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Cannes Lions 2022 Preview: Balancing Brand and Creativity

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity begins on June 20, recognizing many of the past year’s top ads and campaigns from around the world.

While we don’t yet know which ads will be up for the 2022 Cannes Lions awards, you can bank on every inclusion on the shortlist being an exceptional representation of the advertising craft. This report has no inside information on creative on the shortlist, nor does it make predictions on who will win this year’s Cannes Lions. However, it’s worth analyzing some of the most effective ads to appear on TV since last year’s awards, to examine the sort of creative that might win if U.S. audiences were the jurors.
Our latest report puts a spotlight on some of the top ads of the last year, through the lens of various emotions measured by iSpot’s Creative Assessment – and benchmarked against all-industry norms over the past 365 days.

Emotional Takeaways

Many times, great ad creative elicits a powerful emotional response from consumers. With this in mind, we looked at spots that scored best with survey respondents for:

  • Funny
  • Empowerment
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Inspiring

The results saw brands like Delta, Starbucks, Honda and Tide crafting ads that spoke to audiences beyond marketing. In most cases, messaging was a hit with respondents, creating a positive association with the brands as they showed an ability to stand for something or speak up about an important issue.

Powerful Spotlight

Some of the top creatives of the last year, by emotion:

Funny: Little Caesar’s – “Change, 33% More Pepperoni”

Empowerment: Delta – “The Will To Fly Is A Universal Language”

Corporate Responsibility: Honda – “Project Courage, Shogo”

Inspiring: Toyota – “Brothers”

Peak Performance

Data from iSpot’s Ace Metrix Creative Assessment survey allows brands to benchmark video ad performance against both competitors and various versions of the same spot. 

Among the most inspiring ads, the NFL is able to see how highlighting different players for different lengths impacts how audiences respond. While several were successful, knowing that the Najee Harris creative was the most likeable can drive decision-making for which ads to feature more heavily on TV.

Similarly, a brand like Subaru can highlight various philanthropic efforts through TV advertising over the course of a year and choose the one that is earning the most positive response – which could ultimately lead to more donations for a given cause. Subaru’s Re-Foresting Project with the National Forest Foundation was among the most empowering ads of the last year, with powerful images showcasing the impact of forest fires around the U.S.

Curious to learn more about some of the year’s top creative across emotions like funny, inspiring, empowering and more? Download iSpot’s Cannes Preview, and reach out for a demo today.