The Super Bowl is here and we’ll be watching commercials – here’s why

January 29, 2015

The Super Bowl is around the corner and Resource Medians have their favorites. We’re not disclosing our favorites should that prevent some of you from reading any further!

As communications specialists, though, everyone at Resource Media can agree on one thing: the commercials are worth watching and worth analyzing to help you refine your own approach to moving people emotionally for your “product” – your nonprofit, your issue or your idea.

A study conducted by consumer neuroscience company Innerscope on last year’s Super Bowl ads used biometrics (e.g., capturing fluctuations in heart rate and breathing patterns) and facial coding to understand people’s emotions when watching advertisements during the latest Super Bowl. Teaming with Emotient, a company that uses technology to analyze facial expressions, the researchers found that advertisements that prodded into complex emotions yielded more facial expressions from participants. They also found that advertisements with complex emotions spur deeper personal connections between the advertisement and the viewer, thus making the advertisement more memorable and more successful.

“There were some tried and true creative elements that engaged such as using humor and celebrities to generate an emotional response,” said Dr. Carl Marci, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Innerscope Research. But, the brands such as Cheerios and Budweiser, that “took audiences on an emotional journey…delivered some of the highest moments of emotional engagement.”

So, when you watch this week’s Super Bowl, pay attention to the advertisements. Look for the emotional complexities of good storytelling that inspires personal connections that lead to brand loyalty. Let us know what your favorite commercial was and why!

–Rachel Dobson, Fall Intern, and Liz Banse