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TODD SMITH — How Super Bowl ads influence purchasing


Finding out which Super Bowl advertisers become the brand to remember were a big part of the fun surrounding the Big Game last Sunday.

But do the expensive spots – 5 million for a 30-second ad – leave a lasting impression on consumers and ultimately convince them to buy products?

Adweek commissioned Survata to survey 502 consumers ages 18 to 54 who planned to watch the game about how the commercials affect their attitudes toward the brands behind them and whether or not they take action because of them.

For instance, just under 50 percent of respondents said a good Super Bowl ad made them more likely to buy from a brand. Meanwhile, bad Super Bowl ads seem to have more of an impact than good ones on people’s intentions to buy. And with all the talk about commercial-free programming and ad blockers today, it’s intriguing to see that just seven percent said they’d rather watch the game without any commercials at all.

Here are some key findings about Super Bowl brand behavior:

» Bad Super Bowl ads impact – 69,5 percent said they were less likely to buy the brand vs. 30.5 percent said they had no impact.

» Good Super Bowl ads impact – 49.8 percent are more likely to buy the brand vs. 50.2 said they had no impact.

» What best describes how you enjoy the ads? – 52 percent said they supplement the fun of the Super Bowl, while 23.3 percent said they were better than the game. Nearly 18 percent said they were OK, while only 6.8 percent said they would rather have a Super Bowl without ads.

Which spokespeople have been best in hawking products during the Super Bowl:

» Betty White, Snickers 2010 – 31.7 percent

» “Mean Joe” Green, Coca-Cola 1979 – 16.5 percent

» Michael Jordon and Larry Bird, McDonalds 1993 – 16.1 percent

» Cedric the Entertainer, Bud Light 2001 – 9.6 percent

» Cindy Crawford, Pepsi 1992 – 6.6 percent

» None – 19.5 percent


Gen X obsessed with social media – even more than Millennials

Generation X, a cohort of people loosely defined as being currently between the ages of 35 and 52, spend more time on social platforms during an average week than any other US adult age group, a new study by Nielsen found.

They spent an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes per week on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms, on average 39 more minutes than millennials.

The data collected by Nielsen represented 9,000 US Nielsen panelists, ages 18 and up, based on their media consumption on smartphones, mobile browsers, and desktop computers during September 2016. Their activity was measured passively through their devices to eliminate any biases from self-reporting.

While Gen-Xers spend more time than millennials on social media in actual hours, they actually spend less time as percentage of the total amount of media consumed, the report found.

The average US adult studied between the ages of 35 to 52 spent 31 hours and 40 minutes per week watching TV, listening to the radio, using TV-connected devices like game consoles and Rokus, and consuming other media on computers, smartphones, and tablets. Social media made up about 22 percent of that time.

Among millennials, social media made up 24 percent of the 26 hours and 49 minutes the average millennial spent consuming all forms of media per week.

The study does leave one big unknown – the newest generation.

The young cohort, under the age of 18, was raised on social media and would arguably be savvier users than their older counterparts. With fewer obligations, those who are old enough to use social media platforms might also have more time to spend Snapping, tweeting, and Instagramming.

CNN reported in 2015 that teens spent about 9 hours consuming media on an average day, which would amount to a whopping 63 hours per week – far more than Gen-X or millennials.

Cultivating credibility on Twitter

After scanning 66 million tweets linked to almost 1,400 real-world events, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology now believe they can identify the words and phrases that lend credibility to Twitter posts about pertaining to specific events – even while they’re ongoing.

According to the Georgia Tech research: There have been many studies about social media credibility in recent years, but very little is known about what types of words or phrases create credibility perceptions during rapidly unfolding events.

Tweets with booster words, such as ‘undeniable,’ and positive emotion terms, such as ‘eager’ and ‘terrific,’ were viewed as highly credible,” Mitra said. Words indicating positive sentiment but mocking the impracticality of the event, such as ‘ha,’ ‘grins’ or ‘joking,’ were seen as less credible. So were hedge words, including ‘certain level’ and ‘suspects.’

The team looked at tweets for events in 2014 and 2015, including the news of Ebola in West Africa, the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, and the death of Eric Garner in New York City. They then asked people to judge the credibility of Twitter posts based on a credibility range from “certainly accurate” to “certainly inaccurate” before modeling the results and splitting them into 15 distinct linguistic categories ranging from positive and negative emotions, hedges and boosters, and anxiety.

After being fed into a computer, the machine matched human opinion about 68 percent of the time – significantly higher than the random baseline of 25 percent.

It also found some surprising correlation. For example, messages with a higher number of retweets were deemed less credible while replies and retweets with longer message lengths were found to be more credible.

“It could be that longer message lengths provide more information or reasoning, so they’re viewed as more trustworthy,” said research lead Tanushree Mitra. “On the other hand, a higher number of retweets, which was scored lower on credibility, might represent an attempt to elicit collective reasoning during times of crisis or uncertainty.”

The system isn’t perfect, but when paired with other signals, the linguistic model could prove to be a worthy adversary to one day fighting the spread of fake news.

The paper, “A Parsimonious Language Model of Social Media Credibility Across Disparate Events,” will be presented in February at the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing.

Super Mic | Barbecue stains, beer, cars, sizzlin’ halftime – and mighty Tom  

Super Bowl 51 was perhaps one of the greatest NFL championships ever – and the first-ever overtime game, which cemented Tom Brady as the comeback MAN. It featured a barbecue stain, beer (of course), and three dominant car brands. Here are the Top 5 ads from Super Bowl 50 as rated by The Spin Cycle and the USA TODAY Ad Meter.

5. Tide’s “#BradshawStain – a bastion of creative genius

4. Budweiser “Born the Hard Way”

3. Audi “Daughter”

2. Honda “Yearbook”

1. Kia “Heroes Journey”– The Spin Cycle’s fave, with actress Melissa McCarthy saving the world.

These ads, along with Lady Gaga’s halftime acrobatics – and a never-die fourth quarter comeback that vaulted the Pats into an impressive overtime win take this week’s Golden Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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