Hoffman York Releases Its 2010 PURSEuasion Report: Academy Awards Advertising Effectiveness For Women

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-- With women controlling 80 percent of all purchase decisions report analyzes the “purse quotient” with Apple’s iPad rated the most effective and Cottonelle the least effective for women --

This was no Super Bowl. And, that’s a good thing

After another marathon television awards ceremony (three and a half hours) and 31 minutes of commercials, not including network promotions and PSAs, Hoffman York’s advertising to women division, The Kaleidoscope Group, is pleased to release its 2010 PURSEuasion Report: Academy Awards Advertising Effectiveness For Women.

Similar to the agency’s Super Bowl report, the results identify a “purse quotient” to determine the most and least effective ads based on how they might affect women’s intent to purchase. The “purse quotient” measures persuasiveness and believability among other criteria.

“Unlike the Super Bowl where commercials are over designed and produced to meet the predominantly male audience’s expectations, the Oscar’s group of commercials which played to a very different audience, took few risks,” said Elissa Polston, Senior VP, Co-Director of Planning for Kaleidoscope. “Instead, advertisers recognized the number of women watching the show and focused on spots that highlighted cause-related projects as well as environmental responsibility.”


The Kaleidoscope Group, along with results from an independent survey of women, identified two ads that resonated most with women:

  •     Apple’s iPad; and
  •     Hyundai’s “New Drivers – Room” to the music “I am 16 going on 17.”

Other ads that resonated with The Kaleidoscope Group included Coke’s “Recycle” and the American Express “Members Project” spots.

As for the No. 1 ad that failed at resonating with women: Cottonelle’s “Roll Poll” ads addressing the public’s preference for rolling toilet paper over or under were confusing to the group’s panel as well as the public panel and not considered at all entertaining.

Over the past few years, women have comprised more than 60 percent of the Academy Awards viewing audience, making the Oscars the second largest annual television event after the Super Bowl to reach women.

On Sunday, the 82nd Academy Awards, which experienced viewership decline over the past few years, enjoyed a nice rebound with 14 percent more viewers than in 2009. With 40 percent of American households tuning in, a majority of the viewers were women. This year’s show, dubbed by advertisers as “the Super Bowl for women” was hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

“This was no Super Bowl. And, that’s a good thing,” said Tom Jordan, Chief Creative Director at Hoffman York. “Almost all of the advertisers recognized that the audience was primarily female and tailored their messages specifically to that group. Unfortunately, the audience does not watch the ads on the Oscar telecast as intently as the Super Bowl.”

Over the past four years The Kaleidoscope Group 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 Hoffman York Chief Creative Director Tom Jordan that focuses on why the vast majority of advertising to women misses the mark and what we can do about it.

About Hoffman York
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.

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Laura Roberts
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