Now that the Netherlands has reached the next round of the European Championship, the orange craze has begun. Streets and houses are decorated, we massively stock up on orange snacks and you cannot turn on the television without hearing former footballers give their unvarnished opinion about De Boer's 5-3-2. Brands also want to score this European Championship, resulting in a wide selection of European Championship commercials on the tube. Validators investigated the effect of five striking European Championship commercials on the viewer's emotional experience. Which commercial is the most effective and which commercial is better to keep on the couch? 

Just like the line-up, everyone has an opinion about this year's European Championship commercials. To determine which commercial really hits the target, we researched five commercials with our neurotool EmotionFlow. EmotionFlow uses A.I. and facial analysis to determine to what extent a commercial evokes emotion in a viewer. In this case the right EK-feeling.

We examined the EK commercials of the following brands: Bavaria, Jumbo, KPN, Lidl and Volkswagen.

Viewers applaud Jumbo commercial the most 

The Jumbo commercial, with Snollebollekes, is the best in the test. Viewers of all ages are most cheerful about this commercial. It radiates an abundance of Dutch conviviality and the tune sticks in the memory. The reuse of the national anthem of the Dutch lionesses turns out to be a great success. A good example of the effectiveness of appropriate music on emotional experience. In addition, 65% of the viewers found that the Jumbo commercial best brought back a feeling of togetherness, something we have obviously been missing recently.


Joy at Jumbo commercial 

 The semi-finalists

Lidl and Bavaria finished in the middle of our test. Both commercials use humour to get viewers in the European Championship mood.

With Raphael van der Vaart in a bright orange outfit, Lidl managed to arouse happiness, especially among the youngest group. It is striking that the older target group, for whom the final loss against Germany in 1974 is still in the memory, is more surprised by seeing the German fans in the commercial than the younger age group.

In the Bavaria commercial, in which the shorts of World Cup hero Berry van Aerle play the leading role, the punchline ensures a peak of happiness at the right moment: just before brand and payoff. The makers have considered this very well, because the moment we find something funny, dopamine is produced in our brain. Dopamine increases the chance that we remember something and the fact that it was funny creates positive associations.

European Championship viewers more positive attitude brand orange commercial 

Not entirely unexpected, but certainly worth mentioning, we see that people who indicate that they watch the European Championships experience more positive emotions with the European Championship commercials than people who do not. We also see this in the analysis of the Volkswagen commercial below.

KPN and Lidl commercials also appeal to non-customers

A similar phenomenon that we often see when testing commercials is that users of a brand often appreciate a commercial of that brand more emotionally than non-users. This also appears to be the case with these EK commercials. There were two exceptions: both Lidl and KPN commercials scored better with non-users. Good news for these brands, because they apparently know how to appeal to a broader target group.

Gijs de Beus, strategist at Friends & Foes: "This fits in nicely with recent research on the effect of advertising on mental availability. That showed that the effect of advertising is actually greater among non-users. Proof that in order to achieve brand growth, you have to focus your communication on light and even perhaps non-users. The results of KPN and Lidl seem to confirm this. Although Jumbo is the winner when it comes to EK-emotion, these brands may be the winners in the longer term when it comes to building mental availability and brand growth.


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