Oscars Commercials: Winners and Losers
For the Oscars study, IAG examined the performance of all commercials during the broadcast across traditional brand metrics, including
“For our Oscars study, we have looked at best and worst ads in terms of performance,” said Cheryl Idell, President of IAG. “Diet Pepsi's Cindy Crawford ad was a particular favorite with Oscars' viewers, as was the more serious Anti-drugs/Anti-terrorism public service announcement. In the wireless arena, Verizon ads performed significantly better than Cingular ads, which were among the least liked by Oscars' viewers. Overall, the findings were quite interesting.”
Diet Pepsi's Cindy Crawford ad was off the charts in all categories - it was the clear winner in likeability and brand recall, and also did well in message recall. Building on a much older Cindy Crawford Pepsi commercial, the newer ad shows how Pepsi has changed its packaging, and how Cindy has since become a mom. The ad did extremely well across genders, demographics and income levels. “The Diet Pepsi ad was leaps and bounds ahead of other top performers,” reported Idell.
Other top performers included Apple's iMac, Disney's corporate image “glass slipper” ad and the public service announcement for Anti-drugs/Anti-Terrorism (“if you buy drugs, you're contributing to terrorism”). In fact, the anti-drug ad was the top performer in terms of message recall, showing enormous impact and success for the campaign.
Charles Schwab, OnStar and Verizon also made a good showing, although Verizon's main competitor Cingular did not fare so well.
Cingular had the worst performance across categories for brand recall, message recall and likeability. This is compared to its competition, Verizon, whose “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign is doing much better with viewers. “Cingular's branding campaign is just not working, and people are having trouble with the messaging and identification of the orange 'blob' logo,” commented Idell.
The second worst performer was the American Express ad campaign, which is a new campaign (and depicts a man missing his flight back home and a woman leaving her job after twelve years, respectively). These ads didn't appeal to the audience and were the lowest in recall.
Idell reports that UPS's new 'Brown' campaign “missed the mark as well, showing that UPS is having a hard time getting consumers to understand its new campaign theme.”
She also said, “Sherwin Williams, which featured a Martha Stewart line was also on the lower end of the scale. Perhaps people got the ad confused with Kmart, the brand with which Martha is most closely associated.”