Revisiting COVID Vaccination PSA Effectiveness as School Opens Up

When we released our Vaccine ad report in June, there was a little bit of optimism that come the beginning of the 2021 school year, the world would collectively be in much better shape. However, the Delta variant surge and too many vaccine hesitant or skeptics have meant many countries are still far away from herd immunity, and some cities are experiencing hospital overloads and dramatic rises in deaths.  

Critics Favor Low-Performing Ads for their “Top Rank” Lists

Critics’ picks versus people’s choice awards always illuminate the differences among what is popular, what is interesting to insiders, and what is important based on some valued criteria.

That largely explains why no critic’s annual list of top ad creatives resembles any other critic’s top list, according to Realeyes’ analysis of nine such lists from authoritative advertising trade publications, plus YouTube.

What happens when you put more science or objectivity into the mix? We wanted to know how a cross-section of ads recognized as “Best of 2020” among leading ad-industry watchers performed according to real human attention — not votes, opinions or trending algorithms. We turned to our attention measurement to do just that.

 

What you need to know

  • Only 6 ad creatives from our cross-critic sample of 25 ads were featured in more than one expert list, suggesting widespread disagreement in what defines a great ad.
  • Pundits are most likely to pick low-performing ads for their top lists, with 16 ad creatives, or 64%, receiving a Quality Score between 0 and 4.
  • Only 2 ad creatives were high attention performers across U.S. and U.K. markets, achieving a Realeyes Quality Score between 7 and 10.
  • The top U.S. ad was Match’s “Match Made In Hell” with a Quality Score of 8, and the U.K.’s top ad was the National Centre for Domestic Violence’s “Abusers always work from home” with a Quality Score of 7.

Our sample of 25 highly rated ads were sourced from 2020 top lists from AdAge, AdForum, AdWeek, Campaign, Contagious, Creative Review, The Drum, Forbes, Marketing Week and YouTube. Many lists featured videos greater than 90 seconds –resembling mini feature films We omitted those long-form video to focus on ad creatives more suitable for wide-scale distribution in paid-media campaigns, where brevity is prized.

Additional brands featured in the “The Critic’s Review” report include: The Automobile Association, B&Q, BrewDog, Budweiser, Burger King, Geico, GMC, Direct Line, DoorDash, Expedia, ITV, KFC, Lifebuoy, Match, McDonald’s, Mint Mobile, Ocean Spray, Patagonia, Tesco, Starbucks, TikTok and Travis Scott and Fortnight.

Conclusion: While critics get the luxury of watching ads on demand, those very ads must earn their keep by capturing attention and winning the hearts of consumers. Advertisers that deploy stronger creatives against audiences the audiences the pay heavily to access will achieve greater attentive reach. Attention is a prerequisite on the path to both near-term sales and long-term brand equity.

Perhaps it is time for adland to stop paying attention to the so-called experts when it comes to recognizing the best creative. Instead, the industry should start paying attention to creatives that actually move the needle on measurable attention and brand impact.

TikTok UGC and Brand Videos Outperform Other Ad Formats In Driving Attention In Mobile

The popularity of TikTok is surging thanks to the app’s ability to empower people to create, share and discover highly engaging video content. As users of the app quickly learn, TikToks unlocks creativity and authenticity that make for highly luring videos. These videos often feature the world’s largest consumer brands, stemming from both amateur creators, professional creators and the brands themselves.

To help brands understand the potential of TikTok, we independently tested in mobile environment user-generated (UGC) TikTok videos, brand-generated TikTok videos, recent Facebook ads and other conventional TV-style video ads for 11 major consumer brands. . UGC videos chosen were popular ones tagged to the brand, and many had view counts over one million.

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Key Findings

Both brand and user-generated TikTok videos outperform Facebook and conventional ads on Realeyes Quality Score. TikTok UGC videos scored 22% higher than TikTok brand videos, 32% higher than Facebook ads, and 46% higher than conventional ads.

Super Bowl LV Ads Lose Attention, Media Costs Rise

With a global pandemic and a divisive political climate, Super Bowl LV was an unprecedented year for advertisers to show off their creative chops on one of the grandest advertising stages. Realeyes continued its tradition of tracking human response to these highly anticipated video advertising creatives.

Super Bowl LV Highlights

Average Realeyes Attention Quality Score of ads in Super Bowl LV was 4.3 out of a possible 10, down from 5.5 in 2018. After 3 years of decline, the Quality Score of ads is trending near bottom.

Super Bowl LV Ads - Chart 1 - Creative Performance

The Creative Efficiency of all Super Bowl ads measured was 36%, meaning that the average creative asset applied against 1,000 impressions is estimated to have yielded 360 quality exposures. That means that a reach goal of 1,000 quality exposures would have required 3,160 impressions.

Super Bowl LV Ads - Chart 2 - Creative Efficiency

At $5.6 million per average 30-second spot, $2.0 million of media was invested
efficiently on average while $3.6 million was wasted. The most efficient creative was Reddit’s “Reddit -5s” ad, at 86%, while the lowest was Chipotle’s “Can A Burrito Change The World,” at 19%.”

