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The Crypto Bowl: How Crypto Exchange Super Bowl Ads Affected Awareness and Brand Preference

February 24th, 2022 Comments off

As usual, there was almost as much hype about the ads in the Super Bowl this year as there was about the game itself.  And one of the advertising storylines this year centered around Cryptocurrency Exchange ads.  This represented a coming-out party for Crypto Exchanges on the year’s biggest advertising stage.

While the four Crypto Exchange ads were superseded by the number of ads in some of the more traditional Super Bowl ad categories (automobile companies led the way with 7 spots), they still managed to steal much of the pre and post-game discussion about the advertising.  However, to a large extent the verdict was less than positive.

At Yahoo! Sports, Liz Roscher provided commentary and grades on all the big game’s ads.  While garnering some positive comments from Roscher, the FTX spot featuring Larry David only managed a D grade.  However, that made it the winner of the Crypto Exchange category as the other three spots all received an F.

Over at USA Today, Super Bowl ad meter results were based on the ratings of nearly 150,000 panelists.  The final tally again showed FTX as the leader in the Crypto Exchange category, with the brand’s Larry David spot finishing a very respectable 17th out of a total of 66 rated ads.  Crypto.com rode LeBron James to a mediocre 49th place overall, while eToro only avoided last place due to even fewer viewers liking the somewhat head-scratching bouncing QR-code approach taken by CoinBase.

While ratings are fun, ultimately the true measure of the success of an advertisement comes from what the ad does to bolster the business results of the brand itself.  MSW’s TBSM tracker incorporated the Crypto Exchange category in January, which provided a baseline read on the brands in the category.  Then the survey was run again in the week after the Super Bowl, with an aided advertising awareness question added at the end of the survey.  What were the results?

The 71% of respondents who indicated they had watched the Super Bowl were asked if they remembered seeing any ads for Cryptocurrency Exchange brands during the Super Bowl and if so, they were asked to indicate which brands they saw an ad for out of a list of 13 major Crypto Exchange platforms.   The ghost awareness level (average misattribution to unadvertised brands) was 10%.  All the advertised brands were able to comfortably surpass this level with the exception of eToro at only 10.4%.

It is also interesting to note that while claimed advertising awareness levels for Coinbase, Crypto.com and eToro are all highest among respondents aged 18 to 34, FTX really popped among those aged 35 to 54.  In fact, FTX ad awareness of 23.9% among those aged 35 to 54 more than doubled the level among the younger age group.  Chalk that up to the Larry David effect!

Next, the survey results showed an overall lifting of brand awareness levels for the entire category in the week after the Super Bowl versus the January baseline.  But the advertised brands in particular saw a very strong lift in the level of aided brand awareness.

However, the key metric collected by the TBSM survey is brand preference.  This metric has been shown to be strongly related to actual market share and

it underpins most of MSW Research’s primary research methodologies since movement in Brand Preference is validated and proven to corelate to actual in-market business results.  So, while awareness can certainly indicate that the advertising was having an effect, the true winner is that brand that sees the strongest movement in share of Brand Preference.

While all the advertised brands saw at least some level of positive movement in Brand Preference, FTX again is the winner with a jump in Brand Preference of 2.6 percentage points.  Again, this gain was driven by respondents aged 35 to 54 among whom FTX realized a Brand Preference gain of 4.3 percentage points.

Beyond the effect on the individual brands, these high-profile advertisements can have an effect on the category itself, particularly given the nascent nature of the Crypto Exchange category.  One sign of this can be seen in claimed category participation.  The percent of respondents claiming to not be buyers or sellers of cryptocurrency dropped 6 percentage points to 37% in the post-Super Bowl read.

In addition, there is evidence that the advertising and associated hype had a positive effect on branding in the category.  The TBSM survey asks respondents to select the one characteristic (from a list of eight choices) that is most important in deciding on a method to buy or sell cryptocurrency.  The only item to gain, with an increase of 4 percentage points, was “From a Brand I Trust.”

Despite the snap reviews of the Super Bowl Crypto Exchange ads which were not favorable, to say the least, TBSM tracking data suggests the advertising has been effective at raising awareness and building brands in the category.  This is particularly the case for FTX.  And the use of Larry David as spokesperson – that could never be wrong!

please contact us for more information on the MSW TBSM survey and what it can reveal in your category.

