Revealing Analysis of an Eye-Catching Print Ad

When it comes to advertiser competition, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is one of the most challenging spaces in publishing. It’s traditionally the magazine’s most widely read issue, attracting ads from dozens of high-profile brands. To stand out from the crowd, advertisers often push the envelope. And given the nature of the issue’s content, it can be easy for readers to overlook the ads in favor of more provocative images.

To get a clearer idea of the effectiveness of their Swimsuit Issue ad, Edgewell Personal Care, the manufacturer of Edge Shave Gel, asked 360 Market Reach (now Leger) to conduct qualitative and quantitative studies among a representative group of Sports Illustrated readers. The goal was to learn how their latest ad performed in comparison to a number of other ads from brands targeting the Edge customer demographic, including Snickers, Reebok, Lexus and others.

We conducted a quantitative online survey among members of Edgewell’s proprietary online men’s shave community to assess the various ads on several different attributes, including stopping power and influence on brand perception. We also conducted a qualitative study among a select group of community members, age 18-34, who were each mailed a copy of the Swimsuit Issue and asked to video themselves answering questions about the advertising within the issue overall, and about the Edge ad in particular.

The results of our research were eye-opening. Overall, our studies validated the effectiveness of the Edge ads, with strong scores for likelihood to stop and review, overall appeal, purchase motivation and opinion improvement. The results of the qualitative study reinforced those of the quantitative survey, with members agreeing that the Edge ad was among the most attention-getting and appealing ads in the issue.

Armed with these results, Edgewell Personal Care could more confidently craft their future creative efforts and know definitively that their Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue ads would be a success.

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