While sitting at home and watching television, you have no doubt seen advertisements for popular products and services during a break from your favorite show. Rather than using catchy jingles or product demonstrations, a lot of companies are working to develop characters for their ads that resonate with their target audience. That way, when people see the character they will instantly connect him or her with the company, hopefully building a relationship that will lead to more sales and business. How people respond to the character can make or break that particular ad campaign, which is why it is important to gauge the popularity of the ad to see if it is successful or needs adjustments moving forward.
Which Ad Characters Are Most Popular?
When asked which advertisement character is their favorite in a recent mobile study, men and women were able to point to two campaigns that are getting it right. Although they differ on which character is most popular, men chose the “Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials while women chose “Mr. Mayhem” from the Allstate Insurance ads. The Most Interesting Man won over the male vote with17.7% because his mystery, in addition to the narrator reading off seemingly impossible achievements, comes off as adventurous and humorous.
Mr. Mayhem was chosen as the favorite by 20.5% of women most likely because viewers can relate to the different situations
he finds himself in. Whether he shows up as snow on a caving garage roof or a teenage driver causing an accident, there is no doubt that Mr. Mayhem has caused many of the insurance troubles viewers have found themselves facing in the past. When taking a look at the survey overall, Mr. Mayhem came out on top with 18.3% of the vote while Flo from Progressive ranked second at14.6% and the E*Trade Babies came in third (11.8%). The Most Interesting Man only ranked atop the list of male respondents.
Ad Characters that Are Missing Their Mark with the Audience
On the other side of the equation are advertisement characters that are as seen as annoying and/or unnecessary by the target audience of some companies. There is a near-tie for the top spot on this unfortunate list, with the King from Burger King ranking first (19.4%), Flo coming in second (19.1%) and the FreeCreditReport.com Band finishing in third (19.0%). Interestingly, Flo finished in the second spot on the most liked and most annoying list for many respondents.
The Burger King was the top selection for women (21.2%) and Flo was chosen as most annoying by 21.3% of males. These polarizing figures can sometimes mean a sales boost for companies, however, because they may get a large positive response from a key demographic.
Understanding the Business Side of Ad Characters
In the end, characters in television ads serve the purpose of personifying a particular product or service. By making an emotional connection with the audience or relating to a target demographic, advertisers are able to help bridge the gap between a business and its consumers. A lot of research including mobile surveys goes into determining if the ads are working. Pay attention to the next batch of commercials you see with a clear main character and make a note of what message the ad is trying to get across. That way, you can see if the characters you identify with are helping companies sell you the products you buy.
Written by Michael Smith, Director of Panel and Senior Mobile Research Specialist at MFour Mobile Research.