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Hits with TV viewers: kid who cons Dad, toddler who can speak a mouthful and a flirty little girl

Ilove it when a kid cons her old man out of some money. Apparently a lot of people do, at least when the con is played as part of a commercial.

A Dairy Queen TV spot shows a little girl who has built a fort in her living room. That’s what Dad calls it, but she tells him it’s really a Dairy Queen restaurant. In that case, he says, he’d like to order a Blizzard. She gives him one. He asks for a hot dog, and she gives him that, too. Then she makes him pay for the meal.

Amazed, Dad rushes into the kitchen to tell his wife what just happened. But she’s on the phone, and she hurriedly tells him that she stopped at Dairy Queen to get him his favorites. Dad’s been duped.

The spot was the most-liked new restaurant ad that broke during the second quarter, as tracked by Nielsen IAG Research. It had a likeability score of 161, meaning it was 61 percent better-liked than the average new commercial for a restaurant during the quarter.

Three Dairy Queen commercials made the top five most-liked ads. In third place was an ad showing a girl flirting with a boy inside a Dairy Queen. The fourth-place spot shows parents who want their toddler to say “antidisestablishmentarianism” in order to get a taste of their Waffle Bowl treats. Do I even have to tell you that the kid obliges?

The spots have a true “campaign feel” about them and not only entertain viewers but also give them a “solid reason” to go to Dairy Queen, said Dan Dahlen, executive vice president of the restaurant business group of Nielsen IAG Research.

A Denny’s spot for “Build Your Own Grand Slam” finished second. Actor Tony Sirico, who played the gangster Paulie Walnuts in “The Sopranos” and is the family-dining chain’s ad spokesman, yanks down a competitor’s sign, which advertises an “Ultimate Breakfast.”

Fifth place went to Red Lobster for a commercial on shrimp, which the chain serves in various ways.

Leaving the Denny’s and Red Lobster spots aside, the common thread in the Dairy Queen spots is children, and for a good reason.

“Young kids appeal to a wide range of people, not just parents or mothers,” Dahlen said.

Nielsen IAG also tracks most-recalled ads, and Dahlen noticed a trend that began with new ads that broke in the first quarter.

It’s “leveraging the brand in a very unusual situation,” he said.

An example is a spot for Taco Bell’s Bacon Club Chalupa, which broke in the second quarter and was the third most-recalled restaurant commercial. Two women sit at a bar, and one has the chalupa hidden in her purse because “guys love bacon.” Sure enough, the women are soon surrounded by a group of attractive guys.

A commercial for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Spirits was the second most-recalled ad, which featured a tour through the chain’s “Department of Deliciousness.” It has an electric fence and an invisible wall to keep people from stealing the products.

The commercial is part of a campaign that broke last year, and the creative execution “holds together from commercial to commercial,” Dahlen said. This was either the first time Red Robin made the top five or at least the first time in quite a while, he said.

The most-recalled spot for the second quarter was the Pizza Hut hidden-camera commercial for the chain’s Tuscani pastas.

The Dairy Queen spot with the precocious toddler also was the fourth most-recalled commercial.

The lesson is obvious: If you want consumers to like and remember your commercials, cast a kid in them whenever you can.

TAGS: Marketing News
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