nor is the excellent story-telling that we’ve witnessed in some of the more lengthy and big-budget ads released so far.
Spend any length of time in market research and you become aware of the notorious Cost-Speed-Quality Triangle. Notorious because the idea is you can only have two out of the three. Good and cheap research takes time. Fast and good research ain’t cheap. Fast and cheap research means cutting corners on quality.
At the IPA Effectiveness Week Genesis Conference, Les Binet and Peter Field unveiled the first findings from their third volume unpacking the IPA datamine for ad effectiveness nuggets.
We’ve all heard the figures about the staggering numbers of new products launched every year. But what people don’t often say is that these innovations are rather unevenly distributed. Some categories see only a few major launches. Others see a huge turnover of new ideas. And behind every one that makes it to market there are a throng of concepts that didn’t get that far.
Online video has been one of the great success stories of digital advertising – consumers are said to prefer it as a way to consume content, and brands have invested in it massively. Its momentum is such that the news this morning that Facebook metrics have been overestimating the amount of time people spend watching videos on the platform won’t change the upward trajectory of online video or its centrality to modern marketing.
On September 26, 2006, the modern era of marketing began. Facebook – already enjoying viral growth among academic institutions – opened its accounts up to the public for the first time.
What makes an innovation succeed? Successful innovations are 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.
There has been a growing awareness in the marketing community that traditional Brand Tracking doesn’t really help much to guide and predict brand growth, and there is desire to see it reinvented from the bottom-up. Why not start with Behavioural Sciences as a guide, because the great thing about science is that it simplifies and clarifies things? And if there’s one area of consumer research that needs cleaning up, it’s brand tracking.
Volkswagen, as you just may have heard, is in a spot of trouble at the moment. The kind of trouble that wipes a quarter or more off a company’s share price and removes CEOs. Whether the legal fallout from their emissions-test-fixing scandal, and the fines the company face, will cripple or even destroy VW is an open question. But there’s another question to answer too – what are consumers making of all this? How likely are they to forgive VW, or didn’t they care much in the first place?
2015 brings us a little-heralded marketing anniversary – it’s been 20 years since Coca-Cola pulled OK Soda from the market. If you’ve not heard of OK, or you’ve forgotten it, that’s more than forgivable. The drink – meant to appeal to the ironic, cynical, Nirvana-loving teens of Generation X – was launched in 1993 but never made it to general release. OK Soda survives now as an occasional case study and minor cult – like the Ford Edsel, it haunts the graveyard of global brands that never were.
Previously we published an obituary for the Traditional Concept, which struck a nerve and became our most-read post for months. Research concepts, we argued, are simply too reasonable – they are appeals to deliberative System 2 thinking in a world where decisions are actually made by our fast, emotionally-guided System 1.
The traditional Concept, which passed away earlier this year after a brief illness, will be fondly remembered by the many researchers who spent time with it. It was a reassuring presence in the research industry, its three part structure – Insight-Benefit-Reason To Believe – resonating as a solid, common sense way of developing and testing new products.
We’ve had this article (or variants of it) brought to our attention a lot in the last couple of weeks. It’s about some new research by academic Rachael Jack which calls into question Paul Ekman’s idea that there are only “six basic emotions”. According to Jack’s work, there are actually four.
In yesterday’s blog post I talked about a new study of scientific papers, which shows that hit papers – the ones with highest impact – score highly on both “conventionality” and “novelty”. In other words, the very new thrives best when it’s planted in extremely familiar soil.
What makes a hit? Understanding why things become popular is one of the foundational questions of marketing, but a surprisingly difficult one. It’s easy – too easy – to come up with reasons for success which are satisfying from a narrative and a commonsense perspective, but which are ultimately completely untestable.
Brand Trackers are the Giant Pandas of research. They are slow-moving and not particularly clever. They exist on an extremely limited diet of hard to digest data. They are naturally solitary, rarely joining up with other data sets. And getting them to procuce offspring, in the form of useful insights, is an exceptionally arduous and frustrating process. In short, they seem like something of an evolutionary disaster and it’s remarkable they have survived given the pressures of the modern world.
This is a post about how to get a better experience from your lunchtime sandwich. Here is a sandwich. This particular sandwich is a chicken, bacon and avocado baguette, but don’t worry! This powerful psychological trick works with any kind of sandwich.
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