Brand characters boost the effectiveness of TV ads

System1, the research firm, assessed thousands of television ads to determine if the presence of a brand character yielded an improvement in performance.

Ronald McDonald. Tony the Tiger. Mr Peanut. The Aflac Duck.

Each of these iconic characters has come to represent their parent brand – McDonald’s restaurants, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal, Planters peanuts and Aflac insurance, respectively – for millions of consumers in the United States. But does their presence increase the effectiveness of TV advertising?

System1 – a UK-based global research firm that was known as BrainJuicer until 2017, and today boasts 13 offices in nine markets, including four locations in the US – set out to answer this question by analyzing 13,423 traditional television commercials that aired in 2018.


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