Three-quarters of TV ads for business-to-business brands drive no long-term growth, according to a study by The B2B Institute, a think tank supported by LinkedIn, and System1, the research firm.

Why it matters

Business-to-business advertising often relies on rational communications, which are assumed to be well-suited to high-priced purchases made on a long cycle. These presumptions, however, do not take into account the powerful emotions underlying purchases, or that shape responses to advertising.


  • Based on a sample of over 2,000 spots in System1’s ad-ratings database, it was discovered that 75% of B2B ads fail to drive meaningful growth, and scored one star on a five-star spectrum.
  • These failings typically result as the messaging achieves minimal emotional resonance with the audience.
  • While the standard of B2B creative on TV is low, that gives the brands that achieve true breakthrough messaging the chance to boost their business.

The big idea

“This is really a massive opportunity … to turn your one-star ads into five-star ads – or, if you have five star ads already, it’s [an opportunity] to run them for a long period of time” – Jon Lombardo, global lead, The B2B Institute.

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