August 4th, 2014

Baskin-Robbins Scoops Up Brand to Watch


Ace Metrix


Baskin-Robbins is on an unprecedented roll when it comes to television advertising, which is why we have selected them as our Brand to Watch this month. The brand has been a consumer favorite since it debuted the slogan “31 Flavors” in 1953, but its recent work is what has us all abuzz. Baskin-Robbins has led the way in QSR advertising for over two years now – taking the title in our BLACKBOOK rankings in 2012 and 2013 while posting nothing but top quintile work thus far in 2014, even flirting with a 700 back in April. To provide context, the 90-day rolling norm for QSR is 592 and includes over 120 ads.

What is perhaps even more impressive is that Baskin-Robbins has pushed these high scores with a series of 0:15 spots. While QSR reacts a little differently than other categories when it comes to shorter copy lengths, it is still harder to make a great ad in that timeframe based on our extensive data set.

Not for Baskin-Robbins, however; it only makes 0:15 ads and, as evidenced by its performance, they may have something to teach its competitors about the shorter format. Thankfully, for them, our data reveals some key patterns in Baskin-Robbins’ advertising that provide clues to its frothy performance.

First off, these highly visual ads focus on the product. We ask a question on every ad that seeks to identify the defining characteristics of the creative. While certain brands have a portfolio of creative that hits on different objectives, Baskin-Robbins is rather straightforward: Product + Visuals. Looking at the data, we see a disproportionate number of responses focused on the ice cream or beverages and how they were presented:

While those patterns reflect the consistency of its advertising approach, what we also see is consistency in how audiences consume those tasty visual treats. The 2014-bucket of Baskin-Robbins ads skew older and lower income pretty consistently:

What we see in the verbatims (over 1,500 of them) is that laser focus on the product and how it looks. “Ice Cream” swallows 24% of the responses but is complimented by toppings “delicious” (5%), “yummy” (7%) and “want” (12%).

The “want” score (701) reflects what we see in the component scores of all five ads, Desire scores that are north of 700 – a rarity for any component, much less Desire. Scoop on a healthy dose of Likeability and Attention (traditionally very hard in a 0:15) and you have a recipe for our Brand to Watch.

For more information on the QSR category or to nominate a Brand to Watch, hit us up at


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