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8 Funny Ads Put to the Test: How Many Were Remembered?

As consumers, we want short and entertaining commercials. However, we also realize advertisements are meant to sell products. Funny ads can be a great way for the advertiser to hook consumers’ interest and ultimately get their product into the consumers’ hands. Sometimes though, the advertisers’ message gets lost in a fit of giggles and tears.

To discover if funny ads are still doing their job, I set out to test the effectiveness of some of my favorite funny commercials with a small office experiment.

  • First, I got together some funny ads.
  • Next, I put them together into one video about the length of a moderate commercial break (just under 5 minutes).
  • I also included a clip of a funny television show and put it all together to simulate an advertiser’s ideal situation: someone who actually watches the entire commercial break in their favorite TV show.
  • Finally, after a few minutes of watching TV, I quizzed my co-workers on what they remembered from the commercial break, namely which ads they could recall and what they advertised.

I surveyed QLPers: 3 guys and 3 girls.

Below are the 8 commercials tested:

1: Pepsi Max: “Job Interview”

Ad remembered: 5/6
Product remembered: 3/6
Ad seen before: 1/6

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2: Bud Light: “Awkward Tan”

Ad remembered: 3/6
Product remembered: 3/6
Ad seen before: 1/6

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3: Best Buy: “Beiber vs Ozzy”

Ad remembered: 4/6
Product remembered: 3/6
Ad seen before: 4/6

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4: Ameriquest: “Don’t Judge Too Quickly”

Ad remembered: 4/6
Product remembered: 2/6
Ad seen before: 1/6

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5: Budweiser: “Cheating Boyfriend”

Ad remembered: 3/6
Product remembered: 3/6
Ad seen before: 1/6

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6: Samsung: “El Plato Supreme”

Ad remembered: 3/6
Product remembered: 2/6
Ad seen before: 4/6

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7: Athena’s Feta: “Devil Machine”

Ad remembered: 2/6
Product remembered: 2/6
Ad seen before: 1/6

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8: Mercedes- Benz: “Beauty without Brains”

Ad remembered: 2/6
Product remembered: 2/6
Ad seen before: 1/6

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Honestly, after seeing how many commercials and products were remembered by my co-workers, I was a little surprised. I had first thought most of the products wouldn’t be remembered because of the often abstract connection between what was happening in the commercial and the product advertised.

Intrigued by this, I tried to find a connection between these commercials and tips for creating effective commercials. First I read this guide from Cox Media. After tallying several different factors such as whether the commercial included a call to action or whether the script was directly related to the product, I found no correlation whatsoever.

I was disappointed and baffled that these tips from the pros didn’t seem to have anything to do with the commercials’ success.

Next I decided to go to the other end of the spectrum, and analyzed the commercials with FedEx’s advice from their “10 Items Needed for a Great Super Bowl Commercial” ad.

  1. Celebrity
  2. Animal
  3. Dancing animal
  4. Cute kid
  5. Groin kick
  6. Talking animal
  7. Attractive females
  8. Product message
  9. Famous pop song
  10. Bonus ending

After charting which of the ten items my funny commercials had and putting that next to how often they were remembered, I was surprised to find there seemed to be a correlation. Aside from the very first ad for Pepsi that was shown in my mock commercial break, the more items a commercial had of FedEx’s list, the better it was remembered.

Perhaps if these commercials had also included a groin kick and a talking animal they would have been remembered by everyone.

So you think the results are accurate Which commercial is your favorite? Why do you think people remembered the products of these commercials? Has there ever been a commercial you loved but could never remember what it advertised?

Expand Your Brand!



Julie Mussared

Julie enjoys almost any creative outlet and isn't afraid to show off her geeky side. She can't help but love puns and witty banter, and she appreciates a well-crafted advertisement. She is a super fan of the Georgia Rae Family Band. Currently, Julie is looking for new ways to improve her Japanese.

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