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Case #4 – Plus

Welcome back to Neuromarketing and ad effectiveness. This final article of these series covers the summer TV-commercial of Plus. Plus is the fourth largest supermarket in The Netherlands. Find the other summary cases (AH, Jumbo, Lidl) below or check the full analysis in the downloadable TVC benchmark report.


In this final case, the 2020 summer commercial of Plus Supermarkets is assessed. Thier summer TV-commercial is titled ‘Good food is always near – BBQ’, and shows a father/man being offered BBQ food by his neighbor. How did they do, assuming their budget is not like those of AH or Jumbo? The very first thing to notice is the duration: it’s only 12 seconds long (short). Yet, it seems to be effective and various interesting lessons can be drawn.

An example of a neuro-recording of a participant can be seen here.

Things Plus did well 

Plus TVC

1. Create a family feeling

What Plus did well in just over 10 seconds is to create a cozy, family setting that viewers can relate to children playing together in the backyard and a family having a barbecue together. Research data showed that these images increased positive emotions, having a positive impact on the viewers. Previous commercials did not necessarily accomplish a similar effect, despite being nearly three times as long. Therefore it is safe to say that this is where the Plus commercial stands out. 

2. Twelve seconds of efficiency

As said, it’s an ultra short tv-commercial, especially for branding purposes and with a call-to-action, and unknown actors/actresses: this most likely means that its budget for both media coverage and production is likely much lower than those of AH and/or Jumbo. Despite some flaws (covered below), this TVC is still genarlly positive. It’s safe to say that Plus has een efficient. But is it effective? 

Plus TVC Neuromarketing Pre-testing

Even better if…

At first glance it looks like Plus did a great job by creating a short, cost-effective video, perhaps outsmarting its competition. When we look closer and study the neuromarketing / video-testing data there are some interesting insights to be found:

TVC pre-testing video

1. Expectiation mismatch: “unrealistic” visuals

Where the neighbor hands over a hot skewer -wearing gloves-, the man/father accepts it bare-handed. This creates a mental mismatch: EEG measurements showed that this evoked negative emotions, related to a mismatch in viewers’ expectations. However, when zooming in on the frame we can see that the end of the skewer (probably) seems to be heat resistant. Yet, viewers are unaware of this, creating an unrealistic scene. It results in a feeling that is comparable to a bad special-effect in a movie, compromising the credibility of the video.

2. Focus, focus, focus

We sound like a broken record, but also this tv-commercial uses too many visual stimuli. When anchoring the commercial to a brand, slogan, or call-to-action, this remains the main pitfall. Images in the background are drawing away attention, something to be avoided when showing a brand logo or conveying a promotional message. In this case, the closing scene, when the family sits at the table, creates a visual overload. As soon as the tagline, ‘Good food is always close-by’, appeared on-screen, eye movements increased and viewers were distracted. Brain measurements peak in attention, caused by the  visual elements.

TVC Plus closing scene


Unlike those commercials that were previously assessed, the Plus video is almost three times as short and yet managed to create a cozy, warm family feeling. Despite a credibility-flaw in the second scene, in general, a positive feeling about the commercial remains with the audience. The viewers’ brand sympathy could have been enforced; unfortunately the brand connection was limited due to the final scene where the brand/logo and slogan weren’t processed optimally due to other (irrelevant) information, distracting viewers.

All in all, this is a good example of why pre-testing the ad would have been beneficial: fine-tuning would simply be tacked with post-production edits.

Download full benchmark report

This Case is covered more extensively and in depth in a full (benchmark) report. Insert your company email here to have it sent to you.

Read the other cases

albert heijn logo

Albert Heijn Case #1

albert heijn logo

Jumbo Case #2

albert heijn logo

Lidl Case #3

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