Super-Bowl LV Chart Media Spend

The top performing ad, with a Quality Score of 9, was “Team Anthony Anderson vs. Team Mama T-Mobile Big Game 2021 Commercial.” Perhaps most notable was Reddit’s 5-second ad with a Quality Score of 7. The remaining top performing 6 ads had a Quality Score of 7:

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  Brand Creative Seconds   Quality Score Capture Retain Encode
01 T-Mobile Family Drama 60   9 6.5 93 95.3
02 Amazon Prime Coming to America II 30   7 5.3 65 81.8
03 H&R Block File Virtually 30   7 5.0 65 71.3
04 Inspiration4 Join The First All-Civilian Space Mission 30   7 5.5 80 65.5
05 NFL As One 60   7 5.2 78 61.2
06 Nintendo Switch Awkwafina plays… Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 30   7 5.0 71 86.0
07 Rocket Mortgage Certain is Better 60   7 5.0 65 91.6
08 Reddit 5-Second Ad 5   7 5.0 53 60.6

Super Bowl LV Live Ad Tracker for Attention Using Emotion AI

From the very first teaser through to the last ad of the game, each spot released in the field is rated by its performance to Capture, Retain and Encode audience attention using Realeyes PreView.

Brand Creative Sec Quality Score Capture Retain Encode
1 Best Buy LG – Super Bowl 2021 46   4 3.93 16.6% 75.27
2 Vroom Bad Passengers ft. Christina Applegate  30   4 5.03 24.2% 18.22
3 Doritos The Ball is in Your Court ft. Serena Williams 30   3 3.85 20.4% 47.4
4 Cheetos We All Win 15   3 5.08 0.0% 3.99
5 Chipotle The 100 Year Game  36   3 3.71 7.1% 7.96

The Best Super Bowl Ads for Audience Attention 2018 – 2020

All eyes are on the Super Bowl. The biggest network TV event of the year claimed 102 million viewers in 2020 at a cost of $5.6 million per 30-seconnd spot. But are advertisers creating ads that engage with viewers and connect with them on an emotional level?

Realeyes set out to understand trends in Super Bowl advertising over the last three years by testing 192 ads that aired during the big game in 2018, 2019, and 2020. All ads were tested with our PreView system, which measures the ability of an ad to capture and retain viewer attention and encode an emotional response.

Super Bowl LV will be occurring in a vastly different environment than previous years. Viewers have been through an emotional roller coaster over the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic and a hotly contested election.

Overall our study found a decline quality and encoding scores over the last three years, which may be indicative of emotional fatigue in an increasingly divided nation. After a rocky January, in 2021all bets are off as to the ability of advertisers to capture viewer attention and connect with them on an emotional level. Stay tuned for our Super Bowl LV Recap after the game.

Sper Bowl Reports

Radically Boost Video Attention by Using a Happy-Frame Thumbnail

The internet has drastically reduced barriers to the distribution of videos through a variety of online video platforms such as YouTube, Netflix and Bilibili. According to Business Insider, by 2021, video content will capture around 82% of Internet traffic, up from 73% in 2016 . Every minute there are more than 500 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube.

Consumers face an enormous volume of options to entertain themselves. Given the unprecedented proliferation of video content on a variety of digital channels, determining how to effectively promote video content and to entice viewers with the content even after they click in is a challenge faced by many online content aggregators and advertisers.

Video Thumbnails a Gatekeeper of Attention

Besides video titles and publishers, online video platforms historically use thumbnails as their major marketing tool to help consumers pick a video after an initial search. Thumbnails are reduced-sized preview images of videos that serve as a snapshot of the video and provide first impression to viewers. By including the scene of the video that elicit major emotions that viewers will experience while watching the video, a thumbnail allows viewers to form expectations of what they are going to see before even starting the video.

An ideal thumbnail should make a video more attractive to click at first, but at the same time it should be relevant to the video content in order to match people’s expectations of video after they click in. For advertisement videos in particular, a thumbnail that is both attractive and relevant to its video content can in turn increase click-through rates, engagement, liking and the likelihood of purchase, which in turn increasing a company’s advertisement revenue and the efficiency of promotional expenditures. For these reasons, it is important to have a systematic understanding of what makes a good thumbnail in terms of both attracting views and increasing viewers’ overall video experience as they click in to watch through the content.

Best and Worst UK Christmas Ads for Audience Attention

The competition for consumer attention is fierce leading up to Christmas. It’s crucial to have a campaign that attracts highly distracted audiences, which is why brands spend millions on media space. The pandemic has created a backdrop of caution, along with a host of logistical challenges, but advertiser’s creativity could’t be locked down.

Now CMOs Can Predict & Cut The Creatives That Waste Media Budget

“Marketers would be shocked if they knew how little active attention some of their executions are getting,” said Sorin Patilinet, global consumer marketing insights director, Mars, Inc., in a recent article in The Drum. “They think that people watch all the 15-seconds, and then they find out that in some cases, it’s only two seconds.”

How do you captivate audiences if your attention window is only two seconds? The answer is not as simple as “make shorter ads.” Shorter attention spans and ads make it more difficult to enact storytelling that drives emotional response and encodes brand memorability.

 

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