What real-time biometric measurement reveals about Super Bowl LII's ads
- A series of ads from P&G's Tide brand scored the highest out of 75 Super Bowl ads tested in real-time using biometric measurement, according to a news release provided to Marketing Dive by Ipsos, the independent market research company conducting the research. The top ranking is “based on objective, scientific non-conscious (System 1) reactions rather than only asking people how they reacted or using a panel of ‘experts,’” the release said.
- For the study, Ipsos recruited 45 football fans, divided between Eagles and Patriots fans, to watch the game at a New York City theater. Participants wore biometric sensors, new technology from Shimmer Research, which measured emotional arousal based on galvanic skin response. Ipsos could then measure unconscious response to each commercial for the ad’s duration.
- The study measured response to what Ipsos has identified as four key drivers of great ads: the first five seconds, which reflect an ad's ability to hook viewers emotionally; the last five seconds, which reveal excitement over the major brand reveal; the average arousal over the course of the ad, meaning overall excitement power and the highest ad scene peak, revealing which ads brought viewers to the highest summit of emotion.
The results of the Ipsos study match up nicely with the broader reaction to advertising for Super Bowl LII, as Tide's series of ads were widely hailed as the best. The results suggest that a positive emotional response to ads can be tightly correlated with creative execution. Measuring ads in an objective way, free from bias, provides valuable insights on what truly connects with consumers. Marketers should take note of the metrics of the study to objectively craft campaigns that build excitement and emotional connection.
Running a spot in each quarter of the Super Bowl, P&G-owned Tide’s campaign, produced by Saatchi & Saatchi New York and starring David Harbour of “Stranger Things,” made humorous nods to other brands and commercials by focusing on the clean clothing they were wearing. The third-quarter spot featuring P&G’s Mr. Clean replaced by Harbour was the highest scorer among the 75 ads tested, according to Ipsos.
Tide's total of 90 seconds of air time was a hefty ad buy, but it’s proving to be a worthwhile investment, as days after the game, people are still talking about it. The first and longest spot scored the lowest in the Ipsos rating, but it set up the joke in the other three and kept the excitement going. “It was a case study in itself, in building a campaign that delivers more than the sum of its parts,” Shaun Dix, executive vice president of Ipsos Connect, said in the news release.
Following Tide’s top spot, the NFL ad was ranked No. 2 in the Ipsos study. The ad featured Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in a parody of the film “Dirty Dancing.” M&M’s came in third with its ad featuring Danny DeVito as the human form of the red M&M that gets hit by a truck.
A previous neuroscience study of Super Bowl ads similarly found that the best ads elicited strong emotions across a number of markers. However, that study was done in a lab months after the game. The Ipsos study is interesting because it shows how neuroscience technology has advanced to the point where measurements can be conducted in real-time.