April 7th, 2015

Top Ads of Q1 Feature Animals, Empowerment and Love


Ace Metrix


Advertisers brought out their biggest creative guns to kick off the year and attract the ever-elusive attention of consumers. Many leveraged the largest, most diverse stage they’ll see all year ­– the Super Bowl, and what has become a stage much larger than that of just game day.

Here’s a look at the brands which earned the title:

Click the category link to jump ahead or stroll through them in sequence.

Top Ads of Q1 2015

Category Brand Ad Title Ace Score Percent Above Category Norm Powered By
Apparel & Footwear Reebok Be Better



Attention, Likeability

Appliances Hoover Get No Cord and No Compromise




Auto – Luxury Mercedes-Benz (AUG) Surviving Crash




Auto – Non-Luxury Jeep Park Assist




Automotive Services WeatherTech Great Help



Relevance, Desire

Beverages – Beer Budweiser (SB15) Lost Dog



Attention, Likeability

Beverages – Non-Alcoholic Simply Juice Refreshing




Beverages – Soda Coca-Cola (SB15) #MakeItHappy



Relevance, Likeability

Beverages – Spirits, Flavored Malts & Wine Pinnacle The Book Club Club




Candies & Snacks Triscuit Versatile Crackers for Any Food



Relevance, Desire

Financial Services – Banking, Investment & Mortgage Prudential Investments (AUG) Optimisim




Financial Services – Credit Cards Discover Card (SB15) Surprise Goat




Financial Services – Tax Services H&R Block Nine Nine Tee Nine




Household Bounty Something Entirely New




Insurance Allstate Be Protected



Likeability, Relevance

Packaged Foods Sargento Hundred Percent Cheese



Relevance, Desire

Personal Care – Cosmetics Almay C. Underwood: The Spirit of America



Likeability, Change

Personal Care – Hair Herbal Essences Rejuvenate Every Hair




Personal Care – Main Always (SB15) #LikeAGirl




Personal Care – Skin Dove One Positive Tweet to Start a Trend




Pets Purina Natural Pet Food




Restaurants – Casual Dining TGI Friday’s January




Restaurants – QSR McDonald’s (SB15) Pay With Lovin’




Retail Ace Hardware Best Paint



Information, Relevance

Technology – Hardware Intel We Make Technology



Likeability, Desire

Technology – Mobile Devices Kindle Twice Durable




Technology – Software & Websites Android Peaceful Co-existence



Attention, Likeability

Technology – Video Games & Consoles Supercell (SB15) Revenge



Attention, Likeability

Telecom Services HBO All You Need




Travel Universal Studios Resort (AUG) Epic




Apparel & Footwear

Reebok has already aired five new ads this year. Its Ad of the Quarter winner, “Be Better,” brought a category-high score for the quarter with an Ace Score of 609, 19.1% above the 12-month Apparel & Footwear norm. The heart-pumping ad excelled in terms of Attention and Likeability, both important factors when considering a commercial’s breakthrough power. Its Attention and Likeability components achieved a score of 716 and 686, respectively, both 7% above norm.

The 331 optional comments consumers left for the ad reveal why the ad earned such high breakthrough scores. Six percent of those consumers called the ad “inspiring” while 8% praised the “message” of the ad. The powerfulness of the ad’s message also became apparent when consumers answered the question, “What is the single best thing about this ad,” where 28% of respondents indicated that the message was, indeed, the best thing.

Watch “Be Better” >


Most consumers can likely agree that the vacuum cord is the most annoying element of the chore itself. Hoover is promoting a way around those messy cords with its new Hoover Air Cordless vacuum featured in its ad “Get No Cord and No Compromise.” Consumers awarded the 30-second ad with the highest Ace Score of any Appliances ad this last quarter, giving it a score of 674, which is 10.4% above the 12-month Appliances norm.

