Peeks Remix: Do Audiences Agree with Marketers on the Most Effective TV Ads?


  • Our Peeks Report surfaced numerous insights on how marketers view effective TV advertisements in 2022.
  • The report found marketers overwhelmingly enjoy funny, inspiring, and functional ads – especially in electronics.
  • This Peeks Remix cross-checks our findings from marketing professionals against studies on the types of TV ads consumers love to see.
  • What we discovered is that marketers and consumers share far more in common than you may think in how they view effective TV advertising.

MNTN Research recently released our first Peeks Report, which shared the findings of a poll that asked marketers a simple question: 

What’s the most effective TV ad you’ve ever seen, and why? 

The results of the study shed light on what marketing professionals inherently want to see when they turn on their TV sets. Overwhelmingly marketers absolutely love funny and inspiring ads. Of the total answers, 41% of respondents cited funny ads as their favorite, followed by inspiring (16%) and functional (13%).

Functional ads landing in third did somewhat surprise our CTV statisticians, but we’re not shocked that funny ads led the pack. Leveraging humor in ad creative is a surefire way to engage audiences and surreptitiously pack value props into a spot that can be as short as fifteen-seconds long. And with people from all walks of life looking for a laugh wherever they can nowadays, it makes sense that we’re naturally gravitating towards ads that tickle our collective funny bones.

The second part of the study looked at marketers favorite ads, but refined by industry. The top three cited by marketers are consumer electronics, fast food, and candy brands – all of which accounted for nearly one-third of the total answers.

The data gathered from the surveyed marketers are solid gold insights that reinforce much of what we’re seeing created in adland today. But as much as they don’t want to admit it, marketing professionals aren’t always representative of the average person. We here at MNTN Research started to wonder if the sentiments surfaced in the Peeks Report were shared by consumers, as well.

To answer that question, we’ve pulled in additional research to remix the results of our first Peeks Report to find out how much consumers agree with marketing professionals on what’s the most effective TV ad they’ve seen. 

Here’s what we discovered.

Favorite Ads, by Theme

A 2021 study from Statista on the kinds of brand messages that appealed to US consumers found that:

  • 57% of US consumers enjoy humorous messages
  • 47% US consumers enjoy motivational messages
  • 35% US consumers enjoy educational messages
  • 34% US consumers enjoy thought-provoking messages
  • 34% US consumers enjoy reassuring messages

Right off the bat you can see consumers hold the same sentiment about messages as marketing professionals hold about themes: humor reigns supreme. If there is one thing you should take away from quite possibly everything we discuss regarding creative, it’s that people don’t hate ads if they find them funny.

But as we continued cross-checking our Peeks Report with this Statista study, the correlations went beyond just humor. 47% of consumers in the Statista study enjoyed motivational messages, which instigates similar emotional resonance as the inspiring and powerful ads cited by marketers in the Peeks Report. 

In a similar vein, Statista found 35% of consumers enjoy educational messages, which corresponds with the insightful and functional ads marketers mentioned. For context, we define functional ads as ones that are direct in conveying what the product is, how it works, and why it’s useful. That’s educational ad content in its purest form.

But the ad’s message is only one aspect of what makes the creative compelling. You must also take into consideration what consumers expect an ad to accomplish. It’s here where the sentiments consumers and marketers hold over what makes an effective TV ad begins to diverge. According to a study from MarketingCharts, consumers want an ad to:

  • Give Me Product Info – 49.7%
  • Provide discounts/offers – 39.9%
  • Be Entertaining – 38.6%
  • Teach me something new – 33.3%
  • Make me laugh – 28.9%

Just like with the Statista report, the correlations are evident, but with one big difference. Consumers may still expect laughs and entertainment–again cementing the importance of humor in creative–but they want the ads to be educational and functional above all else, offering information on the product that can teach them something new. 

Synthesizing these two studies together highlight the need to leverage informational content and humorous content in tandem to deliver the most effective TV ad to your audience. This may sound like you are restricting yourself to certain parameters, but think of it as unlocking immense creative freedom. If you’re threading humor into education, you have the opportunity to be bold and quirky in the ways you convey information about your product, which can be a key differentiator between you and the competition.

Favorite Ads, by Industry

According to a 2018 study from data insight firm Clutch, consumers overwhelmingly enjoy ads in:

  • Food/Bev – 80%
  • Fashion/Beauty – 49%
  • Travel/Leisure – 48%
  • Sports/Entertainment – 37%
  • Technology – 36%

The insights Clutch found again matches up with the learnings our Peeks Report discovered. Fast food, candy, beer, and soft drinks were four of the top six industries that marketing professionals cited as their favorite in our findings. It’s no wonder then that food, drink, and restaurants also lead the list by such a large margin in Clutch’s consumer focused survey. 

Despite fashion, health, and beauty being a distant second, it still correlates with one of the top six categories represented in the Peeks Report: athletic apparel. If fashion/health/beauty and sports/entertainment were a venn diagram, athletic apparel would be at the center. Our Peeks survey respondents may have offered a more refined answer, but it still speaks to the sentiment that all consumers positively respond to ads that involve clothing and athletic activity.

The biggest divergence though is with technology. In our Peeks Report, consumer electronics topped the list. However, the Clutch survey shows technology is not held quite as high in the minds of consumers’ as they are in marketers. By the very nature of their work, marketers are constantly hooked into the latest trends the tech world has to offer, so an outsized focus on this area isn’t altogether surprising. Comparing these two findings together illuminates a simple lesson all advertisers should get into their bones: modern tech trends aren’t always relevant to the lives of consumers as they are to marketing professionals.


No matter which way you remix it, the findings come out the same. Consumers and marketing professionals alike both share similar sentiments on just what makes a TV ad so effective. We all enjoy commercials that make us laugh, or motivate us to do something. But we also go all-in on functional ads that clearly educate us about a product–and maybe even teach us something new in the process. While we may not hold tech and electronics at the same level of importance, we can all agree on one thing: nothing is better than an ad for our favorite candy bar or soft drink.

What these findings ultimately reinforce is that marketers and advertisers should trust their gut instincts when strategizing and concepting ad creative for their next CTV advertising campaign. You know more than you think you do about what resonates with your target audience. That’s because consumers and marketing professionals have a lot more in common than the other may think when it comes to their feelings over what TV ads are the most engaging.

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