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Savannah House

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB. A lifelong aspiration of hers is to own a pet sloth, but since the Boston rental market isn’t so keen on exotic animals, she’d settle for a visit to the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

Recent Posts

Lobster Served with a Side of Gratitude to CMB Employees

Posted by Savannah House

Wed, Aug 08, 2018

Last Friday we took a break to celebrate our team’s hard work at the annual CMB Summer Party. It was a hot and humid day—even for New England’s standards—but that didn’t stop us from coming out to celebrate the summer season with a good old fashioned New England clambake.

The Summer Party is one of our favorite days of the year because it brings Boston-based and remote CMBers together for a fun day of good food, conversation, and relaxation. Nothing says team bonding like matching lobster bibs! 

CMB Summer Party 2018 (1)

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Call it cliché, but at CMB, it’s true. CMBers are the company’s most valuable resources, and whether it’s at the Summer Party, one of the many CMB Social Committee-sponsored events, or our internal CMBU training program, we continually strive to recognize employees’ hard work, foster creativity, provide flexibility, and encourage professional growth.

CMB Summer Party 2018 (6)

Interested in joining the CMB team? We’re always looking for smart, curious, and experienced market research professionals. Check out our latest openings below:

Open Roles

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, CMB Careers, professional development

CMB Again Recognized Among Top U.S. Research Firms for 2018

Posted by Savannah House

Tue, Jun 12, 2018

 

Gold Top 50

We were recently named to the 2018 American Marketing Association's "Gold Top 50 Report" for the 6th consecutive year. The report lists the top revenue-generating market research organizations operating in the United States, and is the industry's benchmark for market research organizations nationwide.

"In a rapidly changing environment, CMB's continued growth is a testament to our vision and commitment to client success," said CMB's CEO Jim Garrity. "I'm proud of our incredibly talented team and honored to be recognized as one of the top market research organizations in the country", he added.

To celebrate our team's success and say "thank you" for their hard work and dedication, we took time to toast to our sixth year on the Gold Top 50 list.

AMA Gold Toast

CMBers Julia Walker, Laura Blazej, Caitlin Dailey, and Reed Guerino at yesterday's Gold Top 50 toast celebration.

CMBers at Gold Toast

And the celebration wouldn't be complete without golden cupcakes!

Gold Toast-cupcakes

A big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to this year's success. We're fortunate to have such talented and driven team members, and couldn't have made the AMA Gold Top 50 list without you! 

Savannah House is the Marketing Manager at CMB who is looking forward to having a leftover cupcake for lunch today.

Topics: news and announcements

5 Questions with Qualitative Moderator Eileen Sullivan

Posted by Savannah House

Wed, May 16, 2018

Meet Eileen_new_cropped

I recently sat down with Eileen Sullivan, CMB's newest Qualitative Moderator, to learn more about her experience, perspective on storytelling, and what she's most excited about in the world of qual.

SH: Tell me a little bit about your experience, what drew you to qualitative research?

ES: It wasn’t until my junior year of undergrad, when I studied abroad in Vietnam, that I discovered anthropology. The study of culture–and all the implicit and explicit ways it shapes human experience–was a perspective that immediately resonated with me. After school, I worked for some years as a buyer in the retail space, but ultimately returned to pursue my MA in medical anthropology, researching health outcomes associated with marketing “beauty” to women. A career in consumer insights became a natural extension of those interests. I feel quite lucky to spend my time digging into this dynamic space where psychology and culture meet to shape the way we live, how we think, and what we buy. Before I came to CMB, I was with LRW and later Basis LA, working with clients such as Chase, Estée Lauder, Facebook, Hulu, LEGO, and Whirlpool, among others.

SH: What qual tools and methods are you excited about right now?

