BT Beats Bolt in Race for Olympics' Most Memorable TV Ad

BT’s ad featuring Spanish girls visiting a neighbour’s flat to use their broadband whilst visiting London for the Olympics was the most memorable Olympic-themed TV advert in the UK from an official sponsor in 2012.

Dubbed “Hola”, the ad was 36 percent more likely to be remembered than the average Olympic-themed TV ad from an Olympic sponsor, according to figures released today by Nielsen – the official Market Research Services Provider to the 2012 Games. BT’s ad was narrowly ahead of McDonald’s free Olympic glass giveaway (which was 32 percent more memorable than the average Olympic sponsors’ ad). Third was Visa’s ad, featuring Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt racing a man across London to the Olympic stadium. Part of its “Flow Faster” campaign, the ad was 30 percent more memorable than the average Olympic sponsors’ ad.

Nielsen’s recall (or memorability) score is based on the percentage of TV viewers who can recall within 24 hours the storyline of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of their TV viewing. Every new ad aired on ITV1, Channel 4, Five and Sky 1 in the evenings since 1 January 2012 up to the end of the Olympics was covered.

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Just outside the three podium places was Fairy’s “20,000 dishes” ad, featuring a child growing up into an athlete as he runs along tables of plates (23 percent more memorable than the average ad), and Cadbury’s ad, showing Crème Eggs bursting inside the Olympic stadium (21 percent more memorable).

Nielsen VP of advertising effectiveness for Europe, Darren Moore: “Many of the sponsors gave their ads an Olympic theme by making Olympic athletes or Olympic venues central to their creative.  The most memorable ad, from BT, instead, integrates an Olympic-themed storyline into its already-recognisable series of ads featuring a group of flat-sharing friends.”

Most liked ads

Samsung’s “Everyone's Olympic Games” featuring David Beckham was the most liked TV ad, being 35 percent more liked than the average Olympic-themed ad from an official sponsor during 2012. This was followed by Procter & Gamble whose “Kids” ad – featuring Olympic athletes portrayed as children – was 30 percent more liked than the average ad.

In a tie for third place were BT’s “Hola” and watchmaker Omega’s “Start me up” – both 25 percent more liked than average.  Omega’s ad featured a host of Olympic athletes including Britain’s Jessica Ennis.  Visa’s Usain Bolt ad completed the top five – 20 percent more likeable than the average Olympic sponsors’ ad.

Moore concludes: “Capturing the excitement of the Olympics was clearly the best way to create ads that people really liked.  Samsung, P&G and Omega managed to fuse this excitement with emotive imagery to really connect with TV viewers.  In addition, using popular icons is a tried and trusted method of achieving advertising effectiveness, and Samsung’s use of David Beckham has helped it to the likeability gold medal.”

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Methodology

Recall Index: The recall (or memorability) score is the percentage of TV viewers who can recall within 24 hours the storyline of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of their TV viewing.  These scores are then indexed against the mean score for all Olympics-themed ads from Olympics sponsors during 2012 (Recall Index).  100 equals average.  For example, with a recall index of 136 the top ranked BT ad has proven to be 36% more memorable than the average Olympics-themed commercial from an Olympics sponsor in 2012.

Likeability Score: The likeability score is the percentage of TV viewers who like an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of their TV viewing (among those recalling the brand of the ad).  These scores are then indexed against the mean score for all Olympics-themed ads from Olympics sponsors during 2012 (Likeability Index).  100 equals average.  For example, with a Likeability index of 135 the top ranked Samsung ad has proven to be 35% more liked than the average Olympics-themed commercial from an Olympics sponsor in 2012.
          
All figures come from Nielsen TV Brand Effect, which surveys people aged 16+ who watched a programme between 1 Jan – 12 Aug 2012 during which a particular advert was shown.  Channels covered: ITV1, Channel 4, Five, Sky 1, Mon-Sun 6pm-midnight.


Nielsen’s TV advertising effectiveness and programme engagement (TV Brand Effect)

Nielsen’s TV Brand Effect service provides advertisers with a fast turnaround, survey-based measurement of national advertising on key primetime TV channels, measuring real-time audience response to the ads and engagement with the programmes in which they air. We quantify how closely viewers are paying attention to both the programme and the adverts, giving advertisers prompt insights into how an ad is performing in-flight and enabling them to match up effective ads with the most highly engaging TV environments.

The service uses a panel methodology to measure the day-after viewer response to TV programming. Panellists are asked specific questions about programme content to determine recall and engagement levels. They are then questioned on all advertising within commercial breaks to gauge brand and message recall and likeability.