- Of the top 1,000 non-political ads identified as favorites by consumers released in the past 60 days, 331 were identified as favorites by both Democrats and Republicans, according to Ace Metrix.
- Though most of the agreement came on ads that contained little-to-no social messaging, a few purpose-driven themes, such as COVID-19 and supporting small businesses, found favor on both sides of the aisle. However, two that contained provocative messaging — Petsmart's "Make a Friend" and Secret's "Risk It All" — outperformed their category norms among consumers from both party affiliations.
- The findings suggest that brands that want to speak out can do so without being discouraged by the perceived differences in attitudes and beliefs, per Ace Metrix.
Ace Metrix's findings should encourage brands concerned that messages appealing to consumers of one political affiliation will automatically turn off consumers from the other side. Further making a case for unity: There was very little overlap among the highest-scoring ads from consumers affiliated with one party and the lowest-scoring ads from the opposing party.
"Politics aside, there's a lot more commonality between the two parties than you might think," read a post on the company's blog analyzing the findings. "Marketers and consumers should be inspired to see unity across the political spectrum, even with ads that might stereotypically assume favors one ideology over another."
Indeed, it is only when an advertising message is overtly political that it tends to turn off consumers, Ace Metrix found. In a previous analysis of election-themed ads, those promoting voter turnout were particularly polarizing, even when the messages were non-partisan.
Meanwhile, messaging in support of Black Lives Matter also proved divisive, with Republicans scoring nine of the 12 BLM-themed ads tested in the past 60 days unfavorably. However, even within the party ranks, there was some disagreement about the messaging. Vaseline's "Beautiful Skin" ad, for instance, was almost evenly divided among identified Republicans ranking it in the highest range possible (39%) and those ranking it in the lowest range possible (35%).
Secret's "Risk It All" ad, which touches on COVID-19, female empowerment and racial injustice, however, seems to be the exception that proves the rule. Despite two of those three topics considered to be contentious in today's political climate, the ad scored above personal care industry norms among both Democrats (+31%) and Republicans (13%). Additionally, 68% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans gave the ad scores within the highest ranges possible.
Similarly, the appeal of pets crosses political affiliations, even when the message touts inclusivity among races, sexual orientations and those with different immigration statuses. PetSmart's "Make a Friend” ad, which Ace Metrix had already recognized as the Top Breakthrough Ad for Q3, outperformed retail industry norms by 35% among Democrats and 29% among Republicans.
"Our results from a nationally representative sample can and should encourage brands who want to speak out to do so without being discouraged by the perceived differences in attitudes and beliefs," according to the company's analysis.