ES: While qualitative has always been iterative to a degree–the ability to throw out a guide or revamp stimuli on the fly–we’re now making great strides to scope research that is agile from the outset. It’s exciting to execute studies that put consumer feedback at the center of research design–first identifying the problem and its root cause, and then hypothesizing solutions. Within this framework, there are some great digital tools that enable researchers to look over a consumer’s shoulder, fascinating AI tools that offer the potential for scalable qual, and innovative forms of “traditional” qualitative as well, like agile co-creation and ideation sessions. There’s been a lot of focus in our industry on “breaking down the glass” – putting clients face-to-face with their consumers. It’s critical for not only engaging our research clients, but their internal stakeholders as well. The reality is that great research is useless if no one uses it, but I think an agile research framework makes the process more inclusive and collaborative, and ultimately delivers greater benefit to both client and consumer.

SH: From your perspective, what makes a successful moderator?

ES: Moderators have different styles and traits that make them great, but for me, the two most important characteristics are a willingness and openness to connect, and an unquenchable thirst to know. “Respondents” are more than the sum of their responses–they are people, having good days and bad, but still showing up to give their time and thoughts. It’s very important to me to hold some space, to recognize and appreciate each participant before we even get in front of the glass. And as for curiosity, well, you stop living when you stop learning. Striving for deeper understanding, and asking questions – to me, that’s what it’s all about!

SH: How critical is storytelling?

ES: Humans are “storytelling animals.” Narrative shapes how we perceive and make sense of our world: from our macro worldview, to the personal brand stories we share, to the little stories we tell ourselves. As a moderator, it’s important to dig into participants’ stories – to unpack them and sometimes question them because insights don’t always neatly come through in answers to questions. If you think of all the ways communication extends beyond language (i.e., emphasis, volume, body language, pause), you realize the “story” is usually much broader than just what’s said. And storytelling is every bit as critical on the backend. For research to have meaning within an organization, it must find an audience – and that audience must care. Has anyone ever cared about a book or a movie, when the story just wasn’t that good? I think that’s an important responsibility that we researchers have – to bring our findings to life, to transform our participants’ needs and wants, pain points and delights, from data points to narratives. We must deliver insights that captivate our clients’ audience, with actionable recommendations to drive impact for their business.

SH: What resources help you stay connected to the latest industry thinking?

Information and inspiration can come from a lot of different sources. For instance, a friend turned me onto design thinking. I just finished Change by Design, and Sprint is next up on the recommended reading list she shared. I’m always tracking what’s going on in my professional network, and try to stay abreast of Quirk’s periodicals as well as Greenbook’s announcements/blog. WIRe and QRCA also sponsor some great events.

Topics: our people, qualitative research, storytelling, agile research

CES 2018: Virtual Assistant Battle Royale

Posted by Savannah House

Wed, Jan 17, 2018

AI_Resized.jpg

Last week the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up in Las Vegas and left us feeling excited and invigorated about what’s to come in tech. From talking toilets to snuggle robots, CES 2018 was yet another reminder of how deeply technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives.

This year, once the world’s largest tech show found its way out of the dark, CES was all about virtual assistants.

Alexa vs. Google Assistant

Amazon’s Alexa has dominated the virtual assistant category—claiming 70% of the market share in 2017 and then ending the year with strong holiday sales as the most downloaded app for Apple and Android on Christmas Day. But this year, Google (who typically keeps a low profile at CES), made its presence loud and clear.

From wrapping the Las Vegas monorail with the words “Hey Google” to erecting a massive playground in the CES conference center parking lot (complete with a giant gumball machine), Google is making it clear that it intends for Google Assistant to be a legitimate contender in the virtual assistant space.

It’s about integration, not separation

Both Google and Amazon used CES 2018 as a platform to announce new partnerships for their virtual assistants. Alexa will soon be found in Toyota cars, Vuzix smart glasses, and Kohler smart toilets. Meanwhile, Google is integrating its smart technology with a slew of products from leading brands like Sony, Lenovo, and Huawei.

If there’s one takeaway from these partnership announcements, it’s that voice assistant technology will not be confined to the realm of their makers’ product lines. Instead, voice assistants intend to be everywhere—plugging into smart glasses, smart earbuds, and smart toilets—underscoring the tech industry’s expectation that voice assistants will continue to play a much bigger role in our digital lives.

