Every two years, the Olympics comes around and makes the world seem a little smaller, if only for 16 days. And just as the athletes raise the bar on athletic achievement, so, too, do the sponsors raise the bar on creativity. (In fact, in my first Ad of the Week column, back in April, I showcased Procter & Gamble’s 2016 version of its "Thank You, Mom" campaign.) This year, the world’s advertisers are already delivering inspired creative in droves, both digitally and on television.
Last week, official sponsor Samsung released its marquee Olympic Games advertisement, titled "The Anthem." Weaving together scenes of people around the globe singing lines from national anthems that are not their own, the ad strives to create one anthem for one world. It incorporates over a dozen anthems and includes six athletes from teams of different nations. The idea of a mobile technology company breaking down borders and uniting the world may seem like a stretch, but somehow Samsung delivers with authenticity. According to viewers in Ace Metrix testing, a little optimism might just be what the world needs right now.
The 1:40, highly visual spot, created with Leo Burnett’s Chicago and Sydney offices, received a stellar Ace Score of 651. It also had the highest Likeability and Attention scores of the week. By now you may be familiar with our Ad Personality, which is a visualization of the way an ad delivers on specific objectives relative to others. "The Anthem," as seen below, delivers in three key dimensions: Breakthrough, Communication and Product. A likeable ad that viewers find informative and relevant forms an impressive trifecta.
Samsung’s "The Anthem" Ad Personality
When we look at the creative aspects that viewers are most drawn to, the Visual Scenes were named the Single Best Thing about the ad (25%), though the Music and Message were nearly as dominant (21% each). With stirring visuals and a rousing anthem, the rave reviews are not surprising. These comments about the message show just how much viewers were affected by "The Anthem":
"I loved it. I think we need more of these messages nowadays — especially with the amount of divisiveness we've been seeing (particularly in politics.)" — Female/36-49/Hispanic/West
"This is EXACTLY what the world needs right now and I've been hoping that someone would do something like this for the Olympic Games! Why does it NOT surprise me that it's Samsung?? LOVE IT!!" — Female/36-49/Other/Midwest
"I was very interested to find out what product or brand this was trying to sell. I had no idea while I was watching the ad, but I thought it was really neat and sends out a message that we very much need to see these days." — Female/21-35/Caucasian/Northeast
"I like the idea of world unity in this ad." — Male/21-35/African-American/South
Olympics ads are notorious for evoking a healthy bit of emotion. "The Anthem" is vastly successful in this area, and that contributes to the ad’s engaging disposition and memorability factor. This Emotional Word Cloud, developed from the emotive words used in viewer comments, shows just how intense connection to this ad is:
Millennials, a group known for wanting their brands to stand for something, had their heartstrings tugged the most by the ad. With over 50% of 21-35-year-olds using word categorized as being with "heart" in their comments, Samsung is getting great brand engagement from this key demographic:
"I thought it was inspirational and showed me how well the world's anthems come together as one. It was beautiful." — Male/21-35/African-American/South
"That was the most epic, awesome, and inspiring commercial I've ever seen." — Male/21-35/Hispanic/West
"Beautiful ad — the scenery/way it was filmed, the message, how it combined all of the anthems together." — Female/21-35/Asian/Northeast
"I thought the ad was incredibly moving. I absolutely loved it and it makes me think even higher of Samsung than I did before." — Female/21-35/African-American/West
Another data-driven observation about this ad is that it is non-polarizing, a trait seen in often in emotionally evocative, memorable ads. "The Anthem" falls into the top 2% of ads in the Ace Metrix database for viewer agreement.
To say Samsung has successfully captured the spirit of the Olympic Games is putting it mildly. We applaud the brand’s creative ingenuity and look forward to seeing more advertising genius surrounding the Olympic Games in Rio.
Jason Zazzi is vice president of marketing at Ace Metrix.