Ken Bowen

Value Prop: Three Super Bowl commercials that nailed the “Only-Factor”

February 11th, 2016

In last month’s MarketingExperiments Web clinic, we discussed the “Only-Factor.” This key ingredient of an effective value proposition is the point where the exclusivity and appeal of an offer intersect, causing prospects to say, “I really want this, and I can only get this from you.”

In today’s crowded marketplace, having a strong “Only-Factor” is critical in gaining mindshare with prospects. The menu at Moe’s Southwest Grill might be just as appealing as the menu at Chipotle, but what made the latter an industry leader in the fast-casual category was its best-in-class organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Similarly, though retail juggernauts like IKEA and Bass Pro Shops are not reinventing the wheel with their products, the destination shopping experience that they provide cannot be matched by their competitors.

 

Super Bowl 50

When promoting a product or service, there is no bigger platform than the Super Bowl. In fact, the 21 most-viewed television broadcasts in American history are all Super Bowls. Last Sunday, a record 167 million of us watched Super Bowl 50 stateside, shattering the U.S. record for most total viewers ever for a broadcast. Bigger than the Olympics. Bigger than the Royal Wedding. Bigger than the moon landing.

Every year, companies spend millions for the opportunity to advertise during the Super Bowl. For Super Bowl 50, companies paid a record $5 million per 30-second spot to get their products before the eyeballs of roughly half of all U.S. citizens.

Yet every year, well-intentioned advertisers fail to capitalize on this massive investment by focusing on tangential creativity rather than actual product value.

For example, looking back just two years to Super Bowl 48, I’m sure many of us remember this middle-aged man, wearing night vision goggles and carefully guarding his snack from Bigfoot. But how many of us actually remember what specific snack he was trying to protect?

 

This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to produce a clever, memorable Super Bowl commercial that is capable of entertaining the masses and reinforcing the appeal, exclusivity and greater value of your offer. With Super Bowl 50 now in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look at three companies that got it right:

 

Hyundai — “First Date”

 

USA Today’s panel of nearly 20,000 Ad Meter voters chose Hyundai’s “First Date” as the best overall commercial of Super Bowl 50. And for good reason. The wildly entertaining 60-second spot, starring comedian Kevin Hart, depicts Hart as an overly protective father who goes into overdrive when a young man arrives to take his daughter on a date. Before the young couple leaves, Hart graciously hands over the keys to his new Hyundai Genesis. What the suitor doesn’t know, however, is that the Genesis has a new “Car Finder” feature that allows the owner to remotely track the vehicle’s location.

While the spot is entertaining, it also serves a purpose. Kevin Hart’s slapstick antics, shadowing the couple from location to location, effectively convey the function and value of the Hyundai’s exclusive “Car Finder” feature. And, despite the fact that scenes take place in a movie theater, a carnival and at a romantic Los Angeles overlook, hero shots of the Genesis visually dominate the commercial.

 

Mountain Dew Kickstart — “Puppymonkeybaby”

 

Though this commercial for Mountain Dew’s Kickstart energy drink might seem nonsensical on the surface, by Super Bowl standards it strikes all the right chords.

The spot begins with three friends laying around their apartment lethargically. “I might just chill tonight,” one of the men says weakly. Suddenly, the dog door flies open and a puppy/monkey/baby hybrid comes dancing in with a baby rattle in one hand and a bucket of Kickstart energy drinks in the other.

After licking one of the men’s faces, Puppymonkeybaby, like the good barkeep he is, starts distributing energy drinks. It only takes one sip for these three gentlemen to realize how delicious and energizing the beverage is. Instead of laying around the apartment all night, the men dance right out the door for an evening of adventure, with Puppymonkeybaby taking the lead.

As they exit, we see this tagline:

In 30 seconds, Mountain Dew effectively sold both the appeal (refreshing, delicious, energizing) and exclusivity (the only energy drink containing America’s favorite high-caffeine soda) of Kickstart, while still entertaining the masses with spectacle.

 

Avocados from Mexico — #AvosInSpace

 

Our final commercial takes us to a distant planet, where a group of aliens are touring the “Museum of Earthly Wonders” to see all the unique things that our planet has to offer.

As the aliens make their way through the museum, they encounter such unfamiliar exhibits as the Rubik’s cube, emojis, Scott Baio and the “gold and white dress that caused the Civil War.”

“Most amazing of all,” the alien tour guide says as he encounters the museum’s centerpiece tree, “are the avocados from Mexico.”

“They are always in season,” he adds as visitors dig into some chips and guacamole, “so you can enjoy them all year long.”

Like Hyundai and Mountain Dew Kickstart, Avocados from Mexico leverages humor and creativity in a way that emphasizes, rather than distracts from, its particular value proposition. While avocados and guacamole are certainly appealing, what sets Mexican avocados apart from their California counterparts — their “Only-Factor” — is the fact that they are in season all year.

 

You might also like

MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 — At the Bellagio in Las Vegas, February 22-24

Exclusivity: Does your product and offer stand out from the competition?

