TV Advertisers Effectively Wrap Family, Food and Philanthropy into the Season’s Best Ads

Walmart, Duracell and Kohl’s Air Philanthropic Messages that Rise Above the Traditional Shopper Ads in Ace Metrix Analysis 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA.—December 19, 2013—Ace Metrix®, the new standard in television and video advertising analytics, today announced the ten most effective holiday ads of the season, a list brimming with family, food and philanthropy. Walmart is this year’s most prolific holiday advertiser in terms of new creative while also earning the top spot with a philanthropic ad spotlighting its Salvation Army program. With less than a week to go before Christmas, the top 10 list delivers messages of family time, delicious treats and doing good for others. This stands in contrast to previous Christmas shopping seasons when top performers were far more shopping- and gift-centric.

“While consumers have a tendency to reward philanthropic work, this holiday season saw more do-good creative at the top than ever before,” said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. “What stands out in this year’s philanthropic effort is the authenticity of the brand to the cause. Walmart and Duracell are true to their brand while communicating the values of the season. In fact, many of the ads on this list are successful because they effectively impart values of family, giving and togetherness.”

Top Holiday Ads, 2013 YTD

Rank

Ace Score

Brand

Ad Title

Air Date

1.

687

Walmart

Christmas Magic

12-01-2013

2.

669

Reynolds

Cookie Magic

12-02-2013

3.

658

Duracell

Very Special Batteries

11-23-2013

4.

655

Pillsbury

Make the Holidays Pop

10-31-2013

5.

654

IHOP

Holiday Meal

11-04-2013

6.

653

USPS

Holiday Delivering

11-18-2013

7.

649

Samsung

It’s A Miracle

12-11-2013

8.

639

Kohl’s

Christmas Surprise

11-11-2013

9.

637

Olive Garden

Holiday Core Menu Lunch Tag

12-02-2013

10.

635

Lowe’s

It’s Easy

10-21-2013

Definition: The Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. A unique sample of 500+ people, representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience scores each ad. The results are presented on a scale of 1–950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Persuasion, Likeability, Information, Attention, Change, Relevance, Desire and Watchability. An Emotional Sentiment Index is also available for each ad and is represented on a scale of 1–100, generated using a natural language algorithm applied to the hundreds of verbatim responses collected for each ad. This list represents the top 10 highest scoring holiday themed television ads to debut between September 9th and December 16th, 2013.

Time to Give

Walmart aired more than 40 unique pieces of holiday-themed creative this season, making it the most prolific advertiser of the season. Walmart’s top performing ad “Christmas Magic” (Ace Score 687) outperformed the average holiday ad by nearly 26 percent and earned one of the highest scores on the Emotional Sentiment Index (71). The ad is also the highest scoring Walmart ad since July 2010.  Consumers found the ad’s message to be a good example of the spirit of the season.

  • “LOVE what they are doing here. Brings the spirit of the holidays in an innocent way.” – Female, Age 21-35, Income $40-75K, Caucasian, No Children, Midwest
  • “I appreciate it when a big retailer does something like this for the community and gives back. I like the story and the message it sends to people about helping others.” – Male, Age 21-35, Income <$40K, Caucasian, No Children, South
  • “This is a great ad. It shows children how to care for others in need, and tells us that Walmart supports the Salvation Army.” – Female, Age 36-49, Income <$40K, Caucasian, Child, South

Duracell continues its philanthropic tradition with “Very Special Batteries” (Ace Score 658), which placed the brand third on the most effective holiday ads list for the second year running.

Kohl’s “Christmas Surprise” (Ace Score 639) earns its place with a heartstring-tugging ad depicting a couple decorating an elderly neighbor’s home for the holidays.

Ode to Food and Family Time

The second highest scoring ad of the season comes from Reynolds. “Cookie Magic” (Ace Score 669) delights audiences with another symphonic animation that demonstrates the heroic contribution its parchment paper will play in this year’s holiday baking battle. 

Pillsbury earns fourth place with one of several fifteen-second spots that gives families tasty ideas for fast holiday meals and treats.

IHOP and Olive Garden remind us that the holidays are about time spent with family rather than preparing meals, which is a key theme for Casual Dining and QSR this year.

USPS, which aired the second most effective ad on the 2012 holiday list, delivers a jolly jingle of dependability and convenience with “Holiday Delivering” (Ace Score 653) ranked sixth.

Lowe’s rounds out the top 10 and is one of only three retailers to make the list. This spot comes with another message of doing your family right by selecting the perfect refrigerator – proving once again that appliances have a special place in the hearts of consumers.

Technology and gift ideas overall are surprisingly absent with the exception of Samsung’s Santa-clad ad for the Galaxy Gear. Their 60-second “It’s a Miracle” spot (Ace Score 649) slides into seventh place, and was the longest holiday ad on the list (all other winners are less than one minute). Apple’s “The Harris Holiday” (Ace Score 607) fell just short of the Top 10 list.  The ad follows this year’s sentimental journey and finds a very specific audience with mature females – a standout ad in terms of Attention, Likeability and Relevance, but lacking the broad demographic appeal of the top performers of the season.

For more details on this year’s holiday ads and year-over-year data, visit the Ace Metrix blog, Creative Rules. Ace Metrix will reveal the overall top ads and brands of 2013 on January 7, 2014.

About Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix® is the new standard in television and video analytics, dedicated to delivering better, faster and more cost-effective solutions for evaluating video advertising within competitive context. Through the Ace Metrix LIVE® platform, companies can now access timely, actionable data wherever, whenever they need to, enabling real-time advertising campaign optimization. Combining leading edge technology and patent pending methodology, Ace Metrix is revolutionizing the way marketers measure themselves and their competitive landscape. The Company is privately held and is backed by leading venture capital firms and industry leaders including Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Palomar Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures and WPP.

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PR Contact:  Michelle Robertson   |    646-279-5775    |   michelle@kerlancomm.com

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