Consumers’ loathing for vacuum cords became apparent in the ad’s data. The commercial’s high score was powered by its relevance to consumers with a Relevance score of 704, a powerful 13% above the Relevance norm for Appliances ads. Consumers’ affinity for Hoover’s new appliance is also obvious when looking at the ad’s word cloud, which combines 374 optional responses left by consumers. Fourteen percent mentioned the “cordless” feature while 17% mentioned “vacuum.”

Watch “Get No Cord and No Compromise” > 

Auto – Luxury

Many auto ads of late have focused on the technological strides manufactures have made in terms of safety. However, among Luxury Autos, none has impressed consumers more than Mercedes-Benz’s new feature which, according to the ad, makes it nearly impossible for the car to crash. Consumers awarded Mercedes’ “Surviving Crash” an Ace Score of 641, 15% higher than the 12-month Luxury Auto norm. The ad stands out above other Luxury Auto ads from the quarter for being particularly informational. Consumers awarded “Surviving Crash” with an Information score 20% above the average for the quarter.

Reading the ad’s 279 optional comments left by consumers reveals what consumers enjoyed and learned about most in the ad. Seventeen percent of surveyed consumers mentioned the “safety” of the new vehicle’s features, an obvious concern for car-driving consumers. The positive impact of the ad is also apparent when looking at the scores of those consumers who are interested in purchasing or leasing a new car in the next 6 months. These soon-to-be-new-car-owners gave the ad a score of 709, a score 28% higher than those consumers who are looking into buying a new car in 2+ years.

Watch “Surviving Crash” >


Auto – Non-Luxury

For many, parallel parking is a confusing, annoying necessity, especially if you live in a big city. Luckily, auto manufacturers are slowly making our parallel parking-ridden lives a little easier with cars who will do the hard work for us. Jeep just released an ad last week to swipe Ad of the Quarter honors for its category. The ad, “Park Assist,” earned an Ace Score of 648, which is 17.4% above the 12-month Non-Luxury Auto norm. Much like Mercedes winning Luxury Auto ad, Jeep earned its winning score for its ability to convey new information to consumers. Highlighting the SUV brand’s technological advances in parking features, the ad’s Information component achieved a score of 706, 24% above the Non-Luxury Auto norm for Information.

Thirty-one percent of consumers agreed that the best thing about the ad was the product featured: the Jeep with the park assist feature. This is also confirmed when looking at the 296 optional comments respondents left for the advertiser. Thirteen percent of those mentioned the car’s “features” while 17% discussed “parking.”

Watch “Park Assist” >


Automotive Services

You may remember WeatherTech from its big commercial during the Big Game this past February. While its 2015 Super Bowl ad certainly did well with consumers, it was another WeatherTech’s winning Ad of the Quarter, “Great Help,” addresses a sore spot for many consumers—winter weather wreaking havoc on car interiors. WeatherTech ad that outperformed all Automotive Services ads this quarter. “Great Help” earned an Ace Score of 653, 16% above the 12-month Automotive Services norm and earned higher scores in terms of Desire and Relevance than its Super Bowl spot.

Forty-four percent of surveyed consumers indicated that the featured product—the custom floor mats—were the best thing about the ad.

Watch “Great Help” >


Beverages – Beer

Budweiser is back on our list of Top Ads of Q1 for the second year in a row for another puppy-themed, high-scoring Super Bowl spot. “Lost Dog” earned an Ace Score of 652, which is 27.8% above the 12-month Beer category norm. The heart-tugging storyline, adorable puppy and iconic Clydesdales brought the ad the highest Emotional Sentiment score of any Super Bowl ad with an 81 out of 100. “Lost Dog” earned its high score for its ability to be particularly attention-grabbing and likeable.

The ad’s word cloud, combining 375 optional consumer responses, reassures us that the high scores are, indeed, due to the ad’s cute main character and suspenseful storyline. An impressive 19% of those consumers mentioned that they “love” the animals or the overall ad. (No surprise there.)

