Letter from a Patriots fan: day after Super Bowl 2017

Letter from a Patriots fan: day after Super Bowl 2017

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By Brent Snider, president Brainjuicer research North America

I grew up in the part of the US we call New England and I have been a lifelong, diehard fan of the New England Patriots. So to have them return to the Super Bowl in 2017 for another run at the Championship was particularly exciting to me. There were lots of firsts last night:  First time in history that a Super Bowl went into overtime.  And the first time a research firm attempted to test all the Super Bowl ads live, and stream the results in real-time quarter by quarter.  And we did it! 

The Super Bowl has become the premier forum in which advertisers spend incredible sums to try to make their brands famous in front of the largest number of eyeballs they might ever reach at one time - with a 30 second spot costing upwards of $5 million.

In addition, brands are spending increasing amounts on digital to support their TV spend so there is a lot on the line.

With so much at stake, it is interesting to see this gladiator-like confrontation liberate brands from the rational, persuasion based advertising models of years past, and often the game provides a home for some highly effective emotional 5-Star advertising… the kind most likely to drive profitable growth for brands brave enough to develop them. 

As the Big Game unfolded, a team of us in the BrainJuicer New York office tested over 70 ads partnering with automation platform partner ZappiStore and panel provider P2Sample on the Fulcrum Exchange. We interviewed over 6000 consumers who told us how they emotionally felt about the advertising, with our research fielding within 15 minutes of an ad airing. Throughout the game, we reported the ad results in real time via Twitter and Facebook Live to reveal the winners and losers of Super Bowl 2017. 

Like the Game itself . . . there were touchdowns and fumbles.  

We had nine 5-Star ads which far and away exceeds industry standards (of the thousands of ads we have tested over the years only 4% typically make it into the 5-Star territory.) But this has been fairly typical of Super Bowls in the past when brands take greater risks and toss out the 20th century marketing rule book to build fame. 

The winner was Hero’s Journey from Kia which brilliantly followed Melissa McCarthy in a hilariously pratfall adventure of an “eco warrior.”  Delightfully funny and timed with an effective emotional story arc that drove a massive amount of happiness for viewers. Congratulations to Kia and its agency David & Goliath for topping BrainJuicer’s FeelMore Super Bowl 2017 ranking as the most effective emotional ad of the evening.

But there were fumbles. 84 Lumber, a little known brand made a bold and audacious move to strive for a Fame based strategy and enhance their name recognition.  It was a beautifully shot film but didn’t strike the emotional chord it was after, especially when its controversial take on immigration got it barred from airing its full 90 second spot. In the end, the online airing of the full film failed to convert sadness to happiness sufficiently with its final message of inclusiveness.

I had my personal 5-Star favorites of the night. Honda's CRV Yearbook was one of the best examples of an advertisement successfully using celebrities to create an amusing story arc that delivers emotionally.  

The role of 5-Star marketing is to drive exponential growth for brands and our experiment testing ads live, in real-time proved that brands can effectively predict their potential in-market success of advertising quickly and efficiently using the only metric tied to the larger business results – emotion!

I am feeling really good about the outcome of the game itself (Go Pats!) and very happy about the examples we were able to surface of terrific, fame building and emotional advertising.


Brent Snider is President of BrainJuicer Research North America.  He can be reached to talk about his pick for Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 2017, more on the advertising winners and losers of the game, and more about how to develop 5-Star marketing at brent.snider@brainjuicer.com.

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Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 12 Feb 2017
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