Marketers to Tweak TV Ads to Improve Likeability/​Recall

Is there anything marketers can do to get consumers to like TV ads? This is an important question as one of the year's  most important TV ad-​viewing events is on the horizon: the Super Bowl. A new survey reports that consumers appreciate specific elements of TV ad campaigns.

Late last year, Nielsen analysts reviewed what consumers enjoyed about ads. The most liked ad last year was introduced during the Super Bowl and came from Volkswagen. In promoting the Passat, the company used a young boy wearing a Darth Vader costume who was tricked into believing he had ‘the force’ working with him to turn on the family car. Nielsen says the likeability of the ad scored at 231 on their index. The next most likeable ad which debuted last year featured a boy who gives his dad an Oreo Father’s Day treat at midnight.

No matter how good TV ads are, a certain number of consumers will never see them because they're skipping them with the help of DRVs. To reach these consumers, marketers are seeking to integrate their ads into the scripts of regular programming. The most remembered ads include an episode where a character on The Big Bang Theory turns to Purell hand sanitizer after he touches a snake and an instance on Suburgatory during which characters drink Red Bull.  Another popular way to reach consumers has been through product placement. In 2011, marketers made the following shows the target of the most product placements: American Idol (577), The Biggest Loser (533) and The Celebrity Apprentice (391).

Nielsen analysts point out that with respect to likeable ads, “elements that have withstood the test of time” include “strong creative, simple and engaging messaging, and a solid emotional connection.” It will be interesting to watch this year’s Super Bowl with that guidance in mind.

[Source: Nielsen’s Tops of 2011: Advertising. Blog​.nielsen​.com. 20 Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Jan. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.