The Web Makes You Chuckle, But TV Can Still Make You Cry

Now here is a study in contrast between what seems to have the most impact on TV and what works online. Nielsen released its list of most-liked TV ads from the second quarter of 2011. Sentiment is the dominant theme among those spots, with the highest "likability index" scores (those ads noted by the consumer panel as being liked "a lot.") Topping the list is an Oreo spot in which a boy wakes up dad for a midnight Oreo snack in order to say "Happy Father's Day."

Yeah, you'll get a little choked up.

 >Boys appear to be a theme lately. Also well-liked is a Chevrolet ad in which a boy practices saluting with his brother in order to salute his soldier Dad as he returns.

It is interesting the next most-liked spot and many of the others on the top ten bunched generally did not trade on sentiment.  

Curiously, when it comes to sheer memorability, however, the Oreo spot is only ranked #4 on Nielsen's accompanying list of most-remembered spots. That list is topped by an Orville Redenbacher ad in which magician Criss Angel "magically" turns a microwave popcorn bag into a popcorn bowl, mystifying clueless suburbanites.  

It is also interesting that neither the Oreo spot nor the Angel spot have a lot of viral traction online. The former has gotten about 16,000 YouTube views and the latter only 74,000.  

So while tugging on heartstrings and goofy irony dominate mind share on TV, compare this to the current viral video Top Ten from Visible Measures.

A lengthy mini-film from Justin Timberlake's turn at the ESPYs "I Love Sports" tops this week's list. Also present are comic spots for K-Swiss, an "Exorcist" spoof ad for Dirt Devil and the return of Old Spice guy, who appears to be super-caffeinated this time out.  

For years at digital marketing conferences we often asked the rhetorical question "What Web ad can you recall seeing?"-- or the more telling "Can a Web ad make you cry?" Well, arguably, video has helped solve the first issue, in that we regularly churn out "did you see this" moments online. But for heart-pulling-flag-waving-I-really-love-my-dad sentiment, somehow TV remains king of the tear-jerkers.     

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