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Live Action Trumps Cartoons in Ad Effectiveness

NEW YORK: Corporeality is more memorable than nonreality, in Nielsen’s estimation. The audience measurement firm took a look at live-action creatives versus animated ads in its viewing sample, and found that folks have higher recall for the former.

“In general, live action ads are more effective than animated ads, scoring 22 percent higher in brand recall,” Nielsen said. Brand recall refers to the percentage of TV viewers who can recall the commercial and its advertised brand 24 hours after viewing it. “This trend holds across gender and age.”

Nielsen said live-action brand recall was 27 percent stronger for females and 17 percent stronger among males than for animated ads. Adults 35 to 49 registered a 24 percent increase in live-action brand recall. The gap shrunk among viewers aged 13 to 35, who registered an 11 percent differential.

With regard to consumer packaged goods, Nielsen said “the personal care category in particular suffers substantially when using animation instead of live-action creatives.” Food was the singular exception. Brand recall for food was actually 28 percent higher for animated versus live-action ads.

See Nielsen’s “Should Marketers Re-think Animated TV Ads During the Holidays?