Ace Metrix has released its list of the top TV brand advertisers and ads of 2012, revealing that the year “was marked by creative strategies that stressed innovation while embracing cause and humor.” Notably, many of the top brands by category were able to achieve a difficult feat: airing high quantities of creative while keeping the quality ahead of the competition. Such was the case for brands like Best Buy, which topped the retail category, and Samsung, which topped the tech category while producing more than 3 times as much new creative as Apple.
The lists are based on average Ace Scores for the brands’ ads. The Ace Score is a measure of ad effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. The results are presented on a scale of 1-950, aggregating scores on attributes such as persuasion, relevance, information, attention, change, desire, and watchability. To qualify to be a brand category leader, the brand must have debuted 5 or more unique pieces of creative within an industry or category containing more than 125 pieces of creative and 5 qualifying brands.
The list of brand leaders by category in the above chart shows the average Ace Score for each brand. This year, Ace Metrix notes some themes that emerged:
- 4 of the top 5 ads of the year featured household products and appliances that stressed innovations. Samsung Large Appliances’s “For Your Big Life” was the top-rated ad of the year, with an Ace Score of 697. Frigidaire’s “History of Innovation” was second with a score of 691;
- Brands that supported causes put in a strong showing: Ford, AT&T, and Outback Steakhouse each appeared on the top ads of the year list for their cause-based campaigns, while other brands including Bank of America, Dove, and Verizon Wireless saw the best scores in their categories from their cause-based messages;
- Coca-Cola, which topped the non-alcoholic beverage category last year, saw its average Ace Score fall from 607 to 585, and was supplanted at the top by Ocean Spray (595);
- Blue Moon won the alcoholic beverage category with an average score of 538, ahead of more well-known brands such as Budweiser and Miller Lite, which did not make the brand watch list;
- Oliver Garden, the casual dining brand of the year, also was the overall top-scoring brand, with an Ace Score of 624;
- Microsoft, which was the most effective brand last year, was unable to duplicate its feat this year, although its Surface launch did break the top 20 Ad of the Year list; and
- M&M was one of only a few brands able to retain category leadership from 2011.
Nielsen’s list of 2012’s best-liked TV ads (as opposed to most effective ads) can be found here.