Round 1 Results
Reese's vs. LG
The initial matchup in the round of 16 features two humorous ads: Reese’s “Easter Peanut Butter Egg” and LG’s “Game On with 'Mascots Knock'”. Reese’s seductive ad features Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” playing in the background, and uses the music to create an early six point lead in the attributes of Likable and Inspiring. LG’s funny looking mascots act out the commercial to a catchy guitar and drum riff, but can’t catch up to Reeses.
At the game’s end, Reese’s chocolate bunny beats LG’s mascots by two points. Even so, LG’s “Mascots” performed very well, especially considering that it didn’t have the help of an iconic song in this spot.
Final score: Reese’s 83, LG 81
Nabisco vs. Unilever/Dove
The next match up is a battle of the CPG giants Nabisco and Unilever. Nabisco’s Ritz Crisp & Thins "Explosive” went up against Unilever’s Dove Men+Care "Real Winners Care". Ritz’s ten point lead for its Playful score boosted its overall Feelings score and ultimately pushed Nabisco into the next round. It truly was an “explosive” performance! Nabisco took a three point lead in this “Feelings” round and won the match.
Final score: Nabisco 81, Unilever 78
Infiniti vs. Buick
The two automotive corporate sponsors Infiniti and Buick battled it out in the “Feelings” round. Infiniti’s “Hardwood Heroes” ad depicts fierce athletes training for a basketball game, to a thumping hard rock track... who all happen to be cancer survivors. Meanwhile, Buick’s “Philly and Boston” features 3 coworkers taking a lighthearted road trip in their Buick.
Infiniti’s emotional spot took a massive twelve point lead in both Energetic and -- unsurprisingly -- Inspiring. The more playful Buick ad did not have as strong an impact on its viewers, and fell by six points overall. This is in spite of Buick featuring the song “It’s Alright” by indie rockers Matt and Kim.
Final score: Infiniti 79, Buick 73
Allstate vs. Northwestern Mutual
In this battle of the insurance companies, Allstate’s “March Mayhem: Bracket” and Northwestern Mutual’s “Knowing” fought for their spot in round 2. Allstate’s ad was perceived as notably more Energetic, by 14 points. Allstate also won on the attribute Unique. Perhaps most importantly Allstate opened up a 17 point gap on Northwestern Mutual in the attribute of Playful, the single largest gap in scores in the first round! This is likely due to Allstate’s use of humor and the Dean Winters “Mayhem” character in the spot.
In the end, Allstate slaughtered Northwestern mutual with an eight point lead overall.
Final score: Allstate 72, Northwestern Mutual 64
Capital One vs. Enterprise
Capital One and Enterprise tried to earn their place in round 2 in a matchup subtitled “Battle of the Spokespeople.” Capital One’s “This is March Madness - Ringtone” and Enterprise’s “If Only” ads both starred well-known actors. Capital One’s spot featured longtime spokesman Samuel L. Jackson, accompanied by Charles Barkley and Spike Lee. Enterprise featured actress Kristen Bell.
Both spots take a humorous approach. Despite this similarity, Capital One took a strong six point lead for Energetic and Playful. The difference? Samuel L. Jackson’s cover of “I Will Survive”...accompanied by songstress Gloria Gaynor!
As a result, Capital One’s upbeat, musically-driven ad beat out the less musical Enterprise ad by four points.
Final score: Capital One 79, Enterprise 75
Marriott Rewards vs. Wendy’s
It was a tough, brutal competition between hospitality giant Marriott and fast food restaurant Wendy’s. The competitors were tied in a number of Attributes, like Optimistic and Unique. In others, both players held a small lead: Marriott led by 2 points in Inspired, for instance, while Wendy’s led by 2 points in Playful. Wendy’s score for Energetic was four points higher than Marriott’s, which helped them take a small lead.
In the end, Wendy’s “Going the Extra Mile with the NCAA” edged out Marriott’s “Through the Madness” by a single point.
Final score: Wendy’s 77, Marriott Rewards 76
AT&T vs. Coca-Cola
The top of the second bracket featured 2 major advertisers using music front-and-center in their spots: AT&T’s “Parking Booth” and Coca-Cola’s “Cinderella”. The AT&T spot featured an adaptation of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” sung by comedian Dan Finnerty. The Coca-Cola ad has a more romantic song, the waltz-style “Fully Fashioned” by George French, front-and-center in the spot, which visually focuses on the image of a Coke bottle.
Both spots were tied for Unique, but in all the other dimensions, AT&T’s spot misses the mark.
The AT&T ad is intended to be humorous, but Coke’s spot is still perceived as more Playful. Ultimately, Coca-Cola was able to open up an eight-point gap for Likable and Inspiring, from which AT&T was never able to recover.
Coke takes the first round by four points, and the schmaltzy waltz wins the first dance.
Final Score: Coca-Cola 78, AT&T 74
Pizza Hut vs. Buffalo Wild Wings
The final matchup of round 1 featured fast food phenoms Pizza Hut and Buffalo Wild Wings both featured “punny” ads. Pizza Hut’s “$7.99 2-Topping Pizza featuring Grant Hill and PIE TOPS” (their emphasis, not ours!) faced off against Buffalo Wild Wings “Foodoo”. Buffalo Wild Wings kept the match tied with Unique (both scored a 76), and kept it close with Playful (a 76 to Pizza Hut’s 78). But Pizza Hut started to open a bigger gap with Likable (a 76 to Buffalo Wild Wings’ 74), and then cracked it open with an 8-point spread on Optimistic.
In the end, the Pie Tops stomped on the Foodoo Doll (watch the spots to see what they mean). Pizza Hut defeated Buffalo Wild Wings by four points overall.
Final Score: Pizza Hut 77, Buffalo Wild Wings 73