December 10th, 2013

Adweek 10 Best Ads of 2013 List


Ace Metrix

While we wait until after the year is over to announce our Ad of the Year and runner-ups, we always enjoy the end of the year list making as it allows us to compare some highly informed and distinguished industry insiders with our demographically balanced sample of everyday American television viewers. On occasion the results diverge, but on the whole, greatness has a way of transcending income, education and age – it just appears. This year the Adweek 10 Best Ads of 2013 list is no different, only one ad is lower than norm – and there is good reason why. Here is the Ace Score for each of the ads on Adweek’s list with a little commentary. See a detailed description of our methodology. 

#10 – Kmart “Ship My Pants”

The viral wonder did well for Kmart, pulling in a towering 598 with a 717 on the Attention scale – good for a top quintile performance for the retailer. Its lesser known cousin “Big Gas Savings” also posted up with a big number….

#9 – Chipotle “The Scarecrow”

The visually stunning ad was another winner for Chipotle a brand who is still trying to find storage for all the awards it won with its last ad, “Back to the Start.” Interestingly, this ad fared better with the public than “Back to the Start” which despite its critical acclaim, only mustered a 518. What a difference 18 months seemed to make as Chipotle now breaks the elusive 600 barrier with this offering, driven in part by its extraordinary Attention scores. To get a full perspective, see our Brand to Watch: Chipotle post.

#8 – Robinsons “Pals”

The only ad on the Adweek list we don’t have – but it’s so good we are going to score it anyway. Check back to see what America thought about this uniquely British ad.

#7 – Volvo “Epic Split”

We don’t normally score cargo truck ads either – particularly when they originate overseas – but when USA Today called to get a read on it, we put it in the field and got an answer a few hours later. There was a reason it was blowing up the web, it was incredibly compelling to truck drivers and car drivers alike. Naturally the ad was short on Relevance and Desire, you would expect that, but look at the Likeability and Attention scores. To break 700 with a component is remarkable, to break 800, well that’s just epic.

#6 – Nike “Possibilities”

This was a YouTube leaderboard winner from August of this year and we have some additional demographic data on our August YouTube Leaderboard post. While this didn’t quite go top quintile with the general public, it crushed it with the younger crowd. The ad struggled a little to impart information, but that would be expected given it was more motivational than product demonstrational….

#5 – Dick’s Sporting Goods “Every Pitch”

While we agree with Adweek on this one, it is probably because we have a lot of baseball fans (go Giants and A’s – only 66 days ’til pitchers and catchers report). The key is that the ad was pretty specific to baseball; and it shows in the scores and demographic cuts. Those who play baseball or consider themselves a sports fan score the ad substantially higher than the general public.

#4 – Geico “Hump Day”

Another ad with the viral stats to match the creative. This is a somewhat polarizing ad but it has withstood the test of time, still getting airplay on television seven months after it first appeared. The ad notched a 700 on attention but came in light on Information – not unusual for a Geico ad.

#3 – Guinness “Basketball”

This ad won an Ad of the Quarter award from us in Q3 based on its performance, so we are not surprised to see it on the Adweek list. It is an exceptional piece of creative and even gets non-drinkers to think about hoisting a pint.

#2 – Ram Trucks “Farmer”

Another ad that we had written about previously, this time in the “Ads Worth Spreading” list from TED. This ad was a winner with Likeability and Attention but had some really interesting age polarity. Interestingly, it turns out very few people under the age of 35 know who Paul Harvey is, and it impacts scoring. If you just looked at 36+ this ad breaks the 600 barrier.

#1 – Dove “Real Beauty Sketches”

Another ad looking to find places to store its plethora of awards, we also wrote about this back in April as it delivered a stunning score of 665 and would have put it on the watch list for an Ad of the Year award if it had run on television. A great piece of creative, the ad balanced its female tilt with strong male backing and strong emotion as well. Congrats to Dove on yet another accolade.

These are great examples of creative as is evidenced by the majority of scores. Stay tuned for January 6th’s announcement of the Ace Metrix Top Ads and Top Brands of the Year. We think advertisers who air new creative in December deserve to be among the running for a top ad of the year – and in fact, several ads broke just last week that have swept into the top 5 highest scoring! This may be a heated race to the finish line.


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