December 17th, 2013

Ads of the Week: Herbal Essences’ “Time to Expose Yourself” & Samsung’s “It’s A Miracle”


Ace Metrix

With a blizzard of holiday advertising hitting our systems like an old fashioned nor’easter, we’re excited to see some variation this week in our AOTW winners. For week 50’s Category Overachiever we get, gasp, a non-holiday piece from Herbal Essences. The top scoring ad, however, is a more seasonally appropriate jolly-hyped Christmas conference from Samsung.

Ad of the Week: Category Overachiever

Herbal Essences debuted three national commercials this week, all touting their new Naked collection of hair products and each performing a bit differently from its sister ads. “Time To Expose Yourself” scored the highest of the three (Ace Score of 580), which puts it  25.8% above the Hair Products category norm and lands it at #1 for the Hair category this year.

This ad is a bit of a sideways step from the usually ”highly vocal” Herbal Essences shampoo sessions. With shots of a scantly clad woman frolicking in a springtime sun, perhaps consumers scoring this ad appreciated the sunny escape.

So, what of the other two Naked ads? Interestingly, all three ads are extremely similar. So much so, I had to watch each three times to really see the differences, but they are definitely there; and it is now evident why “Time to Expose Yourself” came out on top.


“Bare It All”

“Bare Your Softest Hair”

The first major difference between the three ads is an obvious one—the music verses the voice over. “Time to Expose Yourself” and “Bare It All” both feature strong beats from the song “Helium” recorded by Chris Lake and featuring Jareth. While not a wildly popular song, it still resonated with consumers during this slicked-back spot. The “music” was positively mentioned in 8% of the ~650 optional verbatim responses collected for these two ads. Alternatively, even though voice over was used in “Bare Your Softest Hair”, the Information scores from that ad are actually the lowest of all three spots.

As you can see from the gender/age graphs below, women rated the winning ad, “Time to Expose Yourself”, 10% and 7.8% higher than women’s scores from the other two ads, respectively. Not that the advertiser really cares, but  men rated the winning ad 2% and 5% lower than the other two ads, respectively – so at least it is consistent.

While it is not entirely clear why men just didn’t go for “Time to Expose Yourself”, perhaps there is a correlation between the scores and the amount of time the exposed woman was on screen.

In the ads “Bare Your Softest Hair” and “Bare It All” the woman was on screen for about 12 of the ad’s total 30 seconds. However in “Time to Expose Yourself”, the woman was only on screen for a little over 7 seconds.

It seems consumers also noticed this small difference. In “Bare Your Softest Hair” and “Bare It All”, the word “naked” was mentioned in an average of 7% of optional verbatims (and most of the responses weren’t talking about the new product collection). However, in “Time to Expose Yourself” the word “naked” was only mentioned in 4% of the free responses.

This short brush into one, standout spot is what makes the Ace Metrix LIVE software just as shiny and silky as ever. When thousands of data points are aggregated, those minute differences that can make or break an ad become much more apparent. All it takes is a rinse and repeat through the latest ads to see what creates volume and what makes an ad fall flat.

Watch this year’s winning Ads of the Week by Category Overachievers.

Ad of the Week: Top Ace Score

What happens when you combine the most popular man at Christmas with the most talked-about tech gadget? This week’s highest scoring ad, of course. Samsung debuted both a 30- and 60-second version of their ad for the Next Big Thing—Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch. “It’s A Miracle,” the 60-second version, came in with an Ace Score of 649, just 25 points higher than its 30-second equivalent. In an Apple-esque style tech conference, Santa unveils the Galaxy Gear watch to his elves who are all stunned and impressed by the watch’s numerous capabilities.

Santa’s elves weren’t the only ones impressed with this gadget’s technological feats. Males ages 16 to 20 rated this ad over 11% higher than the ad’s average Ace Score and 26% higher than the Mobile Device category norm for the last 90 days.

Ol’ Saint Nick and his elves held consumers’ attention with this cheery spot, boasting an Attention score over 12% above the 90-day category norm. His little red nose and fluffy, white beard brought a lot of nostalgia to the stage with Likeability scores riding over 10% higher than the Mobile Devices average.

A quick look in our sack of verbatims reveals why this ad is not just an attention-getter but an attention-keeper. Santa was a huge win for this commercial, being mentioned is 7% of the 348 verbatim responses. (By the way, Santa hasn’t worked this hard for any other holiday ads this year – perhaps he is on Samsung’s payroll too….) Another 8% of the consumer responses mentioned the ad was “funny” while many others used words like “awesome”, “entertaining”, “amazing” and “interesting”.


Santa’s helped Samsung further secure its stronghold on the Mobile Device category. Competition has been fierce and with less than two weeks left in the year, it’s any of the watch list brands’ game to earn Brand of the Year, which will be announced on January 7th.

Watch this year’s winning Ads of the Week by Ace Score.


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