Google Japan’s Thank You campaign has been ranked the most emotionally engaging coronavirus campaign in the world, according to analysis by Unruly.

The Tremor International-owned video ad tech company found the ad to be three times more emotional than the average Japanese ad. It also scored the highest for brand favourability and purchase intent, standing out as the strongest performer when compared to 51 other COVID-19 related video ads.

Alex Maguire, senior insight manager at Unruly, noted that the intensity of emotional responses by Japanese consumers to ads is typically 50% lower than the global average and described viewer reaction to the ad as “surprising”.

“However, when you watch the ad, it’s easy to see why it performed so strongly. The whole ad is comprised of footage shot on mobile phones and captured from video calls, which creates an aura of authenticity and amplifies the sense of empowerment generated by the video’s structure and content,” he said. “This is illustrated in the results, as 83% of viewers considered Google to be an empowering brand after watching the ad — 34% higher than the Japanese average.”

That put it ahead of an ad from the Singapore government (Together, We Can) and Tourism Australia’s With Love From Aus in second and third places respectively, with ads from Air Asia, Prudential and Colgate also making the top 10.

A recent Edelman Trust Barometer report found that two-thirds of consumers say how brands respond to the pandemic will have a “huge impact” on their likelihood to buy their products and services in the future – which means that ensuring brands’ messaging hits home has never been more important.

Maguire pointed to a clear distinction in the messaging and focus of the ad in those that ranked well and those that didn’t.

“Ads that resonated strongly with viewers tended to focus on advocating and thanking communities and groups most affected by COVID-19, such as healthcare workers, and they minimise specific product messaging,” he said. “Meanwhile, ads that instruct viewers in the ways that they can still interact with the brand and their products during the pandemic tended to not only be less emotionally engaging, but also attracted lower scores for more rational metrics, such as purchase intent and intent to find out more.”

Although dominated by ads tested in APAC, three UK ads made it into the top 10, with ITV’s Apart. But Never Alone, featuring celebrities Gordon Ramsay and Davina McCall urging people to stay at home, finishing fourth ahead of the NHS’ Stay At Home and Jack Daniels’ With Love, Jack. Another ad from Google — Thank You Healthcare Workers — is the only US campaign to make it into the top 10. The highest-ranked German ad is BfG’s Danke für Ihre Unterstützung in twentieth place.

Most Emotionally Engaging Coronavirus Campaigns

To create its rankings, Unruly analysed the emotional responses of 18,499 global consumers to 52 coronavirus campaign ads around the world using its content measurement tool, UnrulyEQ.

Sourced from Unruly