They may send a chill down the spine of advertising professionals, but the results can’t be argued with: the five remakes by members of the public of major ads in ITV’s "The people’s ad break" outperform the originals on the important measure of brand recall.
In testing by Unruly provided exclusively to Campaign, the remakes scored between 73% and 84% on brand recall, compared with a UK average of 65%. The original spots, meanwhile, range from 59% (Aldi "Like brands") to 72% (Walkers "Snack stash"). The gap between the scores achieved by each remake and its corresponding original range from two percentage points (Walkers) to 15 percentage points (Honda).
Rebecca Waring, global vice-president, insight and solutions, at Unruly, said various factors contributed to the higher brand recall in the remakes.
"In the Haribo remake, it seems to have made a big difference that the woman was holding the bag up clearly to the camera at the centre of the screen in the first scene," she said.
"For Honda, the homemade sign at the end coincided with the peak in emotion as they celebrated the stunt – our research shows that this is an excellent way to make the brand more memorable. In the Aldi remake, there is less confusion around branding – in the original, a significant number of viewers misattributed the ad to PG Tips."
It’s not all bad news for paid creatives and producers. Unruly also measured the original ads and remakes for emotional intensity, defined as the percentage of viewers who had a strong emotional reaction. In three out of five cases – Walkers, Weetabix and Haribo – the original scored higher than the remake.
But with an emotional intensity score of 22.3%, the remake of Aldi’s "Like brands" featuring Arfa the dog slightly pipped the original, starring Jean the gin lover, which scored 21.8.
The remake of Honda "Cog" by London residents Charlie and Rosie, meanwhile, scored 30.2% – not only the highest score of all 10 ads, but more than 10 points above the original (20%), the only one of the ads to score below the UK average of 20.1%.
Honda was also the only one of the five brands in which the remake (with a score of 5.6) received a higher EQ score than the original (4.8). EQ is a composite score from Unruly based on a campaign’s effectiveness and ability to engage consumers and drive brand metrics.
Waring suggested said the differing fortunes of the five remakes can shed light on the areas in which professional production brings the most value.
"These results show that ads featuring people are much more engaging if they have professional actors – it’s difficult for amateurs to elicit the same level of emotional response, especially when it comes to humour," she said.
"The big shock was that viewers found the stunt in the Honda remake significantly more amazing (+70%) and surprising (+89%) than the original, because it was executed at home with such humble props and no signs of editing. The giggling and cheering in the background also helped to create a sense of warmth and happiness that wasn’t present in the original.
"While the Aldi remake managed to more than match the overall emotional intensity of the original, it was much less funny (-55%). The cute dog compensated for this by evoking happiness instead (+30%)."