Humorous advertising tends to resonate with consumers around the world, per recent research from Nielsen, although a study released last year by Ace Metrix foundÂ little correlation between humor and effectiveness when it comes to TV ads, and Unruly cautions that trying to be funny isn’t always the best option when chasing video virality. Nevertheless, new data from Ace Metrix reveals that about 1 in 5 ads can be identified as “funny.” Which ads aired on TV so far this year have been the funniest?
The Ace Metrix “Funny Index” allows a comparison of the relative funniness of ads across the dataset through a unique and objective method that determines how many viewers find an ad funny. The resulting “Funny Scores” rate ads on an index: those that are above 100 are funnier than average; those that are below 100 are less funny than average.
The top scorer so far this year (from January 1st through October 2nd) is Volkswagen’s “Choose Wisely,” with a score of 963, meaning that its almost 10 times funnier than the average ad. Volkswagen also makes another appearance in the top 10, with its “Top Down Day” taking the 7th spot with a score of 847.
K-Mart also makes it onto the list twice, first with “The Easy Life” slotting in at #2 with a Funny Score of 920 (just ahead of Doritos’ Super Bowl spot, “Goat 4 Sale” ) – and then withÂ its viral “Ship My Pants,” in at #6 with a score of 859.
Rounding out the top 5 funniest TV ads are Jack Links’ “Sasquatch Throws Woman in Mud” (913) and Doritos’ second entry, “Fashionista Daddy” (870), the only other Super Bowl spot to make the top 10 list.
Ace Metrix notes that while the funniest ads have generally also been effective, for all 4,500 ads for which they have both Ace Scores (measuring effectiveness) and Funny Scores for the year-to-date, there is almost no relationship between humor and effectiveness.
The 10 funniest ads can be seen here.
Which Brands Are Doing “Funny” Best?
Ace Metrix scored more than 300 brands that have aired at least 5 unique ads between January 1st and October 2nd of this year. The top brands by average “Funny Score” so far this year are:
- FedEx, with a score of 456;
- Jack Links (437);
- Capital One (429);
- Cars.com (405); and
- Geico (393).
K-Mart landed in the 10th position (359), with 63% of its ads posting above-average Funny Scores, up from just 15% of its ads last year.Â The absence of brands such as Doritos and Volkswagen among the top 15 likely owes to a lack of sufficient ad volume to earn a ranking or less reliance on humor in other ads they aired.
Finally, on an industry basis, Delivery Services tends to be funniest, with an average Funny Score of 268 so far this year, largely based on FedEx’s success in this area. Insurance (248), Candies and snacks (193), telecom (130) and non-alcoholic beverages (109) are the next-funniest industries, on average.