Freshpet, Gillette and Petco topped the list of best storytelling ads of 2018, according to Ace Metrix.
Ace Metrix, which measures the impact of video advertising, released its lists of 2018’s top ads to connect with U.S. consumers emotionally in the categories of best storytelling, most heartfelt, funniest and most unusual.
Emotional connection continues to play a key role in building relationships with consumers, influencing long-term memory, and driving purchase intent, says Peter Daboll, chief executive officer of Ace Metrix.
“Knowing that emotional ads drive memorability, brand favorability, purchase intent, more and more brands are jumping on the bandwagon, making it increasingly difficult to stand out with these connections,” Daboll tells Marketing Daily. “What is needed is to understand, quantitatively, the emotional impact."
The company's methodology is based on deep Natural Language Processing and machine learning analysis of hundreds of reactions to every ad in viewers' own words. With over 8,300 video ads analyzed in 2018, and over 3 million viewer comments, ads distinguished themselves by achieving the highest quantifiable level of emotional impact with viewers.
The top storytelling ads were: Freshpet’s “The Story of Princess,” Gillette’s "Proud Dad," Petco’s "Saving Up," FedEx’s “Tortoise & The Hare,” Zillow’s “Time Capsule” and Teleflora’s “The Teleflora Table.” Sample words and phrases associated with these ads include: “beautiful story, clever storyline, cute love story, dramatic story, backstory, powerful history, tells a meaningful story, very interesting storyline.”
The year’s most heartfelt ads tug at our emotions and make us reach for the closest tissue. Unfortunately for Kleenex, this sentiment is present in only 12% of all ads, according to Ace Metrix. They are Huggies’ “Father’s Day Hugs,” Hallmark’s “Her Day,” Verizon’s “Military Appreciation,” Macy’s “Always Present,” Teleflora’s “Teleflora Table,” Budweiser’s “Our Heroes” and Verizon’s “Answering the Call.”
"Most ads are product-forward, and frankly, average,” Daboll says. “It is difficult to find ads of this caliber that connect emotionally with consumers."
The year’s funniest ads found the humor sweet spot that appealed to a broad audience. Given that 25% of ads try to be funny in some way, earning a spot in the 97th percentile is an achievement for the following brands and ads: Farmers Insurance’s “Hall of Claims: Parking Splat,” M&M’s “Human,” Adam & Eve’s “Sympathy for the Grumps,” the NFL’s “Touchdown Celebration,” King’s Hawaiian’s “Dye Pack,” Jack Link’s “Glamping” and 1-800-Contacts with “Toothpaste.”
"Our data shows 2018 wasn’t as funny as years past,” Daboll says. “It's not that brands stopped trying to be funny -- many are just missing the mark with their core target. Marketers sitting around a table saying ‘I think it's funny’ isn't good enough anymore. But when they are done right, they can level the playing field where a small brand can drive lasting consumer connections vs. the biggest brands."
Finally, while 17.1% of all ads fall in the category of unusual or outside the realm of possibility, the following ads topped the list: Comcast Xfinity’s “Popcorn,” Skittles’ “Glowing” and “Taste The Rainbow,” Trolli’s “Wake Up Your Mouth” and Pom Wonderful’s “Dolphin.”