Canadian women award gold, silver and bronze to favourite Olympic ads

TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - With the Olympic Games well into their second week and TV airwaves filled with Olympic-themed ads, Canadian women have awarded their gold, silver and bronze medals to those that stand out as their most memorable so far.

In a couch session conducted by Harbinger with women ranging from 24 to 63 years of age, participants were asked to review and rank some of the top Olympic themed ads being broadcast in Canada during the Games. P&G's Thank You, Mom – Strong emerged as their most memorable, followed by Samsung's The Anthem and Sport Chek's Olympic Manifesto.

Results of the session are consistent with learning from a new Harbinger survey of Canadians that found women (39%) are more likely than men (27%) to like ads that feature stories about athletes and/or their families. Women (35%) are also more likely than men (25%) to say ads are more memorable if they celebrate people coming together. Men (20%) are more likely than women (13%) to say ads that feature their favourite sport are more memorable.

Qualities of a winning ad

"One constant we saw among all of the top ads is that they contain underlying themes that speak to women's own values and experiences with messages that transcend the Olympics themselves," says Deborah Adams, senior vice president and managing director, Harbinger. "For example, Sport Chek's Olympic Manifesto appealed to a number of women during our couch session by showing failure as a natural part of life, but connected most with those who had also been athletes themselves," says Adams.

Couch session participant, Melissa, 24, of Toronto says the Thank You, Mom – Strong ad was most memorable for her because it speaks to the role a mother's support and encouragement plays in helping our dreams come true. Carol, 61, also of Toronto, felt Samsung's The Anthem effectively makes a connection between the company, the product and humanistic values that unite us all.

What women are watching

Consistent with the survey findings around qualities that make Olympic ads most memorable with women are the elements of Olympic TV coverage women are most likely to watch. Women tend to prefer Olympic ceremonies, while men prefer to watch the events themselves.

When asked to choose their favourite parts of Olympic TV coverage, women (58%) were far more likely than men (47%) to mention the opening and closing ceremonies. Women (35%) were also more likely than men (28%) to enjoy watching medal ceremonies for Canadians.

On the other hand, men (55%) were more likely than women (46%) to enjoy watching their favourite sports and also more likely than women to enjoy watching finals for any sport (49% of men vs. 39% of women).

"Overall, we saw a definite connection between what we learned in the survey about the nature of Olympic ads that are most likely to connect with women and the actual ads that emerged as favourites among participants in our couch session," says Adams.  

Links to ads mentioned in this release:

Research methodology

From August 3rd to August 4th, 2016 an online survey was conducted among 1,514 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada.

On August 10, 2016 a couch session was held with women ages 24 to 63 during which participants were asked to view a selection of nine Olympic-related ads appearing on Canadian television and/or available for online viewing in Canada.

About Harbinger

For more than 25 years Harbinger has been focused on helping marketers understand, reach and connect with women. The agency has a broad range of clients spanning a variety of consumer goods and services.

SOURCE Harbinger Communications Inc.

For further information: For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Samantha Detwiler or Sierra Koitses, Harbinger,,, (416) 960-5100


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