Press Release

December 21st, 2010

Ace Metrix Reveals Top Television Retail Ads for 2010 Holiday Season

LOS ANGELES, CA– December 21, 2010– Ace Metrix™, the authority in television advertising effectiveness, today released its list of the top holiday-themed retail ads for the 2010 holiday season by creative effectiveness. Out of more than 85 nationally breaking holiday-themed ads since October 15th, Ace Metrix found Wal-Mart’s “Help Home Feel Closer” ad, featuring its Proctor & Gamble co-branded “” promotion, to be the most effective single ad according to consumer feedback.

And, despite a lukewarm response from women, Victoria’s Secret, which aired multiple TV ads this holiday season, garnered the highest campaign score, driven largely by high “attention” scores from men.

“Wal-Mart’s ad, which scored a 623 out of a possible 950 points – a very high score in our database, managed to cut through the clutter of holiday-themed retail ads, many of which focus on sales and events. Consumers have learned to tune these promotional types of ads out,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Despite Victoria’s Secret’s polarizing effect between men and women, the ads were consistently top-scoring, a hallmark of campaign success,” Daboll said. “One high-scoring ad followed by a poor ad just doesn’t deliver a consistent impact on the consumer.”

This phenomenon is seen in Table 2 below. Both Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which had the top two ads overall, did not fare as well on the campaign level because of the gap between their high-scoring and lower-scoring ads. Victoria’s Secret and, on the other hand, had consistently high scoring ads.

Ace Metrix’ 2010 Top Ten Holiday-Themed Retail Ads on TV

Rank Retailer Ad Title Ace Score
1 Walmart Help Home Feel Closer 623
2 Best Buy Who’s Supporting Christmas? 614
3 Kohl’s Can’t Return a Scarf 605
4 Macy’s Animated Children Mail a Letter to Santa 605
5 Victoria’s Secret One Gift and a Thousand Fantasies 593
6 Entire Order Ships for Free 592
7 Employees Sing Jingle Bells Tune 592
8 Victoria’s Secret What’s Your Fantasy This Christmas 591
9 Victoria’s Secret Merry Christmas Angels 589
10 Macy’s Everything is Better at Macy’s 588

*Definition: Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. Respondents are randomly selected and representative of U.S. TV viewing audience. The results are presented on a scale of 0-950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as relevance, persuasion, watchability, information, attention, etc.

Ace Metrix’ 2010 Top TV Holiday Ad Campaigns

Brand Average Ace Score Range*
Victoria’s Secret 591 4
Kohl’s 578 55 574 54
Best Buy 558 92
Walmart 548 128

*Range: highest scoring vs. lowest scoring


The winning Wal-Mart ad, which focused on helping people connect with Armed Forces personnel overseas, resonated across all demographic groups. It scored more than 100 points above the retail ad norm for “likeability” and “attention” and more than 90 points above the average for all ads in the Ace Metrix database of nearly 8,000 national ads.

“Philanthropic ads for major brands continue to show strong advertising value. Consumers just respond better to a message about what companies are doing for them, instead of a straight sales pitch,” Daboll commented. “The winning Wal-Mart spot performed extremely well with men and women, especially those with children. The ad resonates by promoting family, charity and empathy with those not able to be home for Christmas, all moving elements consistent with the holiday spirit.”

Actual viewer comments included:

* “[The ad] shows a company that really takes the time to care about people and their needs.”
* “Philanthropy should be advertised all year long, not just during the holidays.”

Victoria’s Secret’s Campaign Proves that Sex Sells this Holiday Season

Despite failing to connect with women, Victoria’s Secret’s successful holiday campaign proves that sex really does sells. Victoria’s Secret’s holiday ads polarized viewers with a 107 point spread between male and female respondents.

Comments from women included:

“My husband would enjoy it more than I would.”
“I like the ad but too racy; too much skin.”
“More porn than ad.”
“Let’s face it, Victoria has no secrets.”

Interestingly, while both campaigns were top-scoring, Victoria’s Secret and Kohls appealed to very different demographic groups. Kohl’s appealed primarily to older women, with high “information” and “relevance” scores, while Victoria’s Secret appealed to men and younger women and scored very low within those two categories but very high on “attention.”

About Ace Metrix
Ace Metrix is the industry authority in measuring and understanding the impact of advertising creative. Through patent-pending Ace ScoreTM 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 TM 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 advertisers including Big Lots, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp., ConAgra, Nissan North America and others. For more information please see

Notes: Ace Metrix and Ace Score are trademarks of Ace Metrix. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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