2013’s Most Memorable New TV Ads

December 30, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Creative & Formats | Television | Top Brands | TV Advertising

Nielsen-10-Most-Memorable-TV-Ads-of-2013-Dec2013Nielsen recently issued its lists of the year’s most memorable new commercials and best branded product integrations in scripted shows. According to the researcher, the year’s most memorable new commercials leveraged certain principles that generally boost memorability: the use of emotion to create connections; the inclusion of “attention-grabbing sights and sounds;” and consistency in creative style.

To determine the most memorable new ads (aired January 1 ”“ November 30), Nielsen took the net memorability score (% of viewers able to remember the ad and correct brand) for each top ad and indexed it against the mean score of all new ads during the same time period. The analysis excluded Super Bowl ads and contextual ads (which include those where all airings are limited to a show, to which the ad is related).

With a memorability index of 248, State Farm’s “Discount Daaa-ble Check,” a 15-second spot, was the winner, with its score meaning that the ad was 2.48 times as memorable and branded as the average ad among the general population. Following State Farm was Subway’s “Tuscan Chicken Melt,” a 30-second spot, and Bud Light’s “Outcome,” a 15-second spot. Each garnered a memorability index of 244.

The other ads making the top 10:

  • Party City’s “Thriller” (236);
  • KFC’s “Breathing on Me” (232);
  • Pam’s “Talking Food Residue” (232);
  • Wal-Mart’s “Lisa A. Broomfield, CO” (228);
  • Volkswagen’s “Test Drive” (228);
  • Restasis Eyecare Rx’s “Big Deal” (224); and
  • Kay Jewelers’ “Photo Booth” (224).

Some interesting takeaways from the list:

  • No brand had more than a single new spot in the top 10.
  • Only 2 of the top 10 were among the top 10 most memorable ads for both men and women. Those were: #4 “Thriller,” from Party City (#3 for women; #10 for men); and #10 “Photo Booth,” from Kay Jewelers (#10 for women; #6 for men).
  • There did not appear to be any direct correlation between commercial length and memorability, although 60-second ads did not fare that well. Among the top 10 most liked ads of the year, 3 were 15 seconds in length, 6 were 30 seconds long, and 1 was 60 seconds long.

M&M’s, Chevrolet Perform Well in Branded Integrations

Nielsen also analyzed brand integrations aired in dramas and sitcoms, measuring their effectiveness by indexing them on the basis of brand recall (% of viewers who recalled the integration) and brand opinion shift (% who were very or somewhat likely to influence their opinion of the integrated brand after seeing the integration). M&M’s took the top spot for its product placement in an episode of the CBS show, “Mike & Molly,” in which a character eats the candy before being offered some chili. While M&M’s took top billing, Chevrolet was the only brand to feature 2 placements in the top 10, taking the #4 and #10 spots for integrations on “Hawaii Five-O.” Chevrolet also landed 2 of the top 10 integrations last year for product placements on that same program.

Nielsen’s analysis indicates that the top product placements are those that “seamlessly tie into the attitude of a show or habits of a character.”


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