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Does Your TV Commercial Cut Through the Clutter?
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Does Your TV Commercial Cut Through the Clutter?

This year’s cricketing extravaganza in India—the Indian Premier League (IPL)—is now a part of sports history, but the event provided a wealth of insights regarding the ads that most appealed to fans during the key match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians.

In looking at the results of a recent Nielsen study titled “Does Your TV Commercial Cut Through the Clutter?,” food, beverage and communication brands fared the best. The Cadbury Silk television commercial (24%) was found to be the most spontaneously recalled brand among viewers, followed by Appy Fizz (23%), Boost (20%), 7UP (19%), Pepsi (17%) and Vodafone (13%).

Nielsen conducted the study between 2 May and 3 June during the airing of the IPL 2013. For the study, Nielsen recorded responses from more than 5,800 respondents in the cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The study aimed to understand ad recall and visibility amid the many ads that viewers were exposed to during the cricket championship. An extract of the findings from 2 May to 20 reveal the top five sectors and brands for which ads were most spontaneously recalled by respondents.

In India, approximately 130 advertisers air about 19,000 ads each month on a given channel. Given the high volume and notable competition for viewers’ attention, it’s vital that marketers and advertisers gauge the impact of their ads.

Sporting events like the IPL are prime real estate for marketers and advertisers, as they feature large captive audiences that will be glued to TVs during all of the high-profile action. Consumers spend considerable time watching these events, providing a big window of opportunity for marketers looking to extend the reach of their brand messages. But it’s not enough to simply put a message in front of viewers. It has to be carefully crafted in order to resonate with as many viewers as possible.

Food and beverage boasts the biggest recall rate

While food and beverages (91%) led with respect to recall among the industries that advertised in May, three-fifths (59%) of the respondents in the study also recalled TV commercials of other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). Telecom (34%), infrastructure (23%) and consumer durables (19%) also made it to the top five sectors with high spontaneous ad recall levels.

Industry recall for FMCG without foods and beverages but including household and personal care, soaps and detergents increased by 10 percentage points between the first and third waves of the study, growing from 53 percent to 63 percent.

Men recalled ads from the automobile (16%), durables (22%), telecom (38%) and financial services (9%) sectors more frequently than women, while women recalled more ads in the consumer goods space (66%) than ads from other sectors. Women also had higher recall rates for ads in telecom (28%) and infrastructure (19%).

Cadbury Silk Captures Highest Recall Rate

Cadbury’s Silk ad was the most spontaneously recalled during the tournament, followed by spots from Appy Fizz (23%), Boost (20%), 7UP (19%), Pepsi (17%) and Vodafone (13%).

Recall for Cadbury’s Silk ad increased from 23 percent in the first and second wave of the study to 27 percent in the third wave. Recall for Appy Fizz moved down marginally from 25 percent to 24 percent, while recall for 7UP dropped three percentage points from 21 percent in the first wave to 18 percent in the third wave.

The findings of the study indicate two driving characteristics of spontaneously recalled brands: advertisements that feature a celebrity, or have an impactful creative element have a higher chance of registering in viewers’ minds, and brands with the most recall have a steady mix of both strategies.

Viewing habits of the Indian IPL fan

Some other interesting trends were observed with regard to IPL viewing habits of men and women. Of the men and women who watch cricket, 94 percent of men follow the IPL series, compared with 87 percent of women. Both men and women spontaneously recalled an average of five ads each.

Nearly half (46%) of men and women respondents said they watched ads that were aired during a commercial break, while a third (30%) said they changed the channel until the commercial breaks ended. About 5 percent said they put their TV sets on mute during the breaks.

In the crowded modern marketplace, insights like these will go a long way in helping marketers fine-tune their media plans and ad spends to achieve maximum returns. Moreover, it’s pertinent to understand if an ad campaign has had an impact in terms of visibility and brand recall among viewers.