Round of 8
The remaining 8 NCAA corporate sponsors competed in the Round of Eight to see whose ads evoke Emotions most strongly. Scoring in this round is an average of the emotions Excited and Happy, and does not include the Feeling scores from the Round of Sixteen. Whichever brand achieves this higher overall emotions score will move on to the Final Four. Competing in the second round, we have two snack giants Reese’s versus Nabisco; auto company Infiniti versus auto insurer Allstate; Capital One versus Wendy’s; and Coca-Cola versus Pizza Hut.
Reese’s vs. Nabisco
In the Emotions round, the two snack food giants battled it out: Reese’s “Easter Peanut Butter Egg ‘Spring Song’” and Nabisco’s Ritz “Crisp & Thins Explosive“. The sweet and smooth peanut butter-chocolate treats had a Happy score that was four points higher than its crispy and salty competitor. Both ads shared the same level of Excitement, but Reese’s score for Happy broke the tie.
Millennials in particular loved Reese’s smooth ad. The Happy and Excited scores were much higher than the older demographic (36-55+): eight points higher for Excited and four points higher for Happy
Females had a similar response to the spots, albeit not quite as strong. They liked the Reese’s ad more than males did, four points higher for Excited, two points higher for Happy. But females also responded better to the Ritz’s spot than men, giving it an Excited score four points higher than the male score.
Of course, Tournament Watchers had a different reaction: for this group, the companies tie on Happy…but Ritz’s took a four point lead for Excited.
Once again, the ad powered by Marvin Gaye triumphs!
Final Score: Reese’s 84, Nabisco 83
Infiniti vs. Allstate
Infiniti entered the round as an underdog to Allstate: the pros feared that the darker vibe of the Infiniti’s “Hardwood Heroes: Unbustable” ad might negatively impact its score for Happy, while Allstate had Dean Winters’ portrayal of Mayhem as a Bracket Buster to lighten it up.
Infiniti started strong with a two point lead for both Excited and Happy. These results were reinforced with Females, where Infiniti’s ad scored two points higher for Excited, and Allstate’s ad scored two points lower for Happy, which showed that Infiniti’s ad was a clear winner across this demographic.
In the end, Infiniti pulled out a two point win over Allstate. Infiniti’s cancer survivors playing basketball did not impact its Excited and Happy score in a negative way. Meanwhile, the humor of the Allstate ad did not make it perform any better in these areas.
Final Score: Infiniti 79, Allstate 77
Capital One vs. Wendy’s
Capital One and Wendy’s competed in round 2 in a faceoff of lighthearted ads. Wendy’s brought facepainting fans and fresh beef to the matchup, while Capital One’s “Ringtone” spot brought Samuel L. Jackson, Charles Barkley, Spike Lee…and Gloria Gaynor!?!?!??
Wendy’s basketball-themed ad had appeal for Millennials, who ranked the ad four points higher on both Emotions than the general population. But in a preview of the overall match, Capital One’s ad scored even better across this demographic: six points higher on both emotions.
The outcome of the match was really sealed by the Female demographic, who scored the Wendy’s ad four points lower for Excited and six points lower for Happy, versus the general population. As with the millennials, the female demo ranked Capital One’s music driven ad six points higher on both emotions.
Tournament watchers scored the Capital One two points higher for both Happy and Excited. So it’s no surprise that overall, Capital One’s music-driven ad scored two points higher on both Happy and Excited, helping them beat Wendy’s by two points overall.
Final Score: Capital One 81, Wendy’s 79
Coca-Cola vs. Pizza Hut
The final match of the second round featured a tight match between Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut. Coke brought a waltz to the Big Dance, while Pizza Hut brought Grant Hill, amazing sneakers, and a hip-hop soundtrack.
Pizza Hut jumped out to an early lead on the strength of their showing with Millennials, who gave the ad Happy and Excited scores four points higher than Coca-Cola’s.
In a foreshadowing of the rest of the match, however, Pizza Hut’s punny “Pie Tops” ad simply didn’t resonate with the general population. It had a Happy score that was two points lower than the simpler and more romantic Coca-Cola ad.
With the general population, both ads shared the same Excited score. Coca-Cola’s overall lead was driven by the older demographic (36-55+) who gave the Coca-Cola spot a very high score (80) for Happy. This higher Happy score gave Coca-Cola the win. Coca-Cola only beat Pizza Hut by a point.
On a side note, both ads did not appeal as much to the Female demographic, where the Happy and Excited scores were two-four points lower than the general population..
Final Score: Coca-Cola 78, Pizza Hut 77