Oscars Ads: Samsung, Other Tech Brands Ruled

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-AdIf the Academy gave Oscars for ads, Samsung would have two on its shelf.

Competing with a raft of tech and telecom brand spots, Samsung’s ads for its Galaxy Note and Smart TV with Smart Interaction pulled the evening’s highest Ace Scores, reports Ace Metrix.

The Galaxy Note ad, spotlighting the device’s versatility (“It’s the best of a smartphone … and the best of a tablet”), drew a 686 score, while the Smart TV ad (showing a family “taking over” by using the TV’s voice and gesture control capabilities) drew a 665 score.

With two exceptions, the rest of the top 10 were also ads for tech/mobile device brands.

Google Plus’s “Instantly Saved” ranked #3 (633 score), and Sprint’s “No Limited for this Device” (618) ranked #5.



Two Apple iPhone spots (“Road Trip” and “Command Your Phone to Do Anything”) came in sixth and eighth, with scores of 615 and 602, respectively. Both of those ads had debuted earlier in the month, and a new ad for the iPhone 4S (“iCloud Harmony”) failed to make the Oscars’ top 10. Only “Road Trip” outscored Apple’s Ace norm score of 607.

AT&T’s ad for its Pantech Element “waterproof tablet” ranked ninth (599), and another Sprint ad for its data plan (showing a woman using data wherever she goes) grabbed 10th place (593).

“It seems the Oscars are becoming a showcase for tech and telecom advertising,” observed Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll. “The battle between AT&T and Sprint was clearly being played out during Oscar commercial breaks, and Samsung’s bold and very effective moves in promoting its Galaxy Note and its new Smart TV paid off. “

JC-PenneyOutside of tech/telecom, one of four new JCPenney ads starring Ellen DeGeneres aired during the show -- “Roman Returns” -- pulling the fourth-highest score (630). That spot –- which shows DeGeneres imagining trying to return a toga in ancient Rome and inspiring a citizens’ revolt in the process –- struck a chord with women 21 to 35 in particular, with outstanding Ace sub scores for “change,” “likeability,” and “attention,” reports Ace Metrix.

But all of the spots were winners from Penney’s perspective, since the lowest-scoring one (552) still exceeded Penney’s own average Ace Score (516), as well as the average Ace for department-store ads (510). The ads clearly resonated with the Oscars’ heavily female audience, seeming to validate Penney’s refusal to knuckle under to One Million Moms’ threatened boycott of the retailer for choosing a gay celebrity as its spokeswoman.

The other non-tech/device ad in the top 10: Subway’s “FebruANY is On!,” for its $5 Footlong promotion -- a rapid montage featuring a groundhog, a runway model, a kid on a skateboard and … toga-clad ancient Romans. (No doubt sheer coincidence that two Oscars spots used a Roman theme … although the notion occurs that our currently beleaguered national collective unconscious might be showing?)

Low-Scoring Ads

Interestingly, many of the 24 new ads among the total 37 aired during the Oscars failed to impress viewers.

Stella Artois’ “Making of the Chalice” ad was the poorest-performing ad of the evening, with an Ace of 423.

Two new ads from American Express -- one featuring renowned chef/restaurants founder Thomas Keller, the other with a “Power of Us” theme –- pulled scores of 427 and 502, respectively. Those scores are well below the norms for the brand and the financial category as a whole.

Miracle Whip’s “Witch Hunt” and Hyundai Azera’s “Lots of Corn” ads rounded out the list of least-effective Oscar ads, scoring 500 and 466, respectively. 

Diet Coke’s new “Hollywood” ad, showing the beverage helping to fuel the efforts of behind-the-scenes movie pros, scored 533. The spot, which was labeled “boring” by many of the consumers polled, was particularly disappointing after Coke’s “stellar” showing for its Super Bowl ads, noted Ace Metrix.

Hulu’s Oscars entry –- a new 60-second ad dubbed “Alien Forces” -- fared somewhat better (513) than its Super Bowl “Hulubratory” ad, which came in dead last among the game’s spots with a 438.

Ace Scores, which range from 0 to 950, are based on surveying the reactions of a representative sample of the U.S. television-viewing audience. The overall scores reflect measurement of several attributes or sub scores, including relevance, persuasion, “watchability,” information and attention.

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