In a world where it's easy to avoid commercials, there's no reason to watch them, said Schwartz, "other than if it catches my eye and seems interesting." That requires images that are "compelling and artful," he said.
And the choice of voiceover is critical. Downey was selected from an initial list of 25 candidates. The narrator had to convey numerous attributes associated with the brand, including confidence, leadership and "a sense of humanity," Schwartz said.
But while the Downey ad scored well with Ace panelists who were asked about it, the ad's viral potential appears limited. Since its debut in August, it has only had about 30,000 views on YouTube, per Schwartz. Interestingly another new Nissan spot in the quarter, which follows the journey of a polar bear in search of an eco-minded Nissan hybrid owner, knocked it out of the park on YouTube, with over 800,000 views in just three weeks. But "Polar Bear" didn't make it to Ace's top 50 list.
"I'm grateful for the 30,000," said Schwartz of the views to the "Innovations" ad with Downey. "But at the end of the day people share stories, and don't necessarily share product information, although the latter may be motivational.
So the learning is you can't just rely on one form of communication. It can't just be fun stories but a combination of fun stories and very compelling product."
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