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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Harry Trott, Philippe Abdoulaye, Pat Romanski, Brian Daleiden

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Ace Metrix Announces the Top Brands and Ads of 2012

Ace Metrix®, the new standard in television and video analytics, today announced the top TV brand advertisers and ads of 2012. Brand of the Year honors went to 16 advertisers, in 15 categories, which earned the highest average Ace Score for their body of work in 2012. In addition, Ace Metrix revealed the Top 20 most effective individual Ads of the Year, a list representing the highest scoring ads across 28 industries and nearly 6,000 ads scored in 2012.

“2012 was a year marked by creative strategies that stressed innovation while embracing cause and humor,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “The number of brands airing voluminous amounts of quality creative and still beating the competition is noteworthy. To deliver five great ads in a year and beat out your category competitors is quite an achievement, but to develop 20 or upwards of 50 ads in a year and remain the most effective brand of a category is a truly stellar accomplishment. Brands like Best Buy, Cadillac, Ford, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Samsung and Visa did just that.

“Case in point, Samsung, the Brand of the Year winner in the technology category (Average Ace Score: 621), won by delivering consistently good creative across all of its brands while producing more than three times the volume of new creative than tech leader Apple,” Daboll continued. “And in a category as vast as Technology — which spans hardware, software, mobile phones, tablets, TVs, video games and websites — the competition is especially fierce.”

Samsung takes the top technology Brand of the Year, achieving an average Ace Score of 621 for its hardware products followed closely by its Samsung Televisions (Avg. Ace Score 611). In addition, Samsung also holds three spots on the Top 20 Ad list, including the Number One ad of the year for its “For Your Big Life” French Door refrigerator, (also the most effective ad of Q2 with an Ace Score of 697). Samsung is no stranger to the winner’s circle in TV advertising, airing the top-scoring ad of 2010 (entitled “Wonder-full,” promoting its 3D LED TV), which is still the highest scoring ad to date.

Despite Samsung’s brand-wide success, the iPhone remains America’s most effective mobile phone brand (Avg. Ace Score 610), making headlines in 2012 with a celebrity ad campaign featuring Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the launch of the iPhone 5. In fact, two iPhone 5 ads scored within the Top 20 — its ad promoting the iPhone’s new panoramic picture taking functionality (Ace Score: 672) and its ad promoting Apple’s new ear buds (Ace Score 668). Samsung mobile phones continued its strong year, finishing second to Apple iPhones with an average Ace Score of 576.

2012 Brand of the Year Category Winners

To qualify for Brand of the Year, brands must have debuted five or more unique pieces of creative within an industry or category containing more than 125 pieces of creative and five qualifying brands. The list below represents the brands with the highest average Ace Score for their 2012 body of work.

2012 Average
Category   Brand   Ace Score

Automotive Luxury

Cadillac 580

Automotive Luxury

  Infiniti   580

Automotive Non-Luxury

  Ford   566

Beverages - Alcoholic

  Blue Moon   538

Beverages - Non Alcoholic

  Ocean Spray   595

Candies & Snacks

  M&M's   593

Financial Services

  Visa   543


  Lysol Cleaners   610


  Liberty Mutual Insurance   589

Packaged Foods

  Kraft Dairy   592

Personal Care

  Dr. Scholl's   574


  Pizza Hut   598


  Olive Garden   624


  Best Buy   564


  Samsung Hardware   621


  T-Mobile Wireless   548

*Definition: Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness 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 1-950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Persuasion, Relevance, Information, Attention, Change, Desire and Watchability. To qualify for Ace Metrix Brand of the Year, brands must have debuted five or more unique pieces of creative within an industry or category containing more than 125 pieces of creative and five qualifying brands. The list above represents the brands with the highest average Ace Score for their 2012 body of work.


View the top five ads for each Brand at

2012 Top Ads of the Year*

The 2012 Top Ads of the Year list comprises the twenty individual ads with the highest Ace Score.

Rank   Brand   Ad Title   Ace Score
1   Samsung Large Appliances   For Your Big Life   697
2   Frigidaire   History of Innovation   691
3   Samsung Mobile Phones   The Best Of A Phone And Tablet   686
4   Tide   Portable Stain Eraser   679
5   Lysol Cleaners   The All in One Kitchen Soap   677
6   Microsoft Hardware   On The Surface   674
7   Best Buy   Super Rating   673
7   Ford   One Foot Forward   673
9   Apple iPhones   Pictures Made Bigger   672
9   Samsung Hardware   Plan and Create a New Way   672
9   Outback   Feeding Our Heroes   672
12   Doritos   (SB 12) Sling Baby   671
12   M&M's   (SB 12) Just My Shell   671
14   Liberty Mutual Other Insurance   Beautifully Imperfect World   670
15   Apple iPhones   Shaped to Fit the Ears   668
15   BMW   Vet   668
15   Crunch   New Girl Scout Candy Bars   668
15   Infiniti   See The Invisible Kid   668
19   Pillsbury   Unsloppy Joes   667
20   AT&T Corporate Promotions   Jordyn Wieber: Take The Pledge Today   666

*Definition: Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness 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 1-950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Persuasion, Relevance, Information, Attention, Change, Desire and Watchability. The list above represents the twenty highest scoring ads to have debuted nationally in 2012.


View the Top 20 Ads of the Year at

Brands of the Year Illuminate Many Notable Themes

Craft Beer and Juice Beat Out Big Beer and Soda Brands

A changing of the guard was not only seen in the technology category, but also in the beverage category in which Blue Moon usurped the top spot from ‘big beer,’ and Ocean Spray ousted Coca-Cola from the winner’s platform. Despite its success during the Olympics, Coca-Cola was not able to maintain its 2011 Non-Alcoholic Beverage Brand of the Year Status in 2012, achieving an average Ace Score of 585 compared to its average score of 607 in 2011. Grabbing the top spot was Ocean Spray, whose ads include two men in a cranberry bog. Their six ads delivered an average Ace Score of 595. Blue Moon swept the Alcoholic Beverage Category with an average Ace Score of 538, beating out big beer brands like Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light, all of which failed to even make the Watch List this year, a stark comparison to 2011.

Restaurants Achieve Higher Scores than any other Category

Not only did Olive Garden win Casual Dining Brand of the Year, it also was the OVERALL top-scoring brand in 2012. The brand’s messages of value resonated with American consumers, and the Italian restaurant chain knocked Applebee’s off the Brand of the Year block with an average Ace Score of 624 compared to Applebee’s average Ace Score of 605 in 2011. On the QSR side, pizza beat out burgers, as Pizza Hut achieved Brand of the Year status for its category with an average Ace Score of 598.

A Microsoft Dis-Kinect

Microsoft, whose Kinect brand was the most effective brand of 2011 struggled to make the same impressive showing in 2012 with the exception of its Surface launch in October, which earned a spot on the Ad of the Year Top 20 with “On the Surface” (Ace Score 674).

Household Products and Appliances Cleaned up Using Messages of Innovation

Four of the Top 5 Ads of 2012 were for household products and appliances that touted notable innovation and drew the attention of consumers, including the aforementioned number one Ad of the Year for Samsung’s refrigerator (Ace Score: 697), Frigidaire’s “History of Innovation” ad (Ace Score: 691), Tide’s “Portable Stain Eraser” ad (Ace Score: 679), and Lysol’s ad for its no-touch Kitchen System (Ace Score: 677).

Cause-Supporting Brands Reap Rewards

Ford, which dominated the non-luxury automotive category as both Brand of the Year (avg. Ace Score: 566) and earned an Ad of the Year (Ace Score: 673), supported first responders, breast cancer and U.S. troops in five of its top 10 ads. AT&T earned a spot on the Top Ads list with “Jordyn Wieber: Take The Pledge” (Ace Score: 666), part of an incredibly high scoring cause-based campaign. Outback Steakhouse earned an Ad of the Year for their support of veterans, while other brands such as Bank of America, Dove, Miller High Life, and Verizon Wireless produced the most effective ads of their respective categories using cause-based messages.

American-Made Automotive Steps up Competition

Ford’s aforementioned dominance in the non-luxury automotive category is just one example of American automakers flexing their marketing muscle in 2012. Cadillac and Infiniti tie for Brand of the Year honors in the Luxury Automotive category. Cadillac used many of the world’s most beautiful and treacherous roads as the visual backdrop to demonstrate their latest innovations, while Infiniti demonstrated innovation and technology closer to home. Ford, Infiniti and BMW also earned spots on the Top 20 Ads of the Year list all by stressing messages of innovation. Examples include Infiniti’s “back-up collision intervention system,” BMW’s Google direction functionality, and Ford’s foot-operated lift-gate.

M&Ms Ms. Brown Doesn’t Miss

M&M’s was one of the few brands that retained its category year-over-year honors, earning Brand of the Year for Candies & Snacks. Its most effective ad of the year introduced the sophisticated Ms. Brown during the Super Bowl (Ace Score: 671), continuing a creative strategy that has worked well for the brand: personifying its candy. “Ms. Brown” tied Doritos’ Sling Baby for Top Ad of the Super Bowl, both of which made it onto the 2012 Top Ads of the Year list.

For more insight and to view the ads visit

About Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix® is the new standard in television and video analytics, dedicated to delivering better, faster, and more cost-effective solutions for evaluating video advertising within competitive context. Through the Ace Metrix LIVE™ platform, companies can now access timely, actionable data wherever, whenever they need to, enabling real-time advertising campaign optimization. Combining leading edge technology and patent pending methodology, Ace Metrix is revolutionizing the way marketers measure themselves and their competitive landscape. The Company is privately held and is backed by leading venture capital firms and industry leaders including Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Palomar Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures, and WPP.

Follow Ace Metrix on Twitter for sustained insight: @Ace_Metrix.

Note: Ace Metrix®, the Ace Metrix logo design, Ace Score®, and Creative Lifecycle Management® are registered trademarks and Ace Metrix LIVE™ is a trademark of Ace Metrix. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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