Beverages – Non-Alcoholic

Simply Juice’s “Refreshing” had the highest score among all 2015 Non-Alcoholic Beverage ads, thus far. The colorful, tasty ad uses strong visuals and a product introduction to achieve an Ace Score of 658, which is 15% higher than the 12-month Non-Alcoholic Beverages norm. While each of the ad’s six component scores achieved above-norm status, its score in Desire is most impressive, helping the ad soak up its Ad of the Quarter title. Its Desire component earned a score of 704, a score 28% above norm.

A combination of delicious flavors and mouthwatering visuals helped the ad tip the scale in terms of desirability. Thirty-seven percent of consumers indicated that the Simply Juice product was the best thing about the ad while 21% countered that the refreshing visuals were actually the best thing.

 Watch “Refreshing” >


Beverages – Soda

“#MakeItHappy” was Coca-Cola’s much-anticipated Super Bowl spot, and consumers loved it. The powerful ad received an Ace Score of 652, a score 19.4% higher than the 12-month category norm, which also earned the cola brand the second highest Ace Score among all 2015 Super Bowl commercials. As we would expect the ad was well-received by viewers who felt the ad was relevant to today’s times. The ad’s Relevance component was awarded a score of 23% above this quarter’s Soda norm while its Likeability score came in 18% above norm.

The high component scores are congruent with what consumers thought was the best thing about the ad. Of the 500+ consumers surveyed, 49% indicated that the best thing about the ad was its anti-bullying message. An impressive 429 consumers opted to leave feedback for the ad of which 21% discussed the message of the ad. Many consumers noted that they loved the positive message of the ad, adding that the message is very much needed in this crazy world we live in.

 Watch “(SB15) #MakeItHappy” >


Beverages – Spirits, Flavored Malts & Wine

Pinnacle’s “The Book Club Club” earned an Ace Score of 537, 8.9% above the Spirits, Flavored Malts & Wine 12-month norm. While each of the ad’s six components of Persuasion scored above norm, it was the ad’s scores for Information that tipped the scale. Teaching consumers how to make a fancy, fruity drink, “The Book Club Club” earned an Information score 14% above the 90-day category Information norm.

Vodka drinkers were especially impressed with this tasty spot, awarding it an Ace Score of 698, which is 4% higher than the next highest scoring category of drinkers–those who enjoy pre-made cocktails.

Watch “The Book Club Club” >


Candies & Snacks

Triscuit’s tasty, winning ad encourages consumers to mix a variety of three ingredients together to put atop a Triscuit. Consumers awarded “Versatile Crackers for Any Food” with an Ace Score of 658, which is 15.1% above the 12-month Candies & Snack norm. The spot’s scrumptious visuals combined with viewers’ hungry stomachs helped the ad score especially well in terms of Desire and Relevance. Mouthwatering mixtures of Triscuit creations brought a Desire score 32% above the Candies & Snacks 90-day norm while the Relevance component scored similarly scored 32% above norm.

Thirty-four percent of surveyed consumers agreed that the best thing about Triscuit’s winning ad was the visual scenes of the yummy snack. Revealing how much the strong visuals affected their appetite, 9% of the 359 consumers to leave optional feedback on the ad mentioned that it made them “hungry.”

Watch “Versatile Crackers for Any Food” >


Financial Services – Banking, Investment & Mortgage

Prudential’s winning Ad of the Quarter challenges viewers to think realistically about the future and get serious about their investments. The thought-provoking ad, “Optimism,” earned an Ace Score of 604, scoring a noteworthy 20.8% above the 12-month norm for the Banking, Investments & Mortgage advertising category. While Prudential’s ad conveyed lots of information, it was the ad’s ability to relate to consumers that made it so effective. The ad’s Relevance component scored 26% above the 90-day norm among Investment ads.

Determining which aspects of the ad really resonated is apparent when looking at some additional data and consumers’ optional comments. Forty-five percent of consumers agreed that the best thing about the “Optimism” was its timeless message—plan for the worst, but hope for the best. This sentiment is reiterated among the 290 comments consumers left. Eleven percent specifically mentioned the “message” of the ad while 7% said it was “interesting” or “great” (6%).

