Acumen InsightsBlog

Funny Beats Frugal in Advertising

By July 27, 2012 No Comments

Global consumer spending is projected to exceed $450 trillion by the end of the decade. With so much at stake—and many markets continuing to face tough economic realities, how do advertisers reach and resonate with an increasingly diverse, demanding and connected audience? Nielsen conducted a study of advertising effectiveness using 4,000 ads from before, during and after the “Great Recession” to find out if the economic climate and subsequent attitude shifts have impacted responsiveness to creative tactics. Among the major findings:


  • Humorous ads have consistently resonated best with viewers, regardless of the economy or year.
  • During the recession, there was a notable lift in effectiveness of sentimental and value-oriented ads.
  • Ads focusing on product features and promotion/price did not resonate with viewers even during tough economic times.
  • The performance of narrative and sentimental ads has improved since 2006.