- Nike scored two spots among the top 10 most empowering ads from 2019, according to an Ace Metrix analysis of empowering video creative shared with Marketing Dive. The commercials highlighting unconventional athletes Justin Gallegos and Maynor De Leon are from the same campaign, "Sport Changes Everything," which debuted in July.
- NBA's "Be Cheerful" and Walmart's "Share the Love" took the top two spots in Ace Metrix's top 10 empowering video ads. The other brands making the cut are Dick's Sporting Goods, Cigna, Quicken Loans, NFL, Citibank and Infiniti.
- Pandora, Allstate and Tecate Light led the pack for funniest ads with "Be You | Afternoon," "Mayhem | Cat" and "The Boldest Six Pack of All," respectively. Sherwin-Williams, Wayfair and Acura ranked highest among 2019's coolest ads with "Hide and Seek," "Retro Designs" and "Two Words: Beat That," respectively. The best storytelling ads, per Ace Metrix, were Mercedes-Benz's "Bertha Benz," Travelers' "Legacy" and Charles Schwab's "My Journey." Ace Metrix examined more than 8,400 ads from the year using a proprietary measurement process called the Cultural Perception scoring system and consumer surveys.
Appealing to consumers on an emotional level, whether through purpose-driven marketing, humor or style, can help brands build their reputations and drive sales. However, while most of the consumers surveyed by Ace Metrix found emotional connections to the ads and appreciated the empowering messaging, some consumers signaled that they did not always understand what was being advertised or how the brand was connected to the message, underscoring the importance of balancing branding with emotional appeals.
Nike continues to deliver emotionally resonant, purpose-driven video advertising, an approach the study suggests is having an impact on consumers. The athletic apparel retailer, which saw revenue rise 7% to $10.7 billion in its fiscal Q1 2020 earnings report, has been a leader in empowered brand building, including through its work with activist and ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Pandora's humorous ad "Be You - Afternoon" depicts a man starting to mow the grass who ends up doing an unexpected dance routine as he listens to music on the streaming service. The campaign comes as the SiriusXM-owned brand is looking to attract new customers. The company reported that advertising revenue grew 8% to $315 million, a record high, in Q3 2019, and subscription revenue was up 5% during the quarter to $132 million. However, despite growth in revenues, the company counted only 63.1 million monthly active users down from 68.8 million for the same time frame in the previous year.
Home design companies and car companies ranked high among Ace Metrix's assessment of the coolest ads. Consumers reported being impressed with graphics and cinematic-style ads. For instance, fast-action visuals helped Acura's "Beat That" appeal to consumers as "cool" in the automotive industry, which most consumers don't think of as having "cool" ads, per the study.