Author

Ashley Kelly

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

May 2019

Department

Communications

First Advisor

Lauren Torlone

Abstract

Over the past few years, many advertisements, from commercials to television, radio, print and digital have had a socio-political or humanitarian aspect to them. Commercials during various Super Bowls have focused on immigration, diversity, overcoming obstacles and more. This study will investigate whether these types of advertisements affect a brand’s sales and public perception, be it positively, negatively, neutrally or a combination of these.

My hypothesis states that these advertisements elicit strong emotions from consumers, which in turn impacts a brand’s sales and public perception. To test this, I designed and sent out a survey via Facebook showcasing three advertisements: Coca-Cola’s "Together is Beautiful" commercial, which aired both during the 2014 Super Bowl and before the 2017 Super Bowl; Oreo’s "Pride" social media image, which was released in 2012: and Ram’s "Built to Serve" commercial, which aired during the 2018 Super Bowl. The survey included demographic questions as well as questions about each commercial, such as "did you think the commercial was effective?" and "after viewing this image, would you be more willing to buy from this brand?" Results were then examined to see if consumers felt positively, negatively or neutrally towards these advertisements, and whether these emotions affected these brands’ sales and public perceptions.

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