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AD BATTLE #2 When Taylor and Drake are falling for each other, whom do you fall for?

It’s not every day that you see a pop star like Taylor Swift falling from her treadmill after rapping and (awkwardly) dancing to Drake and Future’s music. The show gets even better when we discover the Swift-love of Drake. Yes, you didn’t get it wrong: Drake loves, besides Toronto, the National Basketball Association, and singing songs about good women he doesn’t deserve, dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” when no one’s watching.

Apple Taylor vs. Treadmill, YouTube, uploaded by Apple Music

Apple Drake vs. Bench Press, YouTube, uploaded by Apple Music

Indeed, in FEELIN’s Ad Battle #2 (Ad Battle? Hear it for the first time?) the competition is nothing but stiff. We evaluated the performance of Taylor Swift and Drake following the classic Ad Battle format. In the article that follows, we will explain you why the winner could generate 11 million views on YouTube 4 days after going online.

If you are in a hurry, here’s our takeaway version for you 😋

  1. For the viewers, the fall in Taylor Swift vs. Treadmill is unexpected, hilarious, and designed “out loud”. These characteristics make this scene especially impactful in terms of positive emotional reactions.

  2. In Drake vs. Bench press, we can identify two highlights of positive emotions – good enough, but in average less dramatic compared to Taylor Swift’s epic falling scene. Yes, this scene wins it all…

  3. Regarding the attentional power, Drake delivers better results thanks to his adorable dance moves in the middle segments, whereas Taylor Swift’s performance is a bit repetitive at this point. However, in the final falling scene, viewers pay more attention to Taylor Swift than Drake (we all know why 


  1. All key elements, including the celebrity, their playlist as well as Apple Music’s logo and tag line are well situated in the region of interest in both videos.

  2. Famous pop star, humor, spectacle and creativity, Taylor Swift vs. Treadmill has the full package to reach 11 million views on YouTube within 4 days, and of course, to be the winner of our Ad Battle #2.

Want to learn from the best and improve your own video content? Dive in for detailed results and Tips from FEELIN 

Round One: Emotional Impact

Taylor Swift vs. Treadmill: 65.96% of Feelers reacted with strong emotions, the dominant emotion here is happiness (54.2%).

Drake vs. Bench press: 44.44% of Feelers demonstrated strong emotions, the dominant emotion is also happiness with a slightly lower score (28.9%).

How to understand the results?

Happiness elicitation sequences Taylor Swift vs. Treadmill

In the line graph showing viewers’ happiness trend when watching the version with Taylor Swift, we observe that the viewers do not show particularly strong emotions until the climax, when the pop singer gets so distracted by Drake and Future’s “Jumpman” that she falls from her treadmill. That must hurt! Poor Taylor, or poor double stunt? But this abrupt face-planting is definitely worth the price, since it creates such a dramatic and spectacular effect that almost half of the audience reacted with strong positive emotions.

Tips from FEELIN: Positive emotions are more likely to convince people to share the content with their friends: “Watch Taylor Swift falling off her treadmill!”

Or in some cases, hilarious moments can also be reproduced and spread on social media as gif, such as…

Just kidding…

Happiness elicitation sequences Drake vs. Bench press

In the case of Drake vs. Bench Press, viewers already react with positive reactions in the earlier part of the video, when Drake, as soon as no one is around, switches from typical Drake-style music to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” (Drake’s idea of a guilty pleasure?). His lip-sync and dance to “Bad Blood” look ridiculous but, we have to admit, also kind of adorable, which explains the first peak of positive emotions. However, the scene of Drake losing his breath and sliding off the bench press seems less dramatic and abrupt, or in other words, less “out loud” than the falling scene in the previous video. It does lead to another peak of positive emotions, but less significant compared to that of Taylor.

Therefore, the winner of Round One goes to Taylor Swift and her treadmill!

Another interesting observation: In terms of Taylor Swift’s video, there are almost twice the percentage of female viewers than male who react with strong positive emotions. Is it because female viewers can more identify with the singer (“God I hate cardio…”, says Taylor at the beginning of the video)? Or is it related to the fact that Taylor Swift has more female fans? Or it’s simply because this falling joke speaks more directly to female viewers?

Similar gendered difference can also be observed in Drake’s video. Drake’s lip-sync seems to stimulate more positive emotions from female viewers, whereas male viewers are more interested in Drake’s bench pressing.

Mmmmhh, different reactions between female and male, what does this tell us? Find out how to let your video speak effectively to your target audience in our upcoming articles 

Round Two: Attentional Power

Attentional Power Taylor Swift vs. Treadmill

Attentional Power Drake vs. Bench press

Looking at the evolution of attention, we see that viewers are highly focused in the first 5 seconds in the two videos. Both ads experience a period of relatively lower attention in the middle segments.

Regarding Taylor Swift vs. Treadmill, the low attentional score in the middle part can be explained by what happens in this segment, which is practically nothing, no that’s a joke. But we have to admit, this segment seems quite repetitive (Taylor with her perfect bob hair rapping and dancing to “Jumpman” on her treadmill). Viewers thus slowly become disengaged.

In the case of Drake vs. Bench press, viewers are highly engaged in the first 15 seconds and then slowly lose around 20% of engagement (This is not bad news Drake fans!), and this coincides with the moment in which Drake starts his lip-sync to “Bad Blood”.

A crucial factor here is the frequent movements involved in Drake’s video: when he starts to sing, he moves his head from left to right and let alone his (adorable) dance moves. This can explain the lower score in the middle part of Drake’s video: when viewers gaze moves too fast and too frequent, the attentional score would appear relatively low. However, this is not a bad sign at all! A score can only be measured based on valid comparison. A lower score in a video with a lot of movements can be better than a high score in a fixed plan. Here, the low score actually reflects viewers’ effort to follow the movement of the rap singer. Well done, Drake!

PS. We will introduce the notion of “benchmark” in further articles, you will have a better idea by then. So, stay tuned!

Focusing on the last 10 seconds of both videos, we observe a significant recovery of attentional curve in Taylor’s video, again thanks to her epic falling scene. The score remains high until the introduction of key elements (logo and tag line). In Drake’s video, there is also signs of recovery at the end, but a bit less significant compared to Taylor’s.

Since both contestants have demonstrated their advantages, it seems we have a tie in Round Two!

Tips from FEELIN: Repetitive content can easily disengage the viewers. Design your narrative with diversified highlights can help your audience concentrate.

Round Three: Eye-Tracking Analysis

Both contestants deliver a good performance in this round. As illustrated below, all key elements, including the celebrity, their playlist as well as Apple Music’s logo and tag line are well situated in the region of interest.

Eye-Tracking Analysis: Region of Interest

Another tie for Round Three! PS. An extra bonus goes to Taylor for delicately showing her earphones (also product of Apple!).

Tips from FEELIN: With eye-tracking analysis, we can easily locate the region of interest in the video. Making sure that the key elements (logo and tag line for example) are situated in the region of interest is crucial for the brand’s visual remembrance.

Fun fact: Just a few days after Taylor’s trip-and-fall gag hit the web, sales of “Jumpman” on iTunes increased by an incredible 431% around the world – a very valuable gift for both Apple and Drake & Future. Therefore, we can also understand Drake’s video as a nice gesture of returning the favor to Taylor, which was definitely a good strategy for his own branding.

Was our analysis useful to you? If you want to test the effectiveness of your own video content, request a demo to see how FEELIN can help you make the best of your ads!

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