Bunnings wins the Grand Final with most effective ad

Bunnings, AAMI, Toyota and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) were the winning TV commercials in the eyes of this year’s AFL Grand Final TV audience, with the annual football premiership fast becoming the Australian equivalent of the Super Bowl for advertisers.

Research from Ipsos ASI found that the Bunnings’ spot ‘Inspirations’, which debuted during the Grand Final broadcast, was the clear winner of the 52 advertisers jostling for attention from the 4.48 million Australians tuned into the match decider.

Bunnings’ ‘Inspirations’ was ranked as the most effective for persuasion, branding, recognition and brand impact, reaching out to the home handymen and tradies in the audience. The runners-up were AAMI’s ‘Rhonda and Ketut’s high school reunion’, Toyota Hilux’s ‘Baby come back’ and the TAC’s latest instalment of its ‘Bloody Idiot’ series.

Like the American Super Bowl, the majority of ads broadcast during the AFL Grand Final only appeared once – 33 out of 52 TV commercials. And one in four TVCs was being broadcast for the first time during the broadcast.

Ipsos ASI Melbourne director Mark Hutchinson says, “The AFL Grand Final telecast consistently ranks as one of the top-rating televised sporting events of the year in Australia. Much like the US Super Bowl, advertisers clamber to leverage the telecast’s impressive reach, hoping to cover themselves in premiership glory.

“Spots during the AFL Grand Final are charged at a premium, but the figures show it’s worth it when you get it right. “We found brands that launched their ad during the AFL Grand Final broadcast performed stronger with audiences than ads that had already been on air for some time,” Hutchison says.

Other key findings in the Ipsos ASI research were:

  • One in four ads debuted during the AFL Grand Final and overall these ads were ranked as more impressive by viewers,
  • more than 20% of ads broadcast were for alcohol. Surprisingly, only one TVC made it into the top 10: CUB’s Crown Lager ‘Don’t change a Thing (Hops)’,
  • The single most effective alcohol-related TVC focussed on the responsible consumption of alcohol – the TAC’s ‘A little bit over? Bloody idiot’ – which ranked fourth overall even though it only aired in Victoria,
  • Most alcohol ads were considered to lack persuasiveness with Ipsos ASI finding that the majority struggled to adequately convey the advertised brand,
  • around 25% of ads in the top 10 were broadcast before the third quarter,
  • 10 retailers advertised during the 2013 Grand Final, and
  • ads for retailers performed better on average than any other category, namely Harvey Norman, Liquorland and Officeworks.

“The ads that performed the strongest were relevant to the Grand Final audience. Bunnings hit their mark by reaching out to the home handymakers and tradies tuned into the match and viewers found the ads to be highly visible, relevant and unique,” says Hutchinson.

“Like so many things, it’s all about timing. The ads broadcast before the third quarter performed better than those afterwards. It’s no surprise that effective reach becomes harder when viewers may have been enjoying a drink and cheering on their team for a few hours.”

In the week following the game, Ipsos ASI interviewed more than 1600 people to evaluate the 50 ads that aired during the Grand Final. The Ipsos ASI index findings are based on the highest scoring ads for recognition, branding, persuasion and brand impact among those watching at least half of the Seven Network Grand Final telecast.

AFL Grand Final Top 10 rankings according to Ipsos ASI’s research: Top 10