GfK and Shimmer studied 42 people live during the France-Peru World Cup game, including 21 ads during halftime and immediately before the game. The findings included:
- Overall, humorous ads trigger greater conscious and unconscious response than ads themed around athletics, product features or emotional pull, when screened around a big sporting event
- For the sports-themed ads, the best response was gained by those with lots of dynamic interaction between athletes, which showed faces of the athletes, not their backs, and including cheering or shouting
- Ads featuring products or product benefits triggered lower conscious and unconscious response, with clear indications of a disconnection between the ads’ tone (product focus, business-like) and the audience mindset (anticipation, excitement, having fun)
For more info on the findings see the GFK blog piece here, while this video here shows a real time trace of how the audience reacted to a particular Ad.