Press Release

September 11th, 2013

Ace Metrix Declares Best Buy the Most Effective Back-to-School Retail Advertiser in 2013

Ace Metrix Declares Best Buy the Most Effective Back-to-School Retail Advertiser in 2013

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA.—September 11, 2013—Ace Metrix®, the new standard in television and video advertising analytics, today announced the most effective brands and ads of the 2013 back-to-school season, a year marked with volume and scores that were each down over 2012 (11 percent and 5 percent respectively). Retail ads accounted for 82 percent of total back-to-school ads, but non-retailer Lysol earned the highest score on a brand level (Avg. Ace Score of 595) for the third year running. Best Buy was the most effective retail brand overall for the second year in a row with an average Ace Score of 561, performing 15 percent above its retail peers.  Its “Dreams” ad was the most effective retail ad, with an Ace Score of 574.

“This was a lackluster year for Back to School but technology and gadgets dominate this season with brands like Best Buy, Office Depot, and H.H.Gregg topping the list over traditional apparel and department store ads”, said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Best Buy returns this year as their most effective brand based not only on their compelling product featured ads but engaging viewers with outstanding visuals and compelling stories of customized shopping experiences.”

“This year we saw more retailers taking some risks to reach the younger students directly, such as Office Depot and K-Mart. Some risks paid off while others were just awkward,” continued Daboll.”

Office Depot was the second most effective back-to-school retail advertiser with an average Ace Score of 540, focusing its creative on the pre-teen market and leveraging popular boy band One Direction in an anti-bullying campaign while incorporating the band’s school supply paraphernalia in lively, fast paced product rich spots. While K-Mart also sought to bond with the younger crowd with spots like ”Mama Jokes” and “Limo School Bus”, these ads were highly polarizing, leaving a large portion of viewers offended, confused and irritated.

Most Effective Retail Back-to-School Ads, 2013

(Highest Percentage Above 12 Month Category Norm)


Brand Ad Title

Ace Score

12 Month Category  Norm

% Above Category Norm


Best Buy Dreams





JCPenney Do Something





Best Buy Tim’s Custom Buy





Office Depot One Direction





Kohl’s Saving Session





Office Depot Move Together





Office Depot Pre-Teens





Kohl’s Savings 101





Kohl’s Back to School Savings





Target Erupt in Supplies





Definition:  The Most Effective Back-to-School ads are selected based on the highest percentage gap to the twelve-month category norm – from ads that incorporated a back-to-school theme and debuted nationally between July 7 and Sept 7, 2013.  The Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads.  A unique audience representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience, scores each ad the exact same way. 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.


JCPenney debuted the most new creative this season but also experienced the largest decline in average Ace Score (484), dropping 14 percent from 2012. Its highest scoring ad, “Do Something” (Ace Score: 576) was a departure from its other ads and featured a philanthropic message. The remaining ads focused on the obligatory new school clothes and hair cut and failed to deliver on key Persuasion components including Information, Desire, Relevance and Attention.

Kohl’s, which aired almost as many new back-to-school ads as JCPenney, earned an average Ace Score of 517. It aired three of the top 10 back-to-school ads­– each focused on special pricing, extended hours and value for the entire family.

Target had the second most significant year over year decline (-12%). Despite debuting a high volume of new creative, Target only placed one among the most effective of the season.  “Erupt in Supplies”, Ace Score 542, captured high Attention and Likeability scores; however, the remaining Target ads struggled. Target’s campaign featured whimsical instrumentals of classic rock tunes but the execution was polarizing with 10% of respondents mentioning the music in extreme positive and negative context.

Other participants in the season came from a variety of categories and included Verizon, Sonic, Tyson, Oreo, Nestle,, and Excedrin. For the third year in a row, Lysol delivered the overall highest scoring BTS ad overall with “Healthy Habits Week” (Ace Score 595), which is one of only two 60-second ads of the group (the majority being 30 or 15 seconds).

For more information on how particular brands performed including year over year results, visit the Ace Metrix blog Creative Rules and request a demonstration at

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.


Follow Ace Metrix on Twitter for sustained insight: @Ace_Metrix.

PR Contact:  Michelle Robertson   |    646-279-5775    |

Note: Ace Metrix®, the Ace Metrix logo design, Ace Score®, and Creative Lifecycle Management® are registered trademarks and Ace Metrix LIVE™ is a trademark of Ace Metrix. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.



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