Boost Your Online Ads: Strengthen your value proposition by focusing on your “Only-Factor” [MarketingExperiments Web clinic] 

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Micah Shull

2015 Testing Year in Review: 2 key discoveries to increase clickthrough and conversions

February 8th, 2016

As Test Database Specialist at MECLABS Institute (parent company of MarketingExperiments), my days are spent sifting through thousands of tests, analyzing the results and searching for insights to inform future testing. While looking through our hundreds of tests from 2015, two top testing categories emerged for increasing clickthrough and conversion rates: value copy and friction reduction.

 

Value copy

Value copy testing stood out in 2015 with high rates of success and low levels of failure. Testing in this area was often successful and appears to be of high value to Internet users. Specifically, improving product descriptions and differentiation had the highest number of favorable tests for MECLABS. Understanding the motivation and pain points of your customers can help you tailor a precise, powerful message that will allow them to discover that your product is perfect for them. 

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Kayla Wainwright

A/B Testing: Cut through your KPIs by knowing your ultimate goal

February 4th, 2016

Marketers often struggle to know what metrics to use when trying to decide on the positioning of their marketing collateral. This can lead to many problems. At MECLABS Institute, the parent company of MarketingExperiments, we have run experiments and tests for over 20 years to help answer this question.

Customers take many actions when moving through the funnel, but what is the ultimate goal the company is trying to achieve with their marketing collateral? By answering this question, companies can best determine what the most important KPI is to measure.

To best illustrate this point, let’s walk through an experiment that was run regarding metrics. By reviewing this experiment we will understand how important it is to have a clearly defined idea of what the ultimate goal is for your marketing collateral.

 

The Experiment:

Background: A large newspaper company offering various subscription options.

Goal: To determine the optimal regular price point after the introductory discounted offer rate.

Research Question: Which price point will generate the greatest financial return?

Test Design: A/B split test

 

Subscription services often offer a discounted introductory rate for new subscribers. This gives potential subscribers a low-risk opportunity to try out the service for a period of time before the cost defaults to the regular full price. In this test, The Boston Globe team hoped to determine the optimal price point for a monthly subscription after the introductory offer rate expired. 

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Liva LaMontagne

Customer Co-Production: How one furniture company tested self-assembly messaging to enhance value and reduce frustration

February 1st, 2016

Self-service and customer co-production of products is everywhere — customers assemble furniture themselves, follow directions on food packages to prepare meals, scan their own groceries at supermarkets and use online banking. Despite its price-lowering and customization value, co-production has a dark side, requiring effort and time from the customer and potentially causing frustration. Today, we’ll look at a study from the furniture industry comparing the effects of two marketing communication strategies to mitigate customer frustration with the co-production process.

 

The Study

In November 2015, Till Haumann, Pascal Grϋntϋrkϋn, Laura Marie Schons and Jan Wieseke from the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany published the results of a field experiment with a multinational furniture company. The company sells furniture that requires co-production from the customer or, in other words, standardized, ready-to-assemble furniture that customers purchase in flat packages and assemble at home.

Depending on customers’ assembly skills, the process can be frustrating to a degree. So the scientists set out to test two ways of alleviating customers’ frustrations with the process (“co-production intensity”) by (1) enhancing the perceived value of the process and (2) reducing the perceived effort and time required in the process.

 

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Andrea Johnson

Discover the Power of the “Only-Factor” to Drive Conversion

January 28th, 2016

According to the CMO Council, digital ads will lead the way for global media growth in the next two years, accounting for 33% of total advertising revenue and growing from $133 billion to $194.5 billion. This month’s MarketingExperiments Web clinic examined how to make the most of this increasing digital investment by focusing on the “Only-Factor” — the point of your value proposition where your product’s exclusivity and appeal meet.

Check it out here.

The two experiments below illustrate the power of the “Only-Factor.”

In the first experiment, a credit card company wanted to see which PPC ad would produce the most applications.

Version A promoted its affiliation with a popular organization.

 

Version B noted that it offered the only credit card that supported this particular organization.

 

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Daniel Burstein

Exclusivity: Does your product and offer stand out from the competition?

January 25th, 2016

“Unicorn.” If you read the business press these days, it is a term you simply can’t avoid. The analogy of a mythical creature to describe a very real phenomenon — the startup that has reached a valuation of at least $1 billion.

So what makes or breaks a startup? Why do some succeed magnificently while so many simply fizzle out?

There are many answers to that question, but one key element that unicorns have in common is an effective value proposition. On the flip side, venture capitalist David Skok wrote that one of the reasons startups fail is, “There is not a compelling enough value proposition, or compelling event, to cause the buyer to actually commit to purchasing.”

To help you create an effective value proposition, MECLABS Institute (parent research organization of MarketingExperiments) has created the Value Proposition heuristic. This patented heuristic is a thought tool, meant to help you optimize the factors that increase the force of your value proposition.

 

One key element that helps create a successful value proposition is the exclusivity of the product or the offer (denoted by “Ex” in the heuristic).

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