Streaming Services Deep Dive… | The Brand Strength Monitor / RDE Chart of the Week | Pre/Post Pandemic Penetration and Usage

June 22nd, 2021 Comments off

In our last Chart of the Week we started looking at the Subscription Video Streaming Services category and specifically the pandemic winner – HBO Max.  This week we’re taking a deep dive and examining the Pre/Post Pandemic Penetration and Usage by demographics.

The MSW TBSM tracking service measures category penetration and level of usage as one component of the survey.  A comparison of results taken before the beginning of the pandemic to a comparable assessment from May 2021 reveals explosive growth in the Subscription Streaming Video Services category.

  • Overall, category penetration increased from 75.4% to 86.6%, which represents a 15% increase.  Moreover, claimed heavy usage increased by over half during the pandemic, from 18.5% before the outbreak to 29.2% in May 2021.  Clearly, as a result of spending much more time at home during the pandemic, people were turning to video entertainment.

 

  • Those demographic groups which have seen particularly large gains include:
    • Women, with heavy usage of streaming video services more than doubling.
    • Age 55 Plus, which had the lowest pre-pandemic penetration, but closed the gap substantially, reaching penetration of 70% in the latest reading.
    • Below Median Income, clearly also looking for entertainment options and perhaps enticed by some of the newer services, particularly lower cost “basic” plans.

 

  • Clearly these results are consistent with the surge in subscription levels reported by the major subscription streaming video services for 2020:
    • Netflix added 37 million new subscribers worldwide in 2020 – easily the largest annual increase since expanding into video streaming 14 years ago.
    • Hulu added 9 million new subscriptions, a 29.6% year-over-year increase.
    • While Disney+ debuted with very strong numbers pre-pandemic, growth continued to surge through the pandemic. The service hit 100 million subscribers in March 2021; a remarkable feat for a service just over a year old which initially hoped to reach 60 to 90 million subscribers by 2024.
    • At the end of the first quarter of 2021, HBO and HBO Max totaled 44.2 million domestic subscribers – far exceeding the 33.1 million subscribers a year ago (before HBO Max).

 

While subscriber growth is seen to be slowing with the easing of the pandemic, it is clear the pandemic accelerated the trend toward the use of streaming services, particularly among those groups which had been slower to adopt the technology.

 

| The Brand Strength Monitor / RDE Chart of the Week | HBO MAX: Pandemic Winner

June 9th, 2021 Comments off

MSW’s RDE Analytic Framework rests on a study that found that three equity dimensions (Relevance, Differentiation, Emotion) are responsible for driving a significant portion of brand growth. The RDE composite strongly relates to – and helps explain – CCPreference which itself is a validated predictor of market share.

Comparing RDE Assessment taken before the pandemic to comparable assessment from May 2021 reveals one brand in the Subscription Video Streaming Services category that has emerged as a winner – HBO Max.

  • HBO Max was launched in May 2020 well after the COVID pandemic was underway. It essentially replaced the previous HBO streaming service, HBO Now, but with a huge amount of new content from a variety of WarnerMedia brands.
  • Despite RDE levels being generally depressed as a result of the pandemic, HBO Max RDE levels easily surpass HBO Now pre-pandemic levels.
    • HBO Max easily outstrips HBO Now on all three RDE dimensions.
    • HBO Max is particularly strong in terms of relevance meaning that SVOD consumers feel that the HBO Max service is for someone like them.

  • HBO Max also far exceeds HBO Now in terms of CCPreference – the percent of consumers preferring HBO Max over competitors in the subscription streaming services category. This suggests that HBO Max should be performing well in the marketplace. How has it done?
  • HBO Max’s strength is its large and varied TV and movie catalog. In addition, Warner Brothers has been releasing its 2021 movies on HBO Max simultaneous with the theatrical release which has proven very popular.
    • At the end of the first quarter of 2021, HBO and HBO Max totaled 44.2 million domestic subscribers – far exceeding the 33.1 million subscribers a year ago (before HBO Max).
    • A report from Reelgood indicated HBO’s share of streaming activity rose from 2.0% in Q1 of 2020 (pre-HBO Max) to 12% in Q4 2020, placing HBO Max ahead of Disney+ and behind only Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu.
  • This success – mirrored by extremely strong CCPreference growth – has come despite a soft launch which slowly added support for many popular streaming devices, the COVID pandemic and accompanying economic downturn, and ever-increasing competition in the streaming video space.

The RDE composite is strongly related to brand preference in this category, with a correlation of 0.96