Nielsen Reveals 2012’s Best-Liked TV Spots; YouTube Unveils Most Viewed Video Ads

December 19, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Brand Metrics | Broadcast & Cable | Digital | Financial Services | Paid Search | Sports | Television | Uncategorized

Nielsen-Best-Liked-TV-Ads-in-2012-Dec2012After releasing its top TV programs of the year, Nielsen has now issued its lists of most liked new commercials, best recalled branded integrations in scripted shows, and top advertising categories and advertisers. According to the blog post, the best-liked new commercials of the year proved that “audience-appropriate humor, an ownable creative concept and a relatable, emotional appeal” are what drove engagement with viewers.

To determine the most likable new ads (aired January 1 – November 30), Nielsen took the likeability score (% of viewers who liked the ad “somewhat” or “a lot”) for each top ad and indexed it against the mean score of all new ads during the same time period. The analysis excluded Super Bowl ads.

With a likeability index of 319,’s “Ellen Harrington,” a 15-second spot, was the clear winner. The index score of 319 means that the ad was 3.19 times as well liked as the average ad. Following was Wendy’s “My dad Dave Thomas,” a 30-second spot that garnered a likeability index of 269. JCPenney took 2 of the following 3 spots (#3 and #5) with 60-second spots “No receipt no return” and “Why so many coupons?” JCPenney also appeared in the #7 and #8 spots, making the advertiser easily the most accomplished brand according to this metric, with 4 of the top 10 most liked ads of the year.

There did not appear to be any correlation between commercial length and likeability. Among the top 10 most liked ads of the year, 4 were 15 seconds in length, 3 were 30 seconds long, and 3 were 60 seconds long.

Subway, Chevrolet Perform Well in Branded Integrations

Nielsen also analyzed brand integrations in dramas and sitcoms, measuring their effectiveness by indexing them on the basis of brand recall (% of viewers who recalled the integration), relative to the average. Subway took the top 2 spots for product placements in the CBS hit, “Community.” Chevrolet was the only other brand to feature 2 placements in the top 10, taking the #4 and #9 spots for integrations on “Hawaii Five-O.”

Nielsen’s analysis suggests that the top product placements “involved longer-term show sponsorships, which suggest that using a storyline to deliver brand messages is effective in traditional creative and in branded integrations as well.”

Nike Tops YouTube Ad Leaderboard

Google-Top-10-video-Ads-of-2012-Dec2012Google’s list of top YouTube ads (in terms of total views) features a mix of sports, automotive, and tech brands, although a couple of brands stood out atop the list. Nike Football saw great success, with the top-viewed ad (My Time is Now; 20.9 million views) and the 9th most-viewed ad (Mercurial Vapo VIII; 10 million views). Auto brands took 5 of the top 10 spots, with Volkswagen occupying the #3 (The Bark Side; 17.7 million views) and #6 (The Dog Strikes Back; 16 million views) positions.

Also of note, the 2 most-viewed ads of the year were uploaded on the same day, May 18.

Other Findings:

  • According to Nielsen, the automotive industry spent $8 billion on advertising during the first three quarters of the year, easily outpacing the second-biggest spending industry, quick service restaurants ($3.3 billion). Auto insurers took the last spot in the top 10 list of advertisers, spending $1.24 billion. For an in-depth study of how auto insurers spent that money across media, the strategy behind the spending, and the efficacy of that outlay, see the new MarketingCharts report on personal lines insurance marketing.
  • Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser of the year, followed by AT&T, General Motors, Toyota, and Ford. Berkshire Hathaway took the 10th spot, presumably on the back of advertising for GEICO.

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