Luxury Vehicles Pack Emotional Punch

The automotive category still spends big on TV, so it’s no surprise they were dominant in the just-released Ace Metrix Blackbook compendium of TV advertising effectiveness. When it comes to emotional punch, luxury autos were especially visible in the book’s several rankings, garnered from 1,000 brands and 12,000 ads in 2012 and 2013.  

The market measurement company says it boiled data down to three results silos: a "Persuasion" ranking that looks at desire, relevance, information, attention, change, and likeability; "Watchability," measuring the ad’s ability to attract a viewer’s interest; and an Emotional Sentiment Index tracking the ads with the deepest connection with consumers on a 1-to-100 scale. 

Brands airing five or more pieces of unique creative in the year are ranked in a broad portfolio group, while those airing four or fewer pieces of unique creative are ranked in narrow portfolio groups.

Luxury auto brands, among the top third of all product or service categories in the rankings, were dominant among the top 10 brands with the highest Emotional Sentiment (although the luxury car category was off 3% versus 2012.) Ace Metrix chose those 10 Emotional Sentiment leaders from a pool of 331 broad portfolio brands. Jaguar was number one with a score of 68. Other auto brands in the top 10 were Buick, Lexus, and Cadillac.

When luxury auto brands are ranked by their Ace Score (a proprietary measure derived in part from an ad’s persuasion and likeability scores), Buick is the leader, a move up from its third-place spot on the broad-portfolio luxury-autos list in 2012. Ace Metrix said the brand moved to the top spot because of its ads for five different models, with Lacrosse the most frequently featured. 

Hyundai, on the luxury list because of Equus and Genesis, saw the biggest positive jump in Ace Score, from 11th in 2012 to fourth place in 2013. Of the two narrow portfolio brands, Porsche was ahead because of its single ad for the Panamera Hybrid, which was the fifth-highest-scoring Luxury Auto ad of the year. 

In the non-luxury category -- which dropped 1% versus the 1.6% decline across all industries -- Jeep, Ford, and Mazda were neck and neck, with Jeep earning the top position because of its military-themed ads that aired early in the year, including its two-minute “Whole Again” Super Bowl spot. Ford was a strong runner-up, airing nearly 50 unique ads during the course of the year. Finally, Mazda moved up eight ranks, or 4.4% from 11th to third.

The firm said Subaru fell the farthest of any non-luxury auto brand that saw declines. Subaru fell from 2nd to 12th because of a couple of low-scoring spots early on last year.

There is also a list of brands across all categories that moved up or down most significantly. The ones with the most positive changes were Liberty Mutual, Fidelity, Blue Moon, Tide, Lysol, Charmin, Cisco, Samsung TV, Ford and JCP. The ones that moved south most significantly were Xbox, Pepsi, MasterCard, Chaser 5-hour, Ubisoft Video Games, Kinect, Clairol, Skechers, THQ Video Games and Microsoft Windows.

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