Doritos, Snickers and eTrade were three of the top brands people cited when asked to list their favorite ad. But, the real story is what is happening underneath these numbers, looking at the results by age and income.
When we examine the popular ads by age groups, Doritos resonated extremely well among younger viewers (31% of viewers under 35 years old identified the Doritos ads as a favorite). Given that Doritos likely targets younger buyers, this result is not too surprising. On the other hand, the Snickers ad performed remarkably well among viewers 35 and older (17% of viewers 35 and older selected the Snickers ad), on par with the Doritos ads (which was also mentioned 17% of time by the older viewers). Was this a goal of the Snickers ad? The use of vintage-1970s actors, Betty White and Abe Vigoda, appears to have struck a chord with older viewers, while falling relatively flat among younger viewers.
Who am I to say the specific intentions of eTrade in their communications strategy? Perhaps, eTrade is focused like a laser on the middle class - and this ad campaign can be considered very successful. Likewise, Snickers may be trying to expand its market into adults over 35, while Doritos is trying to stick to its knitting and lock up the under-35 market. However, before we crown any ads as "best" or "successful" we need to add context and assess outcomes based on how well these resonate with target markets to buy their products or services.
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Posted by Jeff McKenna. Jeff is a senior consultant at CMB and a lover of both Cleveland Browns football and NFL related advertising.