Here at EMA, we believe that in order to make a brand truly magnetic, you have to build affection, relevance and trust. In other words, it’s essential to get people to think of your product or service much like they do their own friends. We asked some of our friends to rank some of the best Super Sunday spots using the friendship qualities as defined here:
- Affection — Shows the thoughtful ways a brand listens, cares and occasionally surprises.
- Relevance — Connects with customers with great storytelling and unique style.
- Trust — Acts as a proven, honest and loyal advisor that delivers on its promises.
Using these friendship goggles, here’s what our poll respondents felt about the following ads:
Since respondents may not be aware of Bai beverages, there’s a strong case here for selecting No Redeeming Qualities. But the surprisingly stoic reaction of “Chief Flavor Officer” and heartthrob Justin Timberlake — as tough guy Christopher Walken dramatically recites the lyrics to JT’s pop hit “Bye, Bye, Bye” (a nod to the pronunciation of Bai) — had our voters nearly split between Affection and Relevance.
Purported to have been created in a matter of days, this spot also happens to be one of the “friendliest” according to our voters. Apparently, taking a stance against discrimination and exclusion in such a public forum resonated well with our friends, who were closely split between Affection and Relevance.
Illuminati accidentally spilling national secrets, then being hypnotized to ravenously feed on guacamole? While surprising, it’s also easy to see why nearly half of our respondents found no redeeming Brand as Friend qualities here. On the other hand, with so many of us serving the heart-healthy dip during the Super Bowl, Relevance ran a close second with our hungry voters.
Perhaps the most emotionally gripping spot of the game, The Journey follows a mother and daughter on their trek from Mexico to the United States. Beautiful and provocative, the spot’s political and social overtones led to the banning of a version that included a border wall, with viewers being directed to visit the website to see the conclusion of the story. The overwhelming response created a temporary website outage, and made it a great example of the power of Relevance and Affection for storytelling today.
An elaborate pre-taped stunt to set up a “live” Super Bowl commercial a few moments later? Sounds risky and possibly even cheesy, right? In this case, Tide’s gamble paid off with a groundbreaking execution that won over the hearts and minds of millions, including voters. In fact, when you look at the results of our poll, Tide appears to be a friend favorite, well balanced across affection, relevance and trust.
So while all of the friendship qualities made an appearance, the two biggest winners this year appear to be Affection and Relevance. Brands that exhibit these two traits tend to enjoy much deeper connections with their customers, as well as enhanced loyalty.