Everyone has a favorite TV commercial – one that excited or delighted them, resonated personally, got them thinking, and/or piqued their interest in a particular company or brand.

Part of what drives this connection for viewers is creative that elicits emotion and encourages action. Effectv conducted a study to help marketers better understand how different types of commercial creatives affected viewer response in terms of perception and engagement.

Continue scrolling to learn how a data-informed approach to campaign creative can positively impact your campaigns.


The Role of Creative

Creative plays a vital role in connecting brands with their desired audiences who may have varied knowledge of the company. When viewers see a TV commercial, they could just be learning about the brand for the first time, or they may already be familiar and motivated to take an action; both moments are important for advertisers to consider from a creative perspective. Effectv worked with a third-party measurement company to survey ~1,500 respondents about what they thought of three different TV commercials – and ad types – all from the same brand.


Features imagery and dialogue focused on evoking emotion. Rarely includes pricing information

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Focuses on driving response through a timely offer or incentive. Usually includes pricing information

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Combines branding and call-to-action to evoke emotion and drive response

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After viewing commercials with creative like the ones above, respondents were asked to answer a series of questions related to their ad perception and engagement. Continue scrolling for survey findings and insights…

Survey Findings

Ad Perceptions

We know that audiences perceive information differently. Here’s how survey respondents perceived the following ad types:

  Key Takeaway

While the hybrid ad type did check the boxes for all four perception categories, it didn’t do so overwhelmingly in a single area. For the strongest viewer connection, consider producing multiple creative messages as part of a TV campaign to connect with viewers who perceive creative differently. If only one creative version is possible, taking a hybrid approach may be optimal for the campaign.

Ad Engagement

When it comes to engagement, different creative messages influenced the actions viewers were more likely to consider taking as a result of seeing the ad. Here’s how survey respondents expressed engagement with the following ad types:

  Key Takeaway

It’s important to tailor your creative to drive the types of engagement you are hoping to stimulate with audiences. While hybrid ads can drive different forms of engagement, they don’t excel in one area over another.

Pro Tips


Diversify Creative

Having different creative messages for different tactics leads to the greatest opportunity.

outstretched hand with heart

Support the Purchase Path

If an ad campaign can only include one creative, a hybrid ad will work best as it supports both perception and engagement.

open eye

Influence Viewers

Creative has a significant impact on viewers, and in-market viewers respond more favorably towards ads.

Creative is a vital part of advertising and we are pleased to validate our recommendations with viewer responses. While these findings support what we've always believed to be true, they provide further evidence of the importance of diversifying creative messaging.

Annie Hagerty
Sr. Insights Analyst

It behooves marketers to consider the strategic implications of their TV commercials in order to drive greater response from viewers. It’s important to keep in mind there are many different paths to purchase taken in the modern buyer’s journey, so understanding how viewers react to and engage with different creative messages is key.