Watch “Optimism” >


Financial Services – Credit Cards 

Discover Card’s Super Bowl commercial landed the credit card brand a spot on the Top Ads of the Quarter list. “Surprise Goat” teaches consumers about Discover Card’s free FICO credit scores so that there will be no surprises…of the credit score variety, at least. The humorous ad earned an Ace Score of 601, which is 10.8% above the 12-month Credit Card norm. The ad was particularly amusing, earning a Likeability component score 13% above the 90-day average for Credit Card ads.

Of course, the most likeable thing about the Big Game spot was the surprise goat scream at the end. Of the 359 consumers who chose to leave feedback for the advertising brand, 26% called the ad “funny” while 5% even mentioned that they thought the ad was “informative.”

Financial Services – Tax Services 

The Tax Services category is one of the most cyclical categories in all of TV advertising. Tax brands only produce enough ads to qualify for an Ad of the Quarter award during the first quarter of the year. This year, H&R Block has earned the title of highest scoring tax ad in the first quarter. Its quirky ad, “Nine Nine Tee Nine,” informs viewers that you can do your taxes for $9.99 with H&R Block. While the ad’s humor earns it above-norm scores in Attention and Likeability, its the Information component that makes it a stand out. Its Information component scored 18% higher than the quarter’s Tax Services norm.

While 17% of surveyed consumers indicated that the characters were the best thing about the ad, consumers still couldn’t ignore the deal with 20% countering that $9.99 was a steal for doing taxes. Humor with high amounts of information is a tricky combination, but H&R Block figured out how to crack the code, earning it the title of Top Ad of the Quarter for the Tax Services category.

Watch “Nine Nine Tee Nine” >



Consumers awarded Bounty’s “Something Entirely New” an Ace Score of 676, 12% above the 12-month norm for the Household category. The ad details the new-to-market combination of Bounty paper towels and Dawn dish soap in a single product. Of course, teaching consumers what a new product is or the benefits to its creation can often be a challenge, but “Something Entirely New” did so with ease. The ad’s Information component earned a score of 724, 21% above norm, indicating that more consumers learned something from this ad than from the average Household commercial.

Forty-eight percent of the 500+ consumers surveyed agreed that the product is, hands down, the best thing about Bounty’s winning ad. Among the 397 optional comments consumers left about the ad, many agreed that this paper towel/soap combination was a “great idea.”

Watch “Something Entirely New” >



Allstate knows we all make mistakes—sometimes really stupid ones—which is why the insurance brand turned some of those accidents into a humorous ad. “Be Protected” earned the highest Ace Score in the Insurance category in the first quarter, an Ace Score of 617, 17.1% above the 12-month Insurance norm. The funny scenes of the woman’s ill-timed accidents combined with Allstate spokesman Dennis Haysbert’s voiceover made for a well-rounded, humorous spot, earning exceptional scores in terms of Likeability and Relevance. Women were particularly interested in the ad, awarding it an Ace Score 6% higher than what men gave the ad.

In the 359 optional comments consumers left for the ad, it’s easy to see why the ad was so relatable. Eight percent of consumers used the word “happen,” discussing how these types of things happen to everyone. Additionally, 16% mentioned that they found the ad “funny.”

Watch “Be Protected” >


Packaged Foods

Sargento knows that real cheese lovers don’t eat “processed cheese food” that is wrapped in plastic, so the dairy brand decided to show off its product with delectable images of real, fresh cheese. The ad won itself an Ace Score of 673, 15.0% above the Packaged Foods 12-month norm. The ad performed exceptionally well in terms of Relevance (20% above norm) and Desire (22% above norm), likely due to the images of real cheese being served with some of our favorite foods.