Crossing the chasm

It appears Google’s goal at CES wasn’t necessarily to woo tech lovers with its Google Assistant. Rather, it was to show regular people what is possible with virtual assistant technology. This is important because it demonstrates the (potential) ubiquity of this category once thought of as only for early tech adopters.

However, despite pushes to show “regular" people that virtual assistants are meant for everyone, our research indicates that social identity is playing a role in preventing widespread virtual assistant adoption.

As the chart indicates below, peoples' ability to relate to the typical user is the biggest driver in virtual assistant usage:

VA drivers (branded)-1.jpg

However, currently, consumers can’t relate to the typical virtual assistant user, which is keeping them from “crossing the chasm” and becoming regular users themselves.

The virtual assistant category will only grow in complexity as more companies enter the game (let’s not forget about Siri and Cortana). But, while flashy conference displays, exciting partnership announcements, and product demos are all helpful in attracting more consumers, if virtual assistant brands want to achieve more mainstream adoption, the brand and creative teams need to tackle the virtual assistant image problem head on.

Savannah House is the Marketing Manager at CMB, and as a light sleeper, is most excited about the robotic pillow.

Topics: technology research, internet of things, Identity, AffinID, Artificial Intelligence

2017: A year in review

Posted by Savannah House

Tue, Jan 02, 2018

blogging.jpeg

2017 was filled with exciting and challenging projects, product launches, a new partnership with ITA Group, insightful conference presentations, and more. As we look ahead to 2018, we’d like to take a moment and reflect on some of our favorite blog posts of 2017:

“Why the Market Research Industry Must Stand Up for the Census” 

written by Athena Rodriguez

You'll be forgiven if the US Census hasn't made your top "list of things to worry about" this year. But the 2020 US Census is in trouble. Its lack of funding coupled with this year’s resignation of Census Bureau director John Thompson has put the 2020 census in danger—and the ramifications are deeply concerning for the market research industry.

“AI, AI, AI! What next?”

written by Brant Cruz

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to permeate strategy discussions in 2018. From financial services to tech, a lot of brands are thinking about the future of AI. But many are struggling to answer foundational questions like where will AI live organizationally? Does it deserve its own category of products/apps, or should it remain a concept that permeates nearly every project across departments? As AI continues to be a hot topic in 2018, it will provide a lot of exciting challenges and opportunities for brands in all industries.

The Social Identity Effect: How one Millennial “Found Herself” at the MFA After Midnight 

written by Lisa Hoffman

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts wanted to change its image. So, it changed the image of its stereotypical visitor when it introduced #mfaNOW—a series of late-night parties, artistic celebrations, and lectures targeted at young Bostonians looking for a fun night out. It offers millennials the opportunity to see their peers experiencing (and enjoying) the museum in an entirely different context than a typical daytime visit—a paradigm shift for an established brand. Brands looking to influence or change their brand perception need to consider who their typical (or target) customer is and create experiences and offer services and products that appeal to that person.

BrandFx: How to Fix Brands' Consumer-sized Blind Spot 

written by Mark Doherty

If your brand measurement program doesn’t consider social identity, you’re missing a critical opportunity. While research and insights have generally kept up with this evolution in consumer-centric thinking (witness the growth of ethnographic work and customer journey mapping), brand tracking has not. Most brands are still tracking their brand health through measures focusing solely on their brand and not on the consumers. BrandFx—CMB’s proprietary approach—focuses on what consumers want from a brand—the benefits driving purchase, loyalty and advocacy.

Does Your Metric Have a Home(plate)? 

written by Youme Yai

Stats have been at the heart of baseball for as long as the sport has been around—few other sports track individual and team stats with such precision and detail. With all this data, sabermetrics can yield some unwieldy metrics that have little applicability or predictive power. And sometimes we see this happen in market research. There are times when we are asked to collect hard-to-justify variables in our studies. While it seems sensible to gather as much information as possible, there’s such a thing as “too much” where it starts to dilute the goal and clarity of the project.  

Thank you to our readers, and to everyone at CMB who contributed to the blog in 2017. We've got some great content lined up for 2018, so stay tuned!

