Press Release

March 16th, 2016

Ace Metrix Examines Why Rubio’s Political Ads Failed

Ace Metrix Examines Why Rubio’s Political Ads Failed

While Rubio Ads Consistently Resonated Among All Republican Voters, The Majority Didn’t Move the Needle

Ace Metrix POLITICS™ measures the effectiveness of political and advocacy video ads during campaign season

 LOS ANGELES, CA – March 16, 2016 — With Marco Rubio bowing out of the Republican race yesterday, Ace Metrix took a look at how his political ads fared and whether his messages resonated with voters. Rubio’s ads actually scored well among his party voters, with 15 out of 17 ads scoring above the All Republican Voter Ace Score norm, outperforming Cruz and Trump as a whole. Marco Rubio’s campaign is an example of having good ads but poor voter performance. Why? These findings were based on Rubio’s TV ads and those run by his PAC Conservative Solutions that aired between January 9 and March 9, as well as a comparison of the top Republican-focused ads of the past 30 days. Key reasons why his ads contributed to poor voter performance:

  • In looking at Rubio’s 15 ads that performed above the Republican norm, we found that the majority of them contained very undifferentiated Republican messages on topics such as jobs, tax cuts, and anti-Hillary. Republicans liked the message, but any candidate could have said the same thing.
  • Rubio’s character ads, which were meant be more personal and engaging, and less political, fell flat. “Football” and “Faith,” were among his worst scoring ads and had lower Impact Scores* as well.
  • In contrast to “Football,” a similarly-themed ad from Ted Cruz called “Parents” did a much more effective job of connecting with Republican voters. It had an impressive Impact Score of 63 and was the second-highest scoring Republican ad in the past 30 days.
  • In looking at the top 10 Republican-focused ads of the past 30 days, Rubio only had two ads, where Kasich and Cruz had four each. The central themes of Kasich’s and Cruz’ ads were around jobs – again, undifferentiated, but were found more impactful — and the candidate’s character. The two top ten Rubio ads were endorsements.
  • Our analysis found that Rubio’s ads did not resonate as well among Republican men as they did with women, with 12 of 21 ads indexing higher than for men, by an average of 37 points. The highest differential was seen for the anti-Hillary ad “Disqualified”, performing 66 points higher among Republican women.
  • Conservation Solutions, Rubio’s super PAC, put out four ads, all of which were negative and calling out other candidates. Two of these ads, “Serious” and “Both Right” were in the bottom quintile for effectiveness among Republicans. “Serious” referred to Rubio as a disciple of Reagan and while insulting Trump and Cruz.

Mark Bryant, VP at Ace Metrix, is available for interviews about political findings and as a resource on specific campaign ads, overall ad themes and what is resonating with the public.

*The Impact Score directly measures the ad’s influence on the voting decision by asking the question “after seeing this ad, how likely or unlikely are you to vote for the candidate?”

About Ace Metrix POLITICS

Launched in 2012, Ace Metrix POLITICS provides video ad effectiveness metrics and data to political campaigns, PACs and advocacy groups based on 500 respondents per ad and a sample of national registered voters balanced to the U.S. Census. The data collected provides insights into the effectiveness of the ad, verbatim responses and the likelihood the ad changed the way respondents will vote.

About Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix provides technology, tools and insights that enable the advertising ecosystem to understand how and why video creative works with viewers. Advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Ace Metrix to provide qualitative and quantitative measures, normative data and competitive insights that inform each phase of the creative lifecycle, resulting in advertising that consistently delivers results. The Company’s comprehensive suite of tools map to ad objectives, including the creative impact of persuasion, breakthrough, emotional connection, and indicators of shareability. 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.

Dori Busell
Kerlan Communications




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