Take(away) 2: Additional Insights from March AdNess 2017

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With March AdNess 2017 now well in the rear view mirror, we wanted to look at some of the other big takeways from the tournament. Specifically, we wanted to focus on 2 areas: how varied the results were by region; and the phenomenon of “Unlucky Losers”: essentially, the spots that had the bad luck to be paired with the top contenders, but were themselves great spots.

Regional Results:

The Takeaway: be mindful of your target audience’s geography.

Regional Summary

Unsurprisingly, since it was the overall winner, Reese’s “Spring Song” ad took the top spot overall in three out of four regions in the U.S. The only region that didn’t give it the top spot was the West, where it still placed second, two points behind Nabisco and Ritz’s “Crisp & Thins” spot.

Ritz was a strong performer throughout the tournament. “Crisp & Thins” showed up in the top two spots in both the West and Midwest.

Capital One was also a strong performer, only losing to Reese’s in the final. But Capital One got lucky: it actually came in third place for its overall score! It benefited from a good draw in the tournament, competing against a relatively weak ad from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the first round. In fact, Capital One was only in the top two overall for the Northeast.

Ranking by Region

Northeast

In the Northeast, Reese’s and Capital One were the clear favorites, with only a single point separating their overall scores.

Coca-Cola was close behind, just a single point behind Capital One. The Northeast was good to Coke, scoring the “Waltz” spot more favorably (81 overall) than any other region. In fact, Coca-Cola didn’t make it to the top four in any other region!. The South gave it a 77, the West a 76 and the Midwest gave it its lowest overall score, a 73.

South
In the South, Reese’s and LG tied for the top spot overall with Infiniti, Dove, and Ritz Crisp & Thins tied for third place.

West
In the West, Ritz Crisp and Thins actually took the top spot with a two point lead over Reese’s which came in second place. Capital One and LG were close behind.

Midwest
In the Midwest, Reese’s took the top spot with Ritz Crisp & Thins only three points behind. Infiniti and Dove tied for third.

What were the final ads’ strongest attributes by region?

The Northeast, South, and Midwest all agreed that Reese’s “Spring Song” was particularly Happy. This was a top Emotion for these three regions. The West, however, were particularly Excited by this ad, and the Northeast and South found the ad to be extremely Likable.

For Capital One’s “Ringtone”, both the West and Midwest agreed that the comical ad was especially Happy, whereas the Northeast found it particularly Likable and Playful. The South, on the other hand, thought it was especially Energetic.

Unlucky Losers? (Or, Ads That Got Knocked Out Early That Actually Performed Very Well Overall)

The Takeaway: great ads are hiding in plain sight.

Nabisco had the bad luck to be paired with eventual champion Reese’s in the second round. If Nabisco had been matched up with any other ad in round two, it would have made it to the final four (though Reese’s still would have taken the win in a finals matchup). The West, in particular, showed a strong preference for the Ritz Crisp & Thins ad. For this region, the Crisp & Thins ad took the top spot with a two point lead over Reese’s which came in second place. Capital One and LG were close behind. Thus, despite getting knocked out early on, the Ritz ad did have a pretty “explosive” impact.

Similarly, LG’s “Mascots” couldn’t match the strength of Reese’s “Spring Song” in the first round, but it was only two points behind in the Feelings round. Overall Mascots was only four points behind Reese’s. It tied with Capital One for fourth place overall. The South, in particular, scored the LG ad quite favorably, where it tied Reese’s for the top spot.

Conversely the LG ad scored a little less favorably for the Northeast and Midwest. The “Mascots” didn’t make it to the top four ads for these regions. While it was not powerful enough to beat Reese’s in the first round, and didn’t score quite as favorably with the Northeast and Midwest, it was still one of the top ads overall.

The last “unlucky” spot was Dove Real Men+Care (Unilever). Their ad got knocked out in the first round of the tournament by fellow CPG giant Nabisco (Ritz Crisp & Thins). Despite this, it actually held up pretty well across each region. It tied for second place in the South, and for third in the Midwest. For the full audience, it tied with Infiniti for fifth place overall.

The Takeaways:

In our report on the Finals, we pointed out that Nostalgia played a big role in this year’s top spots. We also saw big variations in results by age group (millennials vs 35+), suggesting that the sentiments anchoring nostalgia may vary substantially by life stage.

In this post, we highlighted the differences arising from different regional associations with the music and visuals in each spot.

Lastly, even some of the spots that “didn’t do well” actually did really well: they just had the misfortune of going up against a juggernaut.

If you have additional questions, or would like to dive more deeply into the analysis, please contact us or let us know in the comments.

See you at next year’s Tournament!

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