July 28th, 2014

Recess is Over – Get Back to School


Ace Metrix


Sure there are still a handful of BBQs, pool parties and play dates left this summer but you and I both know Back to School is already upon us. Ziploc has beaten every brand to the punch, debuting its ad “Start the School Year Off Right” on June 21st—a full two weeks earlier than last year’s start of the Back to School season.

Since the first bell rang, Back to School ad volume has held strong and is up 100% compared to this time last year. To no surprise, Retail is crushing every other category in terms of volume. Of the 18 Back to School ads we have tested, 13 of them are Retail ads. The others have come from the Household, Packaged Foods and Technology categories.

The biggest surprise in Back to School advertising this year are the ads’ scores. Last year, none of the Back to School ads made it past the 600 Ace Score hurdle; and this year, we’ve already seen five ads exceed this mark. Target, Ziploc, Dell, Best Buy and General Mills have debuted the highest scoring Back to School ads, so far. While Target has the highest scoring ad (673), it also holds the current place for the lowest scoring ad (469)—a trend that seems to be consistent with much of Target’s recent TV ads. The brand with the most ads aired, so far, is none other than Famous Footwear, a brand that only aired one ad in total last year and has already aired three this year.

Understandably, Back to School ads are specifically targeted to college students or parents of children in grade school, so the ads don’t apply to everyone. Consumers who live in the same home as children under 18, used words like “great” (7%) and “cute” (5%) to describe the new Back to School ads.

Word Cloud of Comments from Consumers Living with Children Under 18 

Of the 5,400+ consumer responses received, some consumers appreciated the reminder that the start of school is fast approaching. 

Conversely, for other folks, it was a little too soon to start thinking about those busy early mornings and school science fair projects. 

Either way, The Emotional Sentiment score is still up 9%, on average, across all 18 ads.

Of course, this is just the beginning. We still have well over a month of testing ads to see which brand will get an A+ in Back to School advertising.

Curious what kind of grades your Back to School ads are getting? Contact us for an in-depth look into Back to School advertising trends and data.


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