We're excited to join the ITA Group Family!

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Oct 06, 2017

logo lock (resized).png

We’re excited to announce that we are now part of the ITA Group family—a worldwide leader in corporate engagement solutions.

“An increasingly complex and data-driven world requires an innovative and strategic approach to helping companies and their people succeed,” said Jim Garrity, CMB's CEO. “While ITA Group and CMB bring unique expertise and talents to this partnership, we are committed to the same goal: delivering best-in-class data-driven solutions to our clients.” CMB Chair Anne Bailey Berman adds, “I am confident combining our complementary expertise will strengthen our current offerings and carve out new opportunities in our respective industries.”

“Organizations are demanding to know the future,” said Tom Mahoney, ITA Group Chairman and CEO. “They want predictive analytics that allow them to capitalize on their existing assets and create new opportunities for growth. This acquisition will give our clients and prospective clients the data-driven insights that can further drive their business.”

 To learn more about this exciting new chapter, read our full press release here.

Hulu's Emmy Win Marks a New Age for Content Creators

Posted by Savannah House

Thu, Sep 21, 2017

media entertainment-cmb (cropped).jpg

Hulu made Emmy and television history on Sunday night when “The Handmaid’s Tale” took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series. Hulu’s dystopian drama beat out heavy hitters like Netflix, NBC and HBO to become the first streaming service to win the coveted award.

We’ve seen the rapid maturation of streaming services ever since Netflix released “House of Cards” in 2013. It was the first time a streaming service delivered Emmy-nominated original content that could compete and win against powerhouses like HBO and Showtime. And while “House of Cards” put Netflix on a path to become an award-winning and prolific content provider, a best series award eluded them.

That’s not to say that Sunday wasn’t a big night for other networks—HBO snagged the highest number of awards with 29 wins and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” was the top winning program with 9. But Hulu’s big win is a game changer—securing a seat at the table and putting networks on notice.

The sheer volume of award-winning content means there are literally thousands of quality programs available on every device imaginable. With that sort of competition, how do content creators ensure their programs will get visibility and retain viewers?

Gone are the days of linear viewing—people can access what they want, when they want, and how they want. Empowered consumers are more decisive and critical than ever before. For that reason, it’s important to understand what’s motivating people to discover, watch, and stick with shows.

Next month at TMRE, CMB’s Judy Melanson and ABC’s Lyndsey Albertson will share findings from a comprehensive content discovery initiative that gets to the heart of a viewer’s path to engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. While this is a case study on the disruption within the media and entertainment space, the challenges and solutions will resonate with any brand looking to gain traction with new products while navigating a market in flux.

The shift towards consumer-centricity transcends the entertainment space, but Hulu’s shining moment at the Emmy’s underscores the rise of streaming services as legitimate content providers and the need for all entertainment players to start considering what is motivating their customers if they are to be content kings.

Are you going to TMRE next month? If so, let us know! We’d love to connect you with one of our lead researchers to brainstorm upcoming projects. If you’re not going, tell us know anyway and we’ll send you the ABC presentation!  

Savannah House is a Marketing Manager at CMB whose list of shows to watch is longer than Game of Thrones season 7.

Topics: digital media and entertainment research

CMB at TMRE 2017

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Jul 21, 2017

The Market Research Event (TMRE) is one of—if not THE—favorite conference of ours each year. It’s the industry’s “can’t miss” event where over 1,000 market research and insights professionals descend upon Orlando, Florida for three days jam-packed with speaker sessions, learnings, networking, and more. As a supplier, TMRE is an opportunity for us to catch up with clients, peers, and colleagues, while learning (and sharing) the latest industry trends and topics.tmre-1.png

This year, we’re especially excited to be teaming up with one of our favorite clients, ABC, to present on recent work we completed on content discovery in the age of disruption.

Digital disruption is on every business leader’s mind. From the financial services industry to entertainment, we’re all susceptible to the technological forces reshaping how the world works. Technology is empowering consumers—providing them more decision-making power, more options, and higher expectations.

