Wal-Mart's "Help Home Feel Closer" ad beat out more than 85 other holiday-themed ads, according to Ace Metrix, which evaluates the creative effectiveness of TV ads. Victoria's Secret, which aired multiple TV ads this holiday season, garnered the highest campaign score, driven largely by high "attention" scores from men.
The Wal-Mart spot, featuring Procter & Gamble's Operationfamilyconnect.com promotion, resonated across all demographic groups with its philanthropic message. It scored more than 100 points above the retail ad norm for "likeability" and "attention" and more than 90 points above the average for all ads in the Ace Metrix database of nearly 8,000 national ads.
Wal-Mart's ad scored a 623 out of a possible 950 points, says Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. It was effective partly because of what it did not do -- focus on sales and events, he adds. Consumers have learned to tune these promotional types of ads out. Messages about what companies are doing for them resonate much better, he says.
"Consumers just don't respond to the 'buy it now, you idiot' sales messaging," Daboll tells Marketing Daily.
Philanthropic ads for major brands continue to show strong advertising value, he says. "I think the trend of philanthropy will continue," Daboll says. "We have seen some great success of ads from companies such as Starbucks and Wal-Mart, where consumers are looking for more than the typical messages. To earn their business you need to be a good citizen, too."
Despite Victoria's Secret's polarizing effect between men and women, the ads were consistently top-scoring, a hallmark of campaign success, Daboll says. Both Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which had the top two ads overall, did not fare as well on the campaign level because of the gap between their high-scoring and lower-scoring ads. Victoria's Secret and Overstock.com, on the other hand, had consistently high-scoring ads.
The scores are based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. Respondents are randomly selected and representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience. The results are presented on a scale of 0-950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as relevance, persuasion, watchability, information and attention.
Ace Metrix's criteria, (did it persuade consumers to do something, increase their desire, change their opinion or provide useful information) is much different than "did the consumer like the ad" which is the criteria for the recently released NRF ad list. The NRF reported that Target did well, while their ads did quite poorly in the Ace Metrix rankings vs. both Wal-Mart and Kmart.