Of the 337 optional responses given, 42% of consumers used the word “cheese,” which reinforces how much Americans are attracted to the dairy delight. Words like “good” (23%), “real” (17%) and “Sargento” (12%) were also popularly used. Thirty-two percent of consumers thought the single best thing about the ad was the product itself while 20% thought the brand and everything it stands for was the best thing about the ad, further proving that it’s all about that cheese.

Watch “Hundred Percent Cheese” >


Personal Care – Cosmetics

Almay teamed up with Carrie Underwood and that good ol’ American spirit for an ad that boasts an Ace Score of 562, 12.9% above the 12-month Cosmetics norm. The ad did exceptionally well under the Likeability and Change components with both scoring 10% above norm. Combining Carrie Underwood with “American spirit” proved to be a success for this ad, especially for women who gave the ad an Ace Score of 601, a score 18% higher than what men gave the ad.

Twenty-one percent of surveyed consumers felt that the single best thing about the ad was Carrie Underwood, herself, followed by the brand and everything it stands for with 18% of consumers. Consumers loved the American pride featured in the ad, since 9% of the optional responses included the word “American.” Words like “Almay” (9%), “Carrie” (15%) and “love” (10%) also appeared frequently, indicating women’s love of the country singer and the brand’s recognition.

Watch “C. Underwood: The Spirit of America” >


Personal Care – Hair

Herbal Essences outperformed the 12-month category norm by 12.9%, scoring an Ace Score of 573. The ad managed to breakthrough with an Attention score 13% above norm. This is likely due to the ad’s captivating visual scenes, about which, 30% of consumers indicated were the single best thing about the ad.

Both women and men alike seemed to enjoy the soothing sounds and scenes of the Herbal Essences rainforest with men giving the ad an Ace Score of 556 and women awarding the ad a score of 582. Overall, Herbal Essences was able to make this ad breakthrough the clutter and grab consumer attention, transporting viewers to an herbal paradise.


Personal Care – Main

Always used a unique social experiment to show how doing something “like a girl” can mean great things. Super Bowl spot “#LikeAGirl” received an Ace Score of 636, 15.3% above the 12-month Personal Care category norm. The ad also scored 21% above the norm for Likeability, which is not surprising given its powerful message. An astounding 54% of consumers felt that the message was the best thing about the ad, which goes to show how strong consumers support the sentiment of turning “like a girl” into something more positive. Women are the real heroes to this ad’s success, awarding it a staggering Ace Score of 724, 35% higher than what men gave it.

Consumers were very passionate on the subject, as 24% of the 333 consumers to leave an optional response mentioned the word “message.”. Other words, such as “girls” (14%), “great” (9%) and “inspiring” (3%) were used. Twelve percent of consumers felt so strongly about being “like a girl,” they used the word “very” in their response.

Watch “#LikeAGirl” >


Personal Care – Skin

Dove challenges consumers to send one positive tweet each day, in order to try to eliminate the five million negative tweets in the Twittersphere about beauty and body image. “One Positive Tweet to Start a Trend” received an Ace Score of 652, 26.3% above the 12-month category norm. The ad also scored 21% above the norm in terms of Likeability. Men rated the ad higher than the norm, but not as high as women who gave the ad an Ace Score 18% higher than men.

However, both men and women alike are ready for a change with more positive tweets, as 53% of consumers thought the best thing about the ad was its message. Common words mentioned by consumers in an optional response included “message” (19% of responses), “positive” (11% of responses) and “beautiful” (7% of responses).

Watch “One Positive Tweet to Start A Trend” >



Purina’s winning ad “Natural Pet Food” provides useful information with superb visuals to earn an Ace Score of 624, which is 11.4% above the 12-month Pets category norm. The ad also scored 13% above the norm for Change, which suggests that consumers feel like Purina is going in a new direction with its Beyond pet food.

Twenty-three percent of consumers felt that the best thing about the ad was the product itself, closely follow by the visual scenes of the ad, with 18% of consumers indicating that the animation was the best thing. Consumers appreciated the new information, on how Purina keeps our furry friends healthy. Seventeen percent of the 351 consumers who opted to leave feedback for Purina mentioned that they “liked” the ad and the direction of Purina’s pet food production.