This consumer-centric digital disruption is particularly important to the entertainment industry. There is more original content (and ways to view it) available than ever before, so content creators and broadcasters like ABC need to understand what drives consumers to try a new show AND what keeps them watching. Consumers’ time is precious, and with a seemingly endless supply of content available at their fingertips, they choose wisely.

At TMRE, CMB’s VP of Travel & Entertainment, Judy Melanson, and ABC’s Director of Sales Research, Lyndsey Albertson, will share learnings from a comprehensive content discovery initiative that will resonate with any brand looking to gain traction with new products while navigating a market in flux. Audience members at TMRE will get an inside look at the art and science behind ABC’s deep understanding of the view path to engagement, loyalty, and advocacy.

Speaking of loyalty—some brands may think it’s a hard thing to come by these days. But with the right insights, it’s possible to stay relevant in today’s fickle consumer market.

Another client of ours, SF-based robotics and AI firm, Anki, will also be presenting on an exciting multi-phased segmentation study we recently completed with them. While creating a truly engaging, long-lasting product may begin with understanding your target segment, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) end there. Effective segmentation should act as a roadmap for product innovation, be a guide for marketing and sales efforts… and quite frankly serve as gospel for the entire company.      

Jeff Resnick, Sr. Director of Global Consumer Insights at Anki, will share the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows, the blood, sweat, and tears… that go into working at a start-up seeking to understand the true essence of WHO is most interested (and will stay interested) in their new products. Their consumer-friendly robot, Cozmo, is cute and all, but what also keeps him relevant is his deep emotional engagement with current and future customers

Want a sneak peek on our segmentation work with Anki? Click below for your copy of a recent webinar hosted by Jeff Resnick and CMB’s VP of Digital Media & Entertainment, Brand Cruz:

Watch Now

 Will we see you at TMRE? If so, as a sponsor, we’re happy to extend a special discount for you to join us. Mention code TMRE17CMB when registering. We also encourage you to visit our booth and attend either (or both!) presentations:

We’re looking forward to connecting and sharing insights with you at TMRE in October!

Savannah House is the Marketing Manager at CMB who is looking forward to connecting with other insights professionals at TMRE in October! 

Topics: Market research

ARF 2017 Annual Conference

Posted by Savannah House

Mon, Mar 27, 2017

NYC-1.jpg

Last week I attended the 2017 Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF’s) Annual Conference in New York City. Researchers, advertisers, marketers, and everyone in between descended upon the Hilton in Midtown for two days of keynote addresses, presentations, demos, networking, inspiration, and more.

This being my first ARF conference, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I give the ARF high marks for carefully cultivating and selecting their speakers to ensure attendees are exposed to the industry’s best.  

There’s a lot I could write about, but as I reflect on my time at ARF, there were a couple of “highlights” that I’d like to share:

The Longevity of Stories

The average brand lasts for 15 years. So how does a brand like Levi’s manage to not only last, but remain culturally relevant and desirable for 143 years? By storytelling.

Levi’s is a unique product because the jeans themselves bear the markings of the customers’ lives—every mark, tear, and rip—the product itself tells a meaningful story. Recognizing the power of storytelling, a big part of Levi’s marketing strategy is creating conditions to let people tell their personal stories. The brand aligns themselves with centers of cultural movements, like Coachella and SXSW—two events at the center of art, music, and innovation—to foster experiences for their customers.

Traditional advertising is important to Levi’s—they still use qual and quant methods  to test their ad creative—but it’s a much smaller part of their marketing mix. As CMO Jennifer Sey explained, the Levi’s brand is carried through the generations—from the rebels of the 50s, the punks of the 70s, to the hipsters of the 2000s—by the stories created.

The lesson? To become the “youngest oldest brand in the world”, you must tell meaningful stories about your brand and create conditions that let people tell their own.

Equal Representation in Advertising

Step aside, Brawny Man. There’s a new Brawny Woman in town.

During a lunch roundtable, Douwe Bergsma, CMO of Brawny’s parent company Georgia Pacific, shared the company’s desire to create a better emotional connection with consumers. So, for the month of March, the iconic Brawny paper towel man has been replaced with a woman to support their #StrengthHasNoGender campaign.

