brand communications Tag

4 Lessons for Next Super Bowl

We have seen plenty of polls. Some commercials are rated by likeability, some by the number of YouTube views, some by tweet mentions and some by the water cooler. But who’s got what it takes to make a “winning” SuperBowl commercial?

After years of testing and tracking Super Bowl ad impact on sales, here’s what we know.

1. Invest in long-term benefits.
You had better have left over media funding for week 6 and thereafter. With rare exceptions, if you spent most of your annual budget the two weeks before and after the game, don’t expect to see any long-term sales benefits. Especially this year, where more people were talking about the game itself and the Patriots comeback, than the commercials.

2. To “win”, bring in the energy and engage.
This could be humor, emotional heart tugs or the surprise factor. Without the energy, the message gets lost in the field of other ads. Bai and Snickers could use an energy kick, not to mention Mercedes and Go Daddy.

3. To “win”, you need strong branding.
When it comes to branding, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and YellowTail needs to take a drink of its own.

4. Make it personal and avoid visual vampires.
To really “win”, combine the above two with a clear understanding of the personal customer benefit. While, as a dad of a new little princess, I personally loved the Audi ad, how are they going to solve gender inequality? Michelob and Sprint didn’t give a clear understanding of their unique benefits — that weren’t overshadowed by exaggerated “visual vampires” in their ads.

So, which ads really “won”? Air it out with Febreeze, eat your Skittles, and import your Avocados while driving a Hyundai to support our troops!

Disagree? Let’s discuss which Super Bowl ads you feel really “won”… I can be reached at 201.569.4800 or

Today’s Radio: Untapped Potential with an Affordable Budget.

When it comes to advertising, terrestrial radio gets little respect. Some in the media industry have even gone so far as to call radio the poor man’s TV. However, before TV takes a victory lap, it may want to read Anthony Crupi’s AdAge article Where Did Everybody Go? TV Premiere Week Ratings Sag As Young Viewers Vamoose. According to Crupi, TV audiences are falling in general, and younger audiences in particular are leaving traditional TV even faster than expected.

While radio has taken its own licks over the years as it navigated the influx of satellite and streaming radio options, the media channel has proven to be incredibly resilient. Part of this resilience can be attributed to radio’s ability to offer advertisers highly targeted and dedicated listeners – at a very efficient price. For example, our research has found that a 60 second radio commercial can easily outperform a 30 second TV spot on persuasion and main message communication metrics – at a fraction of the price.

Additional benefits of radio are its ability to deliver speed and unfettered creativity. For instance, unlike TV, radio advertising can be on air in a fraction of the time it takes for a television ad; plus, creative changes can be made to a live ad virtually on the fly. From a creative standpoint, with radio, advertisers are free to expand consumer’s minds and emotions with rich imagery and enticing sounds like a can of cold beer being opened on a summer evening. The ability to successfully tap into these human elements leads to far greater persuasion and consumer engagement.

It’s worth noting that radio also provides a great platform for floating campaign trial balloons. For example, should a car insurance company develop a new campaign based upon humor, shock, or a lizard? Conducting a test run on radio provides useful creative insight prior to significant TV campaign investment. Speaking of campaigns, radio spots are also a proven tool for extending campaign awareness until the next TV flight.

Radio is not only poised for continued success today but technology is also ensuring radio’s role in tomorrow’s communications mix. Advancements like CODI, a global audience communication platform, are turning audio content into passively delivered targeted digital messages and content, special offers, exclusive invitations, and a direct link for one-click purchases. To learn more, please contact me at

Is your advertising research improving the bottom line?

In today’s economy, if your research expenditures are not adding to your bottom line, you’re wasting money. Eye movement noting, brand recall and expressed purchase intent are tools from the 1960’s and 1970’s that are meant to protect research departments from catastrophic failure, not provide tactical approaches for how packaging, ads and video content can better connect and influence target audiences. These legacy approaches were never designed for today’s new world of mobile platforms, millions of pre-roll ads, a digital economy, mega-supermarkets, television commercial avoidance, and small, yet valuable, magazine audiences.

Here are a few facts we have uncovered as part of our brand communications research:
• While magazine audiences have shrunk, highly engaging print ads are working better than ever in this medium.
• A pre-roll ad with high engagement during the first 5 seconds can persuade over 400% better than one that doesn’t capture attention.
• Display advertising is not as dependent upon viewability as it is on engagement. Most “in your face” banner ads are being completely ignored.
• What does it take to get a shopper to stop and consider your product when shopping an Amazon, Walmart or Target shopping site? Hint: It’s not what you think. Rather it is the engagement with your product’s picture in the posting. The higher the engagement level, the more copy readership and consideration to purchase.
• Do TV ad GRPs make a difference in persuasion? Not as much as you might think. Some of the most repeated commercials on air quickly lose engagement and their zapping (or ignoring) skyrockets. The right balance of reach and engagement is critical.

Given these realities it’s high time for research technology to address today’s world of binge viewing, mobile advertising, streaming videos, e-commerce and mega shopping stores. At PTG we have moved well beyond eye movement noting, brand recall scores and expressed purchase intent to give our clients an objective measure of engagement that leads to increased purchase behavior.

PTG incorporates a non-invasive biometric indicator called Saccadic Eye Movement into our copy testing and package testing methodologies. In simple terms, saccadic eye movement reflects the cognitive processes the brain uses to capture visual information.

More specifically, in order for the brain to gain a visual picture of a stimulus, the eye must vibrate and provide constant streams of information to the center of the retina called the fovea. The more visual information the brain wants, the more actively the eye vibrates. These mini-movements are known as macro-saccades. In order for the brain to remember a specific visual, the eye fixates and stops moving for a fraction of a second. These macro-saccades and fixations reflect an objective level of respondent behavioral engagement that is uniquely recorded by PTG’s patented Saccadic Eye Movement Recorder.

Saccadic e-Motion, as we fondly refer to the technology, measures second-by-second visual engagement as well as element-by-element eye tracking and allows us to pinpoint specific areas where our clients can make small changes to their advertising that make a big impact in sales performance.

To learn more, feel free to reach me at

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