The Science Behind our Super Bowl Advertising Analysis, Powered by Civis Research

February 14, 2017 Allison Sullivan

Have you ever made a decision based on gut? What about a $5 million decision? Many brands buy an ad during the Super Bowl because they think it might increase their brand awareness, but many brands don’t measure the impact to justify the expense. As data scientists, we love to run experiments, so we’ve leveraged our latest Decision Application, Civis Research, to understand the impact of advertising during the Super Bowl for brands, specifically Buick, TurboTax, and Wix. (SPOILER ALERT: our research showed that established brands can build buzz and interest, while up-and-coming brands can swell their awareness.)

Instead of diving into the results here — you can read about the findings on In this post, we wanted to give a glimpse into the process.

For this experiment, we ran a Civis Research brand health survey on each of the three brands in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, giving us a baseline understanding of brand awareness, consideration, and buzz before the ads aired. Following the Super Bowl on Monday morning, we launched the exact same surveys to a similar audience, collecting a statistically significant number of responses in fewer than two days. Yes, you read that right — fewer than two days. And with Civis Research, it didn’t take days to analyze the data — the science is built into the application, making the results immediately ready to share.

A Deeper Dive into How It Works

How did we decide what questions to ask and how to phrase them?
We used our best-practice templates, developed by our social scientists, to quickly generate methodologically sound questionnaires for our three brands. For this analysis, we used the “Brand Health: Big Ticket Item” template for Buick and the “Brand Health: Product or Service” template for Wix and TurboTax. Civis Research also offers templates for retailers and consumables templates, and we’re continuing to develop additional templates.

How did we generate a list of people to ask?
Once we completed the appropriate template for each brand, we selected the audience we’re interested in hearing from, using data from Civis’ national database. Because the Super Bowl is a national event, our audience was easy: American adults. However, Civis Research allows for extensive customization if your needs are specific to a particular geography or demographic trait.

How did we get results so quickly?
The research project was launched with the click of a button. It might seem surprising that we can launch immediately, but we’ve done a lot of behind the scenes work. Our engineers and social scientists built our sampling techniques and expertise in market research into the application, enabling Civis Research to automatically pull statistically representative samples of respondents and launch the research project within hours.

Within about two days, we had thousands of data points — which can be difficult to convert into actionable insights. With Civis Research, we’ve automated the analysis. The application uses our proprietary weighting methods to ensure that results reflect the desired population, and then results are presented in an organized, intuitive, narrative dashboard that put the answers to business questions up front.

The Super Bowl was a fun way for us to demonstrate the power and speed of Civis Research — and also the impact of buying a $5 million dollar ad spot. Even if you’re not in the market for Super Bowl spots, Civis Research can help you understand the health of your brand and the impact of your marketing.

Learn more

The post The Science Behind our Super Bowl Advertising Analysis, Powered by Civis Research appeared first on Civis Analytics.

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