Watch “Natural Pet Food” >


Restaurants – Casual Dining

TGI Friday’s received an Ace Score of 695 for the ad “January,” 11.4% higher than the 12-month Casual Dining norm. The ad also scored 15% higher than the norm in the Desire category, due to the images sizzling steaks, burgers and chicken breasts. The ad’s month-long offer won over many consumers, 25% of which marked as the best thing about the ad. When TGI Friday’s combines sizzling food, generous brews and an irresistible offer, America’s stomachs start grumbling.

Common words found in consumers’ optional responses were “good” (24%), “food” (19%), and “deal” (11%). Women gave the ad a higher score of 708, while men gave it a score of 661. Offer consumers a great deal and show images of tastey food and a successful restaurant ad is born.

Watch “January” > 


Restaurants – QSR

McDonald’s Super Bowl spot “Pay with Lovin’” earned Ad of the Quarter honors in the QSR category, with an Ace Score of 706, 21.6% above the 12-month QSR norm. The ad is also the highest scoring spot year-to-date, and the only ad to break 700 among the nearly 1,700 ads that we’ve scored thus far in 2015.

Typical of many Super Bowl spots, “Pay with Lovin’” achieved its success thanks to a strong emotional message. In fact, 36% of those surveyed said that the ad’s message was the best thing about “Pay With Lovin’.” Another 18% indicated that the ad’s deal was actually the best thing about it.  Nearly all of the component scores exceeded 700 (Relevance was the one exception), with Likeability scoring the highest at 759.

Watch “Pay With Lovin’” >



Ace Hardware’s “Best Paint” achieved an Ace Score of 654, which is 19.9% above the 12-month Retail norm. The ad explains the benefits of Valspar paint, introduces an attractive offer and humors the audience with two cute chameleons  Each of those combined proved to be a winning combination and also triggered a very positive emotional response. “Best Paint” delivered an ESI of 73—the highest result for Ace Hardware in the past five years.

With so much to love about the ad—the brand, the deal, the little reptiles—consumers were divided as to what was the best thing about the ad, overall. The ad’s steal of a deal—99 cents for a pint of paint—got the highest percentage of consumers’ attention with 17% indicating that was the best thing about “Best Paint.” Otherwise, 15% of consumers equally agreed that the brand, message, characters or product was actually the best part of the ad.

Watch “Best Paint” >


Technology – Hardware

Intel’s “We Make Technology” achieved an Ace Score of 640, which was 13.3% above the 12-month Hardware norm. The spot is part of the tech company’s campaign featuring Jim Parsons, who plays the geeky Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. “We Make Technology” highlights the features of Intel’s two-in-one technology by poking fun at a stubborn TSA agent who fails to grasp this technological innovation.

The inclusion of the celebrity Parsons no doubt helped the ad achieve its high-scoring glory. Afterall, 30% of consumers agreed that the characters were the best part of “We Make Technology.” Likewise, the combination of a two-in-one laptop/tablet is appealing to many consumers, with 23% indicating that the product is the best thing about the ad.

Watch “We Make Technology” >


Technology – Mobile Devices

The Amazon Kindle directly targets Apple’s iPad in its newest ad, “Twice Durable.” The ad’s informative message about the durability of the Kindle Fire resonated with consumers, who awarded the ad an Ace Score of 671, an impressive 12.3% above the 12-month Mobile Devices norm. Consumers learned all about how tough the Kindle is, giving the ad an Information component score 17% above the 90-day Mobile Devices average.

Reading through the 329 optional comments consumers provided, we can see why consumers, especially older and female respondents, loved this ad so much. Twelve percent of all comments mentioned how “durable” the Kindle Fire is with women ages 36-49 most likely to positively discuss how “durable” the tablet is. Older women were also more likely to mention that they could “relate” to the ad. However, reading the verbatims, it’s fairly obvious that damaging your mobile device by dropping it is a common occurrence with which many consumers can sympathize.

