May’s top US ads: Tropicana, Corona, Mint Mobile, Hood and Planet Oat
What makes an ad resonate with its target audience? What are the factors that can help an ad leave a lasting impression in the minds of its viewers? System1 has developed a star rating system that factors in a broad set of data to answer these questions. Jon Evans, chief marketing officer at System1, told us which ads received the highest ratings last month – and why they stood out from the crowd.
Planet Oat claimed the top spot in System1’s list of the best US ads for May 2022
System1 tests ads on measures that predict long-term brand growth (star rating) and short-term sales growth (spike rating) – each between one and five stars. These measures are validated using the independent IPA [the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising] database and also against real sales data at a category level.
The star rating captures the emotional response to an ad. Only 1% of ads on the system score five stars. A one-star ad will have zero effect on brand growth, while a five-star ad will have an exceptional impact (up to three points of market share gain, depending on investment). Often the work that receives the highest ratings comes as a surprise to everyone.
May’s top ads
5) Mint Mobile: Spokesmom
Star rating: 3.3
Mint has come a long way since its first ads, in which shower carpets and chunky milk grabbed viewers’ attention by grossing them out. The company is now owned by Ryan Reynolds, who has a flair for making quirky, witty ads that play on his celebrity while still pushing product benefits. In this case, he ropes his mom in to act as Mint’s spokesperson, advertising Mint’s plan while setting up a joke. Reynolds’ charisma and good-natured humor carries what might have been a dry, feature-based ad.
4) Corona: Man of Many Flavors
Star rating: 3.3
Another ad that trades on celebrity charisma, this is one of a series of Corona Hard Seltzer spots featuring brand spokesman Snoop Dogg. And there’s honestly not much more to it than that – Snoop turns up, recommends the product and then there’s a surreal gag involving a topiary version of himself. The ad is fueled mostly by the laidback charm of its star; but since few celebrities have more charm than Snoop – and since charm and beer ads go together like Corona and lime – it works.
3) Hood: Now That’s Cottage Cheese
Star rating: 3.4
An ad that’s all about the many ways you can use its product – Hood Cottage Cheese – which thankfully shows some of that same creativity in its execution. The ingredients might be mundane (an actor, a kitchen, a perky voiceover), but the special effects and edits make the ad a lot of fun. There’s a clear TikTok influence in all these optical illusions and fast edits, and the ad is much better for it.
2) Tropicana: Birthday Party
Star rating: 3.8
Anyone who’s ever presided over a kids’ birthday party will feel a shudder of recognition at Tropicana’s entertaining new ad, in which parents sigh and drink their juice as chaos rages around them. The humor comes not just from the acting but from a brilliant soundtrack choice, with a mellow and sophisticated Ella Fitzgerald track acting as an ironic counterpoint to the rampage.
1) Planet Oat: Ohhh What a Planet
Star rating: 4.3
Oat milk brand Planet Oat tops our charts this month with a cute new brand mascot – a cuddly blue alien whose voyage to Earth introduces her to the wonders of oat milk. There’s not a lot more to the ad than that, but there doesn’t need to be. The ad does the job of introducing our alien, gives her an Earthling friend and drops a few product benefits on the way. This 4-star success demonstrates once again how useful mascots can be.