Ace Metrix Explores Whether Ads Starring CEOs are Effective

Papa Johns and Samuel Adams Are Role Models for How to Effectively Use a CEO in Advertising

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA.—March 13, 2012—Ace Metrix™, the new standard in television analytics, today released a white paper that reviews the effectiveness of using CEOs in advertising, guides brands on do’s and don’ts of using a company’s chief in ad campaigns and looks at some of the best and worst examples of CEOs as frontmen.  The study, entitled “CEOs in Advertisements: What Happens When the Boss Steps into the Spotlight?” found that, on average, ads starring CEOs are effective.  Ace Metrix reviewed 76 ads starring CEOs across 12 categories (out of more than 13,000 ads that aired on national television since 2009) and found that the two biggest CEO spokesperson successes are John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s, and Jim Koch, CEO of Samuel Adams.

“Agencies are constantly faced with the dilemma: put the CEO in the ad at the client’s request, and risk failure and termination; or refuse and still risk termination.” Daboll commented. “We endeavored to provide analytics to support the agencies and brands weighing the risks. By leveraging our Ace Metrix Live™ database, we were able to look at every ad using the ‘CEO as front man’ strategy and provide hard data as to which ones worked and why.”

“We found that CEO ads actually do work if done correctly—in general, direct, trust-inspiring messages communicate a no-nonsense style that gets viewers’ attention and delivers on Information, Relevance and Desire,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “The ads work best when the CEO is perceived as genuine and when the brand is completely committed to the ‘CEO as Front Man’ strategy (vs. occasional use of the CEO).”

But, not all CEO ads work. When a CEO appears dull, boring, or fails to communicate a differentiable message, he/she tends not to connect with consumers.  Authenticity in the form of “letting the executive be him or herself” is a critical component to a successful CEO ad.  Two examples of CEOs that failed to resonate with consumers include Dan Hesse of Sprint and Jim Gillespie of Coldwell Banker.

“Viewers are looking for the guy on top to be interesting, relevant, and know what consumers want,” Daboll commented. “Not all CEOs are born communicators, and let’s face it: some CEOs are more camera-ready than others. Personal charisma and the ability to communicate authenticity and relevance vary widely, but the most important thing to do when considering using your CEO is to test the ad in advance– In the case of CEO ads, there is a lot more at risk because it is not only the ad that could fail, but the CEO’s image and reputation could be irreparably tarnished as well.”

Download the paper, “CEOs in Advertisments” at here.

About Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix is the new standard in television analytics. Through patent-pending Ace Score™ measurement technology, Ace Metrix collects and measures the consumer impact of every nationally breaking TV ad in near real-time. Through its Creative Lifecycle Management™ suite of products, Ace Metrix provides actionable creative analysis, from ideation through real-time in-market performance optimization, to many of the world’s leading advertisers and agencies.   Ace Metrix works with leading global advertisers. For more information, visit www.acemetrix.com.

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