Watch “Twice Durable” >


Technology – Software & Websites

Android’s “Peaceful Coexistence” achieved an Ace Score of 647, which was 28.4% above the 12-month Software & Websites category norm. The spot featured cute animals playing together in unlikely pairs, as part of the brand’s “Togetherness” campaign, to create an instant success. The ad gapped above norm in all components, with towering Attention and Likeability scores of 780 and 777, respectively.

The visual scenes of the ad and the characters featured in the ad were the top two “Best Things” about the ad, with visual scenes capturing 30% of the votes and characters featured capturing 28%.  The strong appeal of the visuals and the characters helped the ad deliver an Emotional Sentiment Index of 71, a notable feat for a category in which the ESI norm is just 48.


Technology – Video Games & Consoles

Clash of Clans decided to team up with Liam Neeson for its 2015 Super Bowl ad. The ad scored extremely well, receiving an Ace Score of 607 (19.5% above the Video Games 12-month norm). The ad scored exceptionally well in terms of Attention (732) and Likeability (727). These breakthrough components are reflective of the over 50 million views this ad has received on YouTube, making the ad the most watched ad on YouTube for all of February.

A noteworthy 333 consumers opted to leave feedback on the Big Game ad, using the word “funny” and “Liam” in 19% of responses. Other popular responses included “Neeson” (11%), “game” (17%) and “clash” or “clans” with 6% each. About 7% of consumers felt so motivated by the ad that they used the word “very” to describe it.

Watch “Revenge” >


Telecom Services

HBO has been making waves recently, especially with its much-talked-about Game of Throne series and its heavy promotion of HBOGo and, now, HBONOW. Fittingly, the wave-making brand earns this quarter’s title of Ad of the Quarter for the Telecom Services category with its ad “All You Need,” which earned an Ace Score of 640, 19.2% above the Telecom Services 12-month norm. Consumers recognize all the changes the network brand has made with this ad receiving a Change score 18% above the Telecom Services norm.

Current HBO subscribers especially loved this ad, awarding it a score of 735, some 10% higher than consumers who have never experienced the joys of HBO before but would consider it in the future. Current brand users were also more likely to positively mention that the ad got there “attention.” Similarly, those who would consider using HBO in the future were most likely to rate the ad highly and remark that the ad was “interesting.”

Watch “All You Need” > 


Universal Studio Resort’s “Epic” achieved an Ace Score of 640, which was 19.2% above the 12-month Travel category norm. The ad highlighted a happy family vacationing “where the adventure never ends”. The formula proved highly effective in stimulating Desire, whose relative score landed in the top decile among all ads in the Ace Metrix database. This strength reflects the spot’s success in enticing viewers to want their own vacation after seeing what Universal Studios has to offer.

Of the 228 consumers who opted to leave feedback on Universal Studio Resort’s winning ad, 17% mentioned that the vacation looks “fun.” Another 11% of consumers expressed their desire to go on such a magical trip saying that they “want” to go. And, reading through the verbatims, it appears the fun-filled resort doesn’t need to worry too much about its branding—17% percent of the comments also mentioned “Universal” without any solicitation.

Watch “Epic” >

We scored more than 1,700 new, national television ads (and hundreds more digital ads – but those are excluded from this report). One ad from each of the 30 qualifying categories was awarded Top Dog honors. Each of the 1,700+ ads to debut this past quarter were watched by at least 500 consumers and scored on a multitude of dimensions that make up the holistic Ace Score. This represents 850,000 consumer interactions and nearly 600,000 qualitative voice of the consumer responses offered optionally by the respondents.

While we love to show-off which brands brought their A-game on a quarterly basis, our real specialty is diving into the “whys” behind the “whats” of creative success. We can take a deeper look into any category, so contact us below to set up a conversation specific to your advertising needs.


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