Press Release

May 18th, 2011

Dairy Queen Has Been Most Effective QSR TV Advertiser In 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA–May 18, 2011 – Ace Metrix™, the authority in television advertising effectiveness, today revealed that Dairy Queen, which has broken seven new ads this year, has been the most effective quick-service restaurant (QSR) TV advertiser YTD with an average Ace Score of 618 (compared to an industry average of 578). Subway, which has launched more new ads (19) than any other QSR this year, had the most successful single ad (Ace Score of 655), which touted the hazards of eating “greasy fast foods.”

“It’s interesting to see Dairy Queen beat the behemoths, including McDonald’s, which has just recently reintroduced Ronald McDonald for the first time since last year,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Subway’s frequency of new ads and commitment to creative messaging this year has also clearly paid off, as four of its ads were among the Top 10 most effective ads YTD, along with four from Dairy Queen, one from Wendy’s and one from Baskin Robbins.”

Subway’s Ace scores have moved from a low of 470 in October to consistently above 600 in recent months.

Most Effective QSR Advertisers, 2011 YTD**

Rank Product Number of Ads Average Ace Score*
1 Dairy Queen 7 618
2 Wendy’s 5 610
3 Baskin Robbins 3 599
4 KFC 5 594
4 Subway 19 594
6 Burger King 3 593
7 Popeye’s 2 591
8 Chick-fil-a 1 589
9 Taco Bell 6 579
10 Sonic 6 578
Overall Category Norm 578
11 McDonald’s 16 577
12 Quizno’s 1 575
13 Jack in the Box 2 569
14 Arby’s 3 554
15 Dunkin’ Donuts 3 525
16 Starbucks Coffee 3 490
17 Long John Silver’s 6 470

Most Effective QSR Ads, 2011 YTD**

Rank Product Ad Message Ace Score*
1 Subway Greasy Fast Foods 655
2 Wendy’s People Stand in Carton and Try Fries 648
2 Dairy Queen Not Just Bunnies 648
4 Dairy Queen Bubbles with Kittens in Them 643
5 Dairy Queen DQ Soft Serve Mother’s Day 633
6 Subway Training Days 628
7 Dairy Queen Man Fences His Future Self 619
7 Baskin Robbins Man Whispers  into Baby Monitor 619
7 Subway Clocks Announce Breakfast 619
10 Subway Double Bacon Egg & Cheese New $5 Footlong 618

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 the 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.  ** Does not include pizza ads.

Where Has McDonald’s Gone Wrong?
McDonald’s, recently deemed the Most Valuable Fast Food brand globally according to Millward Brown’s 2011 BrandZ study, has been quite aggressive in introducing new creative, with 16 new ads in 2011. However, none of these ads received high enough Ace Scores to rank among the top ten. Subway, which launched 19 new ads this year, is McDonald’s nearest competitor in terms of ad volume. Unlike McDonald’s, though, Subway’s commitment to creative volume has paid off, as it was the fifth most effective QSR advertiser, and had four ads in the Top 10 QSR ads to-date.

“McDonald’s creative messaging, including its recent reintroduction of Ronald McDonald, has fallen rather flat so far. Food shots, which these Ronald ads lack, can be a major driver of desire in QSR ads, which could be one contributor to the low overall effectiveness scores,” Daboll commented. “But McDonald’s fragmented messages and targeting, which has led to a rather garbled message, is likely the bigger problem. Advertisers need to realize that their ads hit all types of consumers, regardless of the core target. These ads have a cumulative effect in building or detracting from a brand.

“The recent ‘picture frame’ ad featuring Ronald performed better than the ‘Ronald McDonald Smiles Online’ ad, and both ads certainly appealed to a younger demographic– the group McDonald’s appears to be targeting with ads on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network,” Daboll concluded.

About Ace Metrix
Ace Metrix is the industry authority in measuring and understanding the impact of advertising creative. Through patent-pending Ace Score™ 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™ 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 global advertisers.

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Note: Ace Metrix, Ace Metrix Live, Ace Metrix Mobile, Creative Lifecycle Management, and Ace Score are trademarks of Ace Metrix. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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