Press Release

August 19th, 2010

Ace Metrix Data Shows Kohl’s With Most Effective Creative Among National Retailers

Los Angeles, CA – The annual back-to-school national television advertising battle is in full force and data from Ace Metrix™, the industry standard in television advertising analytics, shows that an ad from Kohl’s promoting a “Vote for Your School” contest tie-in with social networking site Facebook is the early winner. Based on creative effectiveness data gathered from 30 national television ads for the nation’s top retailers which aired between July 9, 2010 and August 13, the Kohl’s ad scored highest with an Ace Score of 614 out of a possible 950.

Although Target has been by far the most active back-to-school advertiser with 13 national breaking ads, they are also running the worst scoring ad, “The Roommate and her Gathering”, also featuring a Facebook tie-in, with an Ace Score of 355. Despite the number of ads, Target had just one ad in the Top 10 retail back-to-school ads.

“It’s interesting that both the highest scoring ad and the lowest scoring ad feature tie-ins with Facebook. These retailers are tapping into the popularity of social networking and extending their national television campaigns to drive online visibility,” said Peter Daboll, chief executive of Ace Metrix. “But, just having a Facebook tie-in does not guarantee success with consumers. Kohl’s clearly hit a home-run with their ad promoting the “Kohl’s Care’s” campaign which features a $20 million giveaway where the top 20 vote-getting schools will receive $500,000 apiece.”

The average Ace Score for the 30 ads studied is 481, which compares to an overall average Ace Score of 532 for all national advertising.

“We know from our analysis of thousands of ads that the two most important factors in successful ad creative for women are ‘information’ and ‘relevance’. It’s interesting to note that the highest scoring Kohl’s ad scored almost 300 points higher against these two parameters than the lowest scoring Target ad,” said Daboll. “The Kohl’s ad also scored 185 points higher on the ‘change’ parameter, indicating that the ad cut through the typical clutter of back-to-school messages.”

Wal-Mart ran three back-to school ads with one, “Last Night of Lighting Bugs” making the Top Ten, yet the overall number of ads was down from last year.

“Do-Good” Creative Resonates With Consumers; Wal-Mart Ad Tops

“We continue to see ‘do-good’ creative resonating strongly with consumers and Kohl’s clearly evoked this sentiment with their ‘Vote for Your School’ campaign,” commented Daboll.

While not a back-to-school spot, Wal-Mart tapped into the ‘do-good’ creative with an ad called “New Technology for Clean Water”, airing 7/16, garnering Ace Score of 692 making it the 2010 highest scoring retail ad to-date. Target scored its highest Ace Score to-date with an ad called “Save Change with Bags” which aired 3/21, promising customers a nickel for each use of a reusable bag.

Ace Score data for the Back-To-School ads is as follows:

Brand Ad Title Air Date Ace Score
Kohl’s Vote For Your School 72/6 614
Best Buy Mom & Son Disagree over Geek 7/18 574
Target S.Soto Small Space Solutions 7/18 570
Staples Boy Gives Mom Back to School List 7/25 566
Office Max Woman Sees Child as Astronaut 7/25 551
Office Depot Susan Buys Sony Notebooks 7/26 535
JCPenney Students Pose for Photo 7/15 532
Kohl’s Big Weekend Sale 7/21 529
Macy’s STyle on Your Terms 7/29 524
Walmart Last Night of Lightning Bugs 8/2 524
Office Max Children Head Back to School 7/25 522
Target Where the Children Are Free 7/25 517
Target Coloring Many Books 8/2 509
Old Navy Kids Clothing on Sale 7/22 505
Kohl’s Everything Kids Want 8/10 500
JCPenney Huge Sale Hot Looks for School 8/4 486
Walmart Mom Makes Sure Boy is Ready for Everything 8/13 484
Walmart Vote for Vanessa 8/13 483
Target First College Party 8/11 482
Kmart Back to Campus Sale 7/9 479
Target Man Teaches Quadratic Equation 7/25 477
Target First College Roommate 7/11 476
Target Mother Yells for Boy Who Forgot Bookbag 7/26 469
Target Meeting Roommate’s Parents 7/11 463
Target Men Have Roommate Drama 7/11 459
Target Boy Dreams of School without Pants 7/26 453
Target Children Names on Lunch Bags 7/26 432
Target Roommates Annoying Laugh 7/12 429
Target Man Meets Stacy in Class 7/15 424
Target The Roommate and Her Gathering 7/13 355


About the Ace Score

The Ace Score is a patent-pending measurement of creative effectiveness based on measures of persuasion and watchability. The persuasion rating is based on the interactivity of six data elements; desire, relevance, likeability, attention, information and change, automatically captured and analyzed for each ad. Watchability measures the engagement that a viewer has with the ad.


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