NBC: Women Rate Brands, Love Wal-Mart

What brands are the most important to women this fall? Right now, it's Wal-Mart, Target, and eBay.

The survey is sponsored by Women at NBCU, NBC Universal's female-targeted ad sales, marketing and research effort, which measures the 25 key brands, based on online search data. It showed a number of brands improving their profile in September.

September results for its new monthly brand index rates -- in order, after Wal-Mart, Target, and eBay: Verizon, Ford, Coca-Cola, iPhone, AT&T, Honda, Pepsi, iPod, Amazon, Toyota, Sears, Similac, Bank of America, Microsoft, Netflix, Tylenol, McDonald's, Sprint, Kohl's, Chevrolet, Samsung, and Comcast.

Getting a big push from the start of the broadcast TV season, a number of brands showed lift. Dr. Pepper was one of the biggest gainers moving up, gaining 19 places to 64th-best brand for women from 83. The soft drink had a high-profile mention on Fox's "Glee," for example. Sears, a major sponsor of CBS' "Survivor: Nicaragua," gained 5 spots from 19 to 14. Netflix, with a big overall NBC Universal online video sponsorship, gained 2 spots from 20 to 18.



Video game systems -- not usually big brands among females -- grew in September for Nintendo Wii, which moved up 11 spots from 78 to 67; Sony PlayStation 3 with a new release gained 100% to 150th position from 304.

Tony Cardinale, senior vice president of strategic research insights for NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, stated: "Social media campaigns continue to spark a lot of dialogue and move the needle, and television remains a powerful influence. We saw multiple cases where strategic TV exposures corresponded with more brand activity."

Other brand gainers: Applebees, which is offering a "kids eat free" promotion at select locations on Labor Day, was up 81 spots from 167 to 86; LG hosted its annual National Texting Championship aimed at teens, and gained 65 spots from 153 to 88; Campbell's Soup, targeting younger consumers with its Facebook Soup Scan Sweepstakes, improved 37 spots from 121 to 84.

Another big mover: "One a Day" by Bayer, gaining from a social campaign, whatmatterstoyou.com, improved 241 spots to 140th place.

Women at NBCU's study comes from three research sources -- Compete; social media buzz data from New Media Strategies; as well as person-to-person conversations tracked by Keller Fay.

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