Hoffman York Releases its 2010 PURSEuasion Report: Super Bowl Advertising Effectiveness to Women

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Report explores the “purse quotient” with Google rated the most effective and Teleflora the least effective to women

It could be argued that women will remember a clear benefit long after high-quality production values are forgotten. So, perhaps Skechers, even with the lackluster production values actually made a better investment than others, like “Joyride” for Kia.

After nearly four hours of football and nearly 60 commercials, Hoffman York’s advertising to women division, The Kaleidoscope Group, is proud to release its 2010 PURSEuasion Report: Super Bowl Advertising Effectiveness To Women. The report identifies a “purse quotient” to determine the three most and the three least effective ads based on how they might affect women’s intent to purchase.

Yesterday, Super Bowl XLIV was viewed by 106 million people making it the most watched program in television history. According to a Hanon McKendry Poll, 67 percent of women and 48 percent of men watched the Super Bowl at least as much for the ads as the game. And, 32 percent of female viewers versus 13 percent of male viewers watched exclusively for the ads. That means women are 2.5 times more likely than male viewers to watch the Super Bowl predominantly for the ads.

To determine the female “purse quotient,” Hoffman York viewed the Super Bowl commercials in a different light using criteria that included: relevant humanity, humor with no “victim,” clear product benefit, overall likeability and personal identification.

The top three ads that resonated most with women as part of the report:

1)    Google “Paris” - Communicated pure product benefit that told a compelling story.
2)    Cars.com “Timothy Richman” – The ad was easy to like, easy to follow with clear benefit.
3)    (Tie) Hyundai “Brett Favre” and all of E-Trade’s “Talking Babies.”

There was lots competition for the least favorite spots. All the Doritos and GoDaddy ads were universally dismissed by the group. So instead, the report offers the next bottom three ads that did not resonate with women:

1)    Tele-flora “Talking flowers in a box” – Communicated you’re not loved – you’re not worth it. This sets back the entire flower industry.
2)    Bridgestone Tires “Give up your wife” – Communicated that it’s okay to have your wife gang-raped to keep your tires? This was not received as positive humor at all.
3)    Dodge “Man’s Last Stand” – Not only does the ad portray a stereotypical male persona, few people could name the advertiser.

Tom Jordan, Chief Creative Director at Hoffman York
Point Of View

“Overall, the commercials were not particularly influential to women. In fact, the overall theme could have been “take back your manhood.’” Some were entertaining such as the Budweiser Cydesdale spot. And, some were not “female friendly” such as Flo TV’s “Injury Report”, or Dodge’s, “Man’s Last Stand.” Some were just strange such as Monster’s “Fiddling Beaver.”

It could be argued that women will remember a clear benefit long after high-quality production values are forgotten. So, perhaps Skechers, even with the lackluster production values actually made a better investment than others, like “Joyride” for Kia.

Many of the spots were just jokes associated with the products. The advertisers were hesitant to give away the punch line to a joke. So they saved it until the very end of the spot. As a result, they risked everyone remembering the joke, but not who told it.

All in all, it was a rather disappointing lot of commercials when you consider that more than likely 40 million women were watching, and so many of the spots failed to impress them.

“This is by far one of the best opportunities for advertisers to place their products squarely in the circle of conversation and consideration with the people who influence purchases – women,” added Jordan. “Yet, the Super Bowl has become the premier event that places enormous pressure on every advertiser to have ‘bragging rights’ and ‘talk value’ about their brand, whether it sells the product or not.”

Over the past four years Hoffman York has conducted proprietary research that provides criteria to successfully reach a female audience. Much of the research is highlighted in Re-Render the Gender, a book written by Tom Jordan that focuses on why the vast majority of advertising to women misses the mark and what we can do about it.

“There’s no doubt that some products advertised during the Super Bowl are aimed directly at men,” added Jordan. “That’s fine. Don’t forget that today this is a mixed gender party. If advertisers really want to reach women who actually do the shopping, then they’ll need to stay away from always being the class clown and become strategic and smart about their messaging.”

About The Kaleidoscope Group and Hoffman York
The Kaleidoscope Group is a unit of Hoffman York dedicated to understanding the real motivating factors that influence advertising to women. Hoffman York is a fully integrated marketing communications agency offering a full suite of services that include advertising, public relations and interactive. The agency has offices in Chicago and Milwaukee with $90 million in annualized billings. For more information about Hoffman York, visit http://www.hoffmanyork.com or for more information about The Kaleidoscope Group, go to http://www.kscopegroup.com.


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