Press Release

December 22nd, 2014

Holiday Season Wraps Up as Ace Metrix Reveals Top Ads of the Season According to Consumers

Holiday Season Wraps Up as Ace Metrix Reveals Top Ads of the Season According to Consumers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA.—December 22, 2014—Ace Metrix® revealed today the top scoring retail and cross-category holiday ads according to consumers. Nintendo and Ebates maintained their early positions of number one and two throughout the season, outperforming their category peers by more than twenty percent. Advertisers used a variety of creative tools to capture consumer attention including heartwarming stories, charitable giving, festive humor and celebrity spokespeople.

“While unsurprisingly dominated by retail brands, an eclectic mix of advertisers demonstrated their creative savvy with ads rich in family and good cheer,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Whether they drew their strength from standout breakthrough characteristics, connecting with consumers emotionally, imparting new information or leveraging product passion, the ads on this list represent the top performing three percent of all holiday ads to debut so far this year.”

Top Holiday Ads of 2014
Ranked by Percent Above Category Norm (YTD)

# Brand
Ad Title Ace Score Category Norm Percent Above Norm Powered By
1 Nintendo
Video Games
Dad Loses 630 511 23.2% Breakthrough
2 Websites Paid To Shop 610 500 21.9% Information, Relevance, Desire
3 Mazda Corporate Branding Braeden’s Story 690 569 21.2% Emotion, Breakthrough
4 Amazon Fire TV
Television Services
Rom-Coms 632 543 16.5% Information, Change
5 Kohl’s
Holiday Magic 640 550 16.3% Emotion, Breakthrough
5 Walmart
Surprise 640 550 16.3% Emotion, Breakthrough
7 Subway
Cool 670 579 15.7% Information, Offer
8 Home Depot
Spread More Of This 632 550 14.9% Likeability, Relevance, Desire
8 PetSmart
Thanks To Your Pets 632 550 14.9% Emotion, Breakthrough
10 Nationwide Other Insurance The Grinch And Santa 628 548 14.5% Breakthrough
11 Coca-Cola
Make Someone Happy 629 550 14.4% Likeability, Relevance
12 Walmart
Unbeatable Prices 629 550 14.3% Relevance, Desire
13 Best Buy
Light Up 625 550 13.6% Breakthrough, Desire
13 Game Stop
Santa’s Wish 625 550 13.6% Breakthrough
15 Lowe’s
Make Snowman 624 550 13.4% Likeability, Relevance

*Definition: The Ace Score is the measure of ad creative performance based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. A unique sample of 500+ people, representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience, scores each ad. 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. This list represents the top 15 holiday-themed ads whose scores outperformed their category year-to-date norms by the largest percentage. The list is based on ads to have debuted this season through December 15, 2014.

A Heartfelt (if not funny) Holiday

This year’s seasonal ads extended past the common theme of philanthropy with several advertisers delivering heartwarming stories of family and thoughtful giving. Mazda, Subaru, Blue Buffalo, Walmart and Target each debuted ads promoting a cause; however, Mazda’s “Braeden’s Story” and Walmart’s “Surprise” are the only philanthropic ads present in the top 15. Beyond philanthropic ads, brands such as Aleve, Coca-Cola, Dick’s, Kohl’s, Pampers and PetSmart portrayed uplifting themes that strived to make an emotional connection with consumers. And while overall, there were 40 percent less emotionally charged ads, this years heartwarming ads generated emotional sentiment scores 13 percent higher than last year’s set. In fact, of the top performing ads, four achieved Emotional Sentiment scores of 70 or higher (on an index of 100).

Humor also played a starring role this year with nearly 50 of all holiday ads attempting to be funny. Four of the top 15 ads were both funny and effective, a combination that can be particularly difficult to achieve. Ads from Nintendo, Amazon Fire TV, Walmart, Game Stop and Lowe’s effectively captured consumer attention while demonstrating other persuasive components such as Information, Relevance and Desire. 

Consumers Thirst for Information

Particularly at this time of year, consumers appreciate simplicity of messages and well-delivered information about a product or offer to help them make informed decisions. Nearly half of all holiday ads featured a special offer including four of the top 15. In addition, winning ads from Nintendo, Ebates, Amazon, Subway, Best Buy and Walmart used a variety of approaches to effectively appeal to the rational, delivering information and inspiring desire.

Celebrity or Santa

Celebrities were featured in nearly 12 percent of all holiday ads. Four ads appeared in the top 15, including Mazda’s “Braedan’s Story,” featuring Minnie Driver, and Walmart’s “Surprise,” featuring Chicago Bears’ Jared Allen. Both of these top ads were likely powered by their philanthropic themes rather than the famous narrators. Likewise, Walmart’s “Unbeatable Prices,” featuring Melissa Joan Hart and Anthony Anderson, and Amazon Fire TV’s “Rom-Coms,” featuring Curt Menefee and Jimmy Johnson, were also arguably powered by the ad’s product offers.

Santa’s presence in this year’s ad set is down 27 percent overall. The big man appeared in 24 of the nearly 400 spots, versus 33 last year, and appears in only one of the top performing 15, having a cameo role in Home Depot’s “Spread More of This.”

For more details on these top performing holiday ads, visit or contact us directly.

About Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix® is the 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 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®, Ace Metrix LIVE® and Creative Lifecycle Management® are registered trademarks of Ace Metrix. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.



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