Nielsen Research Confirms No One-Spot-Fits-All For Effective Creative


One look at the movies and a listen to the radio when you’re in another country will confirm suspicions that interests and tastes vary around the globe, and the same holds true for advertising, according to new Nielsen research.

Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising Survey asked 30,000 online consumers what advertising themes are most impactful, and the results showed the types of messages that resonate most often differ by region and generation.

Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience research shows highly successful ads score well on three dimensions: attention, conversion to long-term memory and emotional engagement.

Ads depicting real-life situations, says Nielsen, resonate most powerfully, selected by 44% of global respondents. Consumer neuroscience research on learning and memory shows that employing familiar themes is extremely useful in driving memorability.

“Best-in-class ads share several characteristics: they’re relatable, follow an upbeat and simple storyline, use novel and striking imagery and make an emotional connection,” said Randall Beard, president, Nielsen Expanded Verticals. “These characteristics provide a strong foundation for creative development, but there’s no ‘one-size-fits all’ formula. What’s effective in one country or region won’t necessarily work well in others. A deep understanding of local preferences is vital.”

Indeed, there are notable regional differences in how messages resonate across the world. Humor resonates more strongly in Western markets. It tops the list of most appealing message types in Europe and North America, cited by 51% and 50% of respondents, respectively, yet doesn’t rate higher than third in any other region (respondents in Asia-Pacific and Latin America rate it fourth). Health-themed ads resonate strongly in Latin America—in fact, they top the list. Ads focusing on family also have strong appeal in Latin America as well as Africa/Middle East.

The report is a free download, but you’ll have to leave information about yourself to get it.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
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