TIMES SQUARE WARMED BY NISSIN CUP NOODLES
AND REFRESHED BY COCA-COLA
What can a company do to differentiate itself from the advertising clutter in Times Square? Since 1996, Nissin Foods has been effectively competing against higher profile companies like Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Discover by steaming up Times Square with its Cup Noodles advertising.
While standing in the middle of Times Square with your eyes closed, which companies, signs or advertisements could you recall surrounding you?
When a recent Performance Research study asked just that among 320 visitors to Times Square they found that Nissin Cup Noodles (13%) was remembered far more often than expected, actually ranking third, out of seventy-six companies mentioned. The only others mentioned more often were Coca-Cola (32%) and Budweiser (19%) – each with substantially higher profiles and national ad budgets. Additional companies mentioned in the study included NASDAQ, MTV, Discover, Sony and Kodak.
Moreover, when visitors were asked which one ad was Times Square’s most prominent, Nissin Cup Noodles was credited second only to Coca-Cola out of 40 companies named. Other prominent ads were by NASDAQ, Budweiser, Sony, Discover and Fleet.
So what differentiates Nissin Cup Noodles from others in Times Square, and allows them to compete with all those higher profile companies? It’s the novel idea that, since 1996, brings their advertisement to life, where Nissin has created a way for steam to rise out of their large replica Cup Noodles container; it almost makes you hungry just watching it.
This unique advertising is not just a gimmick for the tourists. In fact, Nissin’s ability to be remembered among “frequent” visitors was much higher when compared to “first time” visitors to Times Square. (18% frequent visitors vs. 7% first time visitors).
But what audience are they reaching? The difference between younger people noticing Nissin’s advertisement and older people noticing was greater than any other company mentioned. More than any other advertiser, Nissin was breaking through the clutter to reach the younger consumer (18% under 35 vs. 6% over 35).
Respondents were intercepted by Performance Research staff at various times and egresses from Times Square and asked to participate in a brief interview. A total of 320 respondents were included in this study. Interviews were conducted in late fall, 2002. The margin of error for this sample is no more than + 7%. Full study is available for purchase from Performance Research.