What succeeds in advertising?

For years Evian has invested heavily in its baby commercials. It’s “Roller babies” video was rated by Guinness World Records as the most viewed advert in history. Yet, during this period Evian has lost market share and faced declining sales. Why?

Marketing author, Jonah Berger, believes that the adverts lack a strong association between the brand and the message – meaning the brand can be easily decoupled from the advert.

Our Qwizard results validate this view. We asked quiz players to identify the brand that relates to the “Baby and Me” advert. Across 233 players, just 19.4% of teams knew that the adverts relate to Evian. Extrapolated for individual scores, this equates to just 11.6% of players.

And other brands suffer from a similar lack of awareness: When asked which NZ brand uses the slogan ‘Follow No One’ only 24.3% of teams linked the slogan to the Monteiths brand. The estimated awareness for individuals, across 248 players, is a miserable 15.1%.

And when asked which NZ brand sponsors free-diver William Trubridge only 22.2% of teams correctly identified Steinlager Pure as the sponsor. The estimated awareness for 132 individuals is just 13.6%.

Clearly, some other factors – such as investment and coverage – may also contribute to poor awareness. But the results appear to endorse Berger’s view about relevance and association. And, within our quiz samples, the results demonstrate a clear marketing failure.

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