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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Scoring Touchdowns with Super Bowl Advertising – The Impact of Uniqueness and Consistency on Buzz

Published: May 28, 2019


Alexander Mafael, Freie Universität Berlin; Sascha Raithel, Freie Universität Berlin; Charles Taylor, Villanova University; David Stewart, Loyola Marymount University


advertising uniqueness; advertising consistency; consumer buzz


Researchers and practitioners direct much attention at ads that “go viral” and generate buzz for brands. Research suggests two factors to stimulate buzz with advertising: uniqueness and consistency of the advertising content. This study examines the separate and joined effects of both attributes on brand buzz empirically using unique observational data. By categorizing 566 Super Bowl ads from 2008-2017 on 31 executional content cues, we can compute similarity scores to measure uniqueness and consistency for each advertising brand. For a subset of 118 observations, we obtain data on brand buzz before and after the Super Bowl event. This research provides evidence that judging uniqueness and consistency requires the consideration of the ad’s position within a group of other ads that consumers view concurrently and over time. We show that balancing uniqueness and consistency in a dynamic advertising environment is difficult to achieve but paramount for generating consumer buzz.