Magazine article American Banker

Paging Peyton - Clever Ads Work Best, Survey Finds

Magazine article American Banker

Paging Peyton - Clever Ads Work Best, Survey Finds

Article excerpt

Credit card advertisements that are both funny and clever give issuers a better return on their investment than those that are just funny, a marketing executive said.

"How you use humor can leave an impression on the consumer. Clever is more important than humorous," said Paul Zeman, a vice president of the communication and brand analytics practice at Phoenix Marketing International.

Since June 2005, his privately held Rhinebeck, N.Y., company has been ranking card issuers' television, radio, print, and online ads by their effectiveness. Its clients, which include issuers and networks, use the rankings to assess how their ads fare in comparison with those of their competitors, Mr. Zeman said in an interview last week.

Each month Phoenix surveys 2,000 random consumers, all of whom are older than 21 and have at least one card and a household income of at least $25,000.

Two scores are used to determine the rankings. An "in-market" score is based on how many people remember the ad, whether it improved their impression of the brand, and whether it persuaded them at least to consider applying for the card. A "creative" score measures how informative, relevant, and clever the respondents found the ads to be. The highest possible score in each category is 200.

Mr. Zeman said some ads could receive high creative scores but low market scores because they did not get enough air time for many people to remember them.

This year ads featuring celebrities have scored well in Phoenix's surveys. In the February survey, the most recent one, an American Express Co. …

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