TV Advertising- What Works & Why

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
The record TV upfront market of $18.5 billion, along with robust Q2 earnings from the TV holding companies, means the business of television is stronger than ever. Ignoring Wall Street crashes and London riots, the TV networks saw double digit growth in cable and digital ad sales. However, are we any smarter about what types of TV ads are working, and why? Looking at the US Hispanic audience, the fastest growing segment of the population, humor and emotional elements are particularly effective. Below are top campaigns, by recall, for the first half of 2011.

Millward Brown
According to Nielsen, the top Spanish language advertisers in the first half of 2011 were Procter & Gamble, AT&T, DIRECTV, McDonalds and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile). The leading Hispanic advertising categories were Automotive, Quick Service Restaurants, Pharmaceuticals, Wireless Telephone Services and Motion Pictures.

The winning ad, in terms of recall among Hispanics, was the Yoplait "Save Lids to Save Lives" campaign, with a Recall Index of 250. That means the campaign is 2.5x more memorable to Hispanics than the average campaign. The message blends altruism (donating 10 cents for every pink lid), continuity (13th year), and familiarity (the spokesperson is popular Puerto Rican actress Adamari Lopez, herself a breast cancer survivor): 

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Snickers ran the campaign with the second highest recall, "Peanut Butter Squared", in which sharks decide which human tasted better. Facing stubbornly high unemployment  (11.3% vs 8% for whites) and foreclosure rates, laughter is a great way to connect with Hispanic audiences.
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Nationwide Insurance also uses humor in their "Vanishing Deductible" campaign:
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The top advertiser in Hispanic-targeted media is Procter & Gamble, which spent $197.7 million last year to reach Spanish-speaking Americans, an impressive figure but still only 4 percent of its total media budget ($4.61 billion). This year, P&G launched Gain, its first dish-washing soap brand in nearly 40 years. More importantly, for the first time ever, P&G''s principal target for a national product launch was Latinas, who identified "fresh scent" as the most important buying trigger. As a result, marketing materials emphasized the different scents- Original, Lavender, Citrus Splash and Apple Mango Tango.
AT&T, the #2 wireless carrier with 27% market share (Comscore) maintained its relationship with young Hispanic consumers through its spokesperson, Spanish singer Natalia Jimenez:
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DirecTV, the satellite broadcaster based in Los Angeles, used humor in its "Opulence, I has it" campaign:

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McDonalds emphasized value and family:

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T-Mobile appeals to its younger demographic with a performance message and the comely visage of Courtney Folkes:
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Finally, although the campaign is from T-Mobile UK, take a look at the most memorable ad in the first half of 2011, "T-Mobile Royal Wedding", viewed nearly 25 million times online:

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This year, Spanish-language broadcasters Univision and Telemundo raked in a record $2.15 billion at the upfronts, a 9% increase. Research firm Kantar Media forecasts a double digit increase in the $4.83 billion devoted to Spanish-language TV. Even that may be inadequate. Considering the US Hispanic population grew by 43% over the last 10 years to 50.5 million, brands like P&G, AT&T, DIRECTV, McDonalds and T-Mobile will begin pressuring agencies to allocate more than the current 4% of total TV spend for Spanish-language TV. An important first step is to understand the creative that resonates most with this audience.