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Case #2 – Jumbo

Welcome to the second Case in “Neuromarketing & ad effectiveness”. After having reviewed Albert Heijn, we’ll now research the TV Commercial (TVC) of AH’s largest competitor: Jumbo. Their TVC’s are know for their cast and its humor. What can we learn when testing this summer commercial?


This week, we will delve into the video advertisement of Jumbo, the runner up in the Dutch supermarket landscape. Their 35-second TV commercial is called ‘Together, we’ll make it a beautiful summer’ (translated), and shows a family of five, setting up a camping spot in their own backyard. You can view a screen-recording of one of the participating viewers of the neuro-video test can be found here

Things Jumbo did well 

Jumbo TV Commercial Neuromarketing TVC pre-testing

1. Ensuring pattern recognition

    From the moment that lead actor (Frank Lammers) appeared on screen, attention peaked and frustration decreased, showing that viewers immediately recognized the actor. Some reported that they already wondered whether it would be a Jumbo commercial, indicating that the actor is a strong asset / brand cue for Jumbo. This phenomenon is also known as “pattern recognition”, the cognitive process in which information from a stimulus is connected to information retrieved from memory. The fact that recognition occurred early on in the commercial, kick-started the opening scene with a positive emotional experience.  

    2. Causing confusion

    In the first scene, the lead actor made an intellectual joke that not all participants seemed to grasp. As a result, their ‘holiday destination’ remained unclear to some of the viewers. Data showed that this uncertainty evoked curiosity. The associated neuro-feedback indicated that the caravan backing up on the driveway and into the backyard caused confusion. However, deliberately causing confusion proved to be effective, as attention levels went up; sending viewers in the wrong direction worked well. 

    Jumbo commercial TVC-pre-testing
    TVC Jumbo commercial pre-testing

    3. Priming

    Another clever trick was applied when attention was drawn to the salad bowl, in which the mom found a badminton shuttle. A pack of croutons with Jumbo packaging was placed in front of the bowl. Although the product was presented in a subtle manner, eye-tracking data showed that it did catch viewers’ attention. By doing this, a bridge is built between the commercial and the action of the consumer (buying Jumbo-products in their store). The human brain automatically establishes a subconscious connection between the warm, holiday feeling and purchasing the right products for that setting.

    Even better if…

    Jumbo did a good job in creating a humorous summer commercial that people can relate to. The fact that the ‘Hintergarten’ joke was not understood by everyone, appeared not to be an issue; for all viewers, attention was affected in a positive way. Furthermore, the familiar actors and subtle product placement ensure that the Jumbo brand connection is locked in. On the closing scene however, Jumbo could have done a lot better:

    TVC Jumbo commercial neuromarketing_pre-testing

    The Devil is in the details…

    Whereas the commercial contained a solid chain of interesting events, the closing scene seems to be the weakest link. Eye-tracking shows that the focus of the viewers was scattered during this particular scene. Also, EEG data shows that there were no significant emotional uplifts and that attention levels remained relatively low. This combination indicates that the closing scene didn’t capture the viewer’s attention well enough; it didn’t make a significant impact. Neurofeedback confirmed this assumption.


    If Jumbo would have had these insights prior to launch, it would have been easier to create a strong TV commercial with a captivating ending with a better brand message. To improve the final shot, a practical suggestion would be to limit the number of moving elements and/or blurring some parts in the shot. It would have drawn the viewer’s attention towards the written message. To check the full report / analysis, download the full report below.

    Up next: the 2020 summer commercial from LIDL, the German discount supermarket chain. Where AH and Jumbo focus on storytelling and humor, LIDL follows a different format.

    Download full benchmark report

    This Case is covered more extensively and in depth in a full (benchmark) report, available now! Leave your email to have it automatically sent to you.

    Read the other cases

    albert heijn logo

    Albert Heijn Case #1

    albert heijn logo

    Lidl Case #3

    albert heijn logo

    Plus Case #4

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