What Makes an Effective Pizza Ad?

A few seconds can make or break a thirty-second spot: a lesson Marriott School marketing professor Mike Bond learned on the job while editing a Marie Callender’s commercial. Without a two-second shot of a hand scooping up potatoes and meat with a fork, the commercial’s effectiveness dropped a drastic 20 percent.

So what in an advertisement convinces viewers to cash in? According to research by Bond and fellow professor Ryan Elder, ads that help viewers visualize themselves using the product are more effective. The shot of the fork digging into the meal helped viewers imagine themselves eating, moving them one step closer to buying the product.

You can test out the professors’ research for yourself with these pizza commercials. Which one has you drooling for a slice?



A less culinary kind of example is Nike’s Find Your Greatness campaign. Professor Bond says their portrayals of kids working toward their athletic dreams taps into viewers’ emotions by highlighting challenges they have all experienced.

“Each ad has to break through the clutter,” Bond says. “A story or emotion that stands out from the world will grab people’s attention and help compel them to act.”



For more insights on the process behind today’s advertisements, read“Side Effects”  in the Winter 2014 issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine.