Ace Metrix’s Blackbook list of the most effective television advertising brands is out, and Reebok scored the top spot.
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Winners are based on their Ace Scores, which reflect the interplay between an ad’s measured “persuasion” — comprised of likability, information, attention, change, relevance and desire — and its measured “watchability” and the likelihood of watching the ad again. All nationally aired ads are scored by more than 500 U.S. consumers weighted to the U.S. census for age, gender and income.
Ace Metrix gave WWD an exclusive preview of its 2014 Blackbook, which chronicles the performance of more than 1,200 brands based on their portfolio of TV ads for 2012 and 2013. In the apparel arena, the advertising and brand specialist combines apparel with footwear into one segment that includes activewear, athleticwear, underwear and denim.
“The Apparel and Footwear category falls within the bottom third of Blackbook categories, partially because it is so highly targeted,” explained a spokeswoman. “Brands tend to be promoting products geared specifically toward men or toward women, or toward runners, etc. Therefore, their relevance and desire scores will be a bit lower overall.”
With an average Ace Score of 504, Reebok edged out Adidas and Wrangler to take the top spot in the category. It won on the back of its “Be Ready” campaign featuring football player DeMarcus Ware and mixed martial arts star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Reebok’s success here speaks to a key theme of celebrity — but integrated into the creative in ways that are authentic to the brand. Skechers increased its advertising effectiveness on the broad portfolio list (five or more unique pieces of creative), improving 5.3 percent from 2012 by focusing on product comfort, a shift from 2012’s performance theme.
In the narrow portfolio (fewer than five unique pieces of creative), it was an undergarment showdown with Fruit of the Loom besting Hanes by one point to take the top spot. Under Armour — which is focused on product technology — was a big mover, improving 7.1 percent from 2012.
Scores were down 2.8 percent from 2012, and ad volume was down 32 percent since four of the five largest brands trimmed their ad volume. Wrangler was the only advertiser in the top five to increase the number of ads it introduced in 2013. It is also a category of concentration — the top five brands represented almost 60 percent of the new creative in 2013.
Earlier this year, Ace Metrix lauded Google for the Ad of the Year, for the tech giant’s 90-second “Here’s to 2013” ad, an inspirational look at the events of 2013 through the lens of Google Search.