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Comedy or Tragedy? Sentimental Reactions to TurboTax’s Spot "Millionaire?" Spell Shakespearean “Tragicomedy”

TurboTax Debuts New "Millionaire?" Commercial Ahead of Super Bowl LVI

TurboTax Debuts New "Millionaire?" Commercial Ahead of Super Bowl LVI

Revealing Pregame Sentimental Intelligence via EmotionTrac Test

BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, February 7, 2022 / -- If William Shakespeare was writing his review of TurboTax’s new "Millionaire?" spot, he would have undoubtedly dubbed it a “Tragicomedy.” That’s the genre name given to a Narrative that arouses both Happy and Downbeat sentiments at the same time. In this Super Bowl spot created by Weiden + Kennedy, we see creative depictions of tax filing challenges among newer pandemic-era occupations, such as this man, experiencing the volatile nature of cryptocurrency as he vacillates between believing he is a millionaire and finding out that he isn't one. The main message communicated is that TurboTax wants you to know they “have you covered” regardless of how bizarre your earning can be. The tone and manner of the spot is meant to produce good humor, and it does, as we track the audience laughing throughout. Viewers resonate with the tone, manner, and format of the commercial. Moreover, our Brand Appeal Metric trends significantly higher than our benchmark and further, Brand Recall is also excellent.

Remarkedly, we have found that for all the good vibes the spot generates, we saw a serious Red Flag regarding viewers’ sentimental reactions and takeaway. So, while people may be giggling on the outside, their subconscious/passive reactions reveal a different story. In our data deep dive, we noted in fact, how the commercial compels an array of negative undertones and “fears” typically associated with tax-paying, and none of them fall away, even with humorous content and direction. Unfortunately, these negative emotional associations account for the dominant reactions of viewers, Men and Women alike.

The sentiments which trended most often above our benchmarks imply that viewers found humor in the messaging, however, the spot did little to allay authentic fears and negativity associated with tax-paying scenarios. Specifically, the emotions that were most impacted speak to tax paying pain and “tragic” emotions. They were Sadness, Bittersweet, Despair, Remorse, Shock, and Disapproval. Now, while the emotional complexities of paying taxes may never be positive, producing a spot that makes viewers feel that they are “protected” from the emotional evils of tax season could earn TurboTax a most inevitable position in the digital tax-paying landscape.

These results clearly confirm the urgency to “test before you spend.” Why wait until after the Super Bowl to find out whether consumers liked your commercial?”; said Aaron Itzkowitz, EmotionTrac’s CEO. “It’s the one day a year where people actually engage in the ads, so it would make sense to assess the ads beforehand.”

Shelli Garson, Director of Insights, who has spent 25 years at agencies like Saatchi, Bates, Ayer, and McCann, likes to stress that “this tool is the deepest diving, most emotionally revealing, economical and quickest way to collect critical quantitative data that informs creative development and placement.”

With $6.5 million being spent on a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl LVI and an average total ad cost of more than $10 million, collecting valuable insights prior to spending significant advertising dollars is critical to the success of any ad campaign. Upon completing a test with EmotionTrac, the advertiser holds the critical insights as to whether to go ahead with advertising as is or to review, perfect and re-test until they achieve the best results.

About EmotionTrac:
EmotionTrac, which developed an AI Facial Coding Analysis platform, performed an independent test of the TurboTax ad using their CampaignTester mobile app. The panel audience, consisting of both men and women equally, has them opt-in to allow the front-facing camera of their device to collect their subconscious emotional reactions to the commercial content. Through artificial intelligence emotion recognition, EmotionTrac then interprets the micro facial expressions using an array of 20 different sentiments collected, by frame. Beyond capturing authentic Emotional Intelligence, the tool also reports Appeal, Brand Recall, Attention, Brand Intent, Humor, Immersion, Social Media Value, and Curiosity, among other key metrics.

Ebony Hunter
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