This move comes as Georgia Pacific recently teamed up with the #SeeHer movement, led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in media through the new Gender Equality Measure (GEM). Replacing the burly man with a strong woman figure was a way for Georgia Pacific to breakdown stereotypes and support equality among men and women in advertising—while garnering positive GEM scores.

It’s becoming increasingly important for brands to be cognizant of equal representation in their messaging. Heavy hitters like AT&T are making the GEM score a standard measurement in their marketing efforts, and based on Georgia Pacific’s recent success, maybe other brands should follow suit.

Creating Personal Customer Experiences

 Customers like to feel special and valued. So, fitness king Nike teamed up with creative agency R/GA to create the ultimate customer experience. Using data, algorithms, and machine learning, R/GA engineered Nike on Demand—a humanized interactive messaging service through WhatsApp—to help motivate and keep athletes on track to overcome barriers and achieve their fitness goals.

Whether athletes are training for a marathon or overcoming an injury, Nike on Demand is particularly motivating because it’s a person sending words of encouragement, not a robot. This humanization of communication creates a special bond between athlete and Nike—ultimately driving usage and brand loyalty.

While Nike on Demand is a large-scale program, brands can glean some high-level insight from this case study. It’s a fantastic example of a brand leveraging personalization to create custom experiences that let their customers know they are special.

Aligning Content with Motivation

As the adage goes, “content is king”. And as content marketing becomes more important for brands, it’s critical that creative is brought to life in a way that’s meaningful and relevant to consumers.

Vicki Draper, Director of Consumer Analytics and Research at AOL, Inc., Dr. Niels Schillewaert, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at InSites Consulting, and our own Dr. Erica Carranza, VP of Consumer Psychology at CMB, shared insights into their discovery of eight content moments—motivations for why people engage with content—and how brands can use these moments as “guardrails” for the type of content they should be producing.

Instead of producing content just to keep up with the Joneses, focusing on the behavioral motivations for why consumers engage with content will help brands develop an intentional and strategic content marketing strategy.

If there’s one overarching lesson I learned at ARF 2017, it’s that marketing is as much an art as it is science. The most successful brands are those who are diverging from traditional techniques, challenging norms, and finding new ways to innovate to keep customers engaged and happy.

The ARF Annual Event is definitely on my list of must attends for 2018! Did you attend? Let us know what inspired you in the comment section below!

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB who after ARF 2017 is inspired to make new memories and tell more stories in her pair of Levi's 501 jeans. 

The Power of Identity: A Look at Super Bowl LI Advertising

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Feb 10, 2017

As a Boston-based strategy and research firm, we CMBers had high expectations for both the Patriots’ performance and of course, the Super Bowl ads. I’m happy to report that neither disappointed.

111 million people tuned into last Sunday’s game, making Super Bowl LI the fifth most-watched TV broadcast in history. But of those 111 million people, surely not all of them are Pats, Falcons, or even football fans. So while it’s hard for us New Englanders to believe, some people watch the Super Bowl (at least in part) for the commercials. After all, each year brands vie to have the most talked and tweeted about ad – setting the bar high to deliver quality, original, and memorable content.

In this divisive time, many brands were commended for tackling culturally relevant issues head on. And while I thought there were a number of really beautiful ads, I’d like to suggest a few other criteria for evaluation: 

  • How well does the ad align with the Super Bowl occasion?
  • Could you connect the ad to the brand and the value of the brand?
  • Did it communicate a compelling image of the brand’s typical user?
Question three is of particular interest to me because it’s related to our newest research solution, AffinIDSM.  AffinID helps brands understand their target consumers’ image of the typical person who uses their brand and finds ways to strategically influence that image to strengthen how much consumers identify with the image. Our research shows that the more consumers can identify with their image of the typical person who uses the brand, the more they will try, buy, pay for, and recommend the brand. This way of measuring brand perception is different from the traditional brand-centric approach (“What do I think of the brand?”) because it focuses on perceived brand user image.

AffinID measures how compelling a brand user image is based on its clarity, relatability, and social desirability; so from an advertising perspective, we’re interested in evaluating how well the spot communicates a clear, relatable, and socially desirable message of who the brand’s typical consumer is.

That said, I thought it’d be fun to review a few popular Super Bowl LI ads through an AffinID lens:

"Romance" from Skittles
Created by: Adam & Eve/DDB

Reminiscent of the classic “pebbles at the window” scene, Skittles “Romance” features a love struck teenager throwing Skittles through his beloved’s bedroom window. The Skittles are intended for his love, but unbeknownst to the teen, she’s actually letting her mom, dad, grandmother, home intruder, policeman, beaver (?) etc. take turns catching candy in their mouths.

  • Clarity: Skittles is sending the message that everyone (even beavers?) eats their candy. While this inclusive message resonates with a wide audience, it may diminish the brand’s clarity of who the stereotypical customer is.
  • Relatability: “Romance” features a wide range of Skittles customers, making its image of the typical user highly relatable. 
  • Social Desirability: From the looks of the ad, everyone seems to be having a great time eating Skittles. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with them?

Skittles_AffinID.png

"Yearbooks" from Honda
Created by: RPA

Bust out your high tops and cassette tapes because Honda’s “Yearbooks” will take you for a trip down memory lane. “Yearbooks” features animated yearbook pictures of heavy hitters like Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Steve Carrell, Missy Elliott, Viola Davis and Jimmy Kimmel celebrating the notion of “chasing dreams and the amazing places they lead” yearbooks typically evoke.

  • Clarity: While it’s fun to see high school versions of celebrities like Amy Adams and Magic Johnson, the ad features so many different people that it’s not clear who the typical Honda CR-V driver is.
  • Relatability: I think to some extent we can all relate to someone in this ad. Even though they’re famous celebrities who may not be relatable in real life, in the ad they’re portrayed as normal high school students excited about their future. And really, who didn’t go through an awkward high school phase?
  • Social Desirability: This is undoubtedly a fun ad, but there’s not a strong social desirability here. Though warm-hearted, it doesn’t portray an aspirational social identity like other car commercials do – specifically ones that feature successful and sexy drivers.
Honda_AffinID.png

"Google Home" from Google
Created by: 72andSunny

The Google Home spot hasn’t gotten much love in “best of” articles about this year’s Super Bowl ads, but it may have helped Google Home take major strides across “the chasm”—while unintentionally setting off a bunch of the systems in homes of those who already had it. In the 60 second spot, the voice-activated smart speaker “welcomes” home people from a variety of backgrounds (younger, older, parents, pet-owners) and is used, seemingly with ease, to do things like turn on the lights and translate helpful phrases like “Nice to meet you” from English to Spanish.

  • Clarity: Mass market consumers probably lack a clear image of kind of person who has a virtual assistant—or assume that it’s an affluent early-adopter. While the people shown in the Google Home spot were diverse, they all shared an “everyday” quality that was likely clearer and more relevant than the image most Super Bowl viewers had had before they saw it.
  • Relatability: Where Google Home lacks clarity, it makes up for in relatability. Since the ad features people from all walks of life, it’s pretty easy to find someone you can relate to – whether it’s the young couple with sleepy kids or the mother in need of an ingredient substitution while she cooks for her family.
  • Social Desirability: The ad’s feel-good theme throughout makes me want to jump into any of the scenes – it’s 60 seconds of friends and family hugging, laughing, and loving. If that’s not socially desirable, I don’t know what is.
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As marketing, insights, and advertising professionals know, there’s way more to developing and testing messaging than my quick “analysis”. That’s why we created AffinID – to help brands and their agencies develop effective, consumer-centric strategies for growth by recognizing the power of consumer identity in brand decision-making. 

Learn more about AffinID by watching our latest webinar with Dr. Erica Carranza—CMB’s VP of Consumer Psychology. And let us know which ads you found engaging (or not) in the comments.

Watch Now

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB who places as much weight on the quality of the Super Bowl snacks as she does the commercials.

Topics: consumer insights, brand health and positioning, AffinID