Old Navy comps were up in October.

Macy’s, Old Navy and J.C. Penney dominated the “most-effective” advertising measures for May, according to the ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. The fashion retail group tracked by ABX ran 92 ads last month and included retailers Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Kohl’s, Sears, Old Navy and The Gap. In April, the retailers ran 125 ads.

The ABX Index measures overall ad effectiveness and creativity across television, radio, digital, print and free-standing inserts. Each ad is rated by a consumer panel based on 15 variables — or very focused key performance indicators — with a score of 100 equaling “average effectiveness.” Awareness — or brand linkage — and “message” scores reflect the advertisement’s impact on audiences via its “reputation” and “call to action” scores.

Click here for a copy of the May 2018 Retailer Advertising Effectiveness Report for Retailers. 

The best “Overall” ad was Kohl’s’ “Tonight’s a one-pan meal kind of night” and “Give mom a perfect gift” split 30-second spot, which combined two TV ads. The ad begins with a mother quickly taking dinner out of the oven when her family arrives home, and segues to a Mother’s Day sale. Its Gender scores for females and girls scored 114 and 108, respectively, which influenced its high scores for Reputation at 174 and Action at 142. Its Call-to-Action score for “Intent to Contact” was 255; “Look for” at 194, and “Purchase” at 170.

Shoppers visit a J.C. Penney store in New York. The Texas-based retailer reports financial resultsEarns JC Penney, New York, USA

J.C. Penney at Manhattan Mall.  Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Macy’s “You’ll be alright; you know Mommy can’t go anywhere without her purse…” ad scored the highest in the ABX Gender Equality Index, with female and girl scores at 119 and 116, respectively. In pursuit of a Mother’s Day theme, the online video ad shows a little girl frightened on her first day of school, and she doesn’t want her mother to leave. To console her daughter, the mother gives the girl her purse to ensure she will be back. The scene then flashes forward to the grown-up girl leaving for college, who presents her mother with a purse before she leaves. The mother and daughter scored very high as Role Models, at 133 and 127, which impacted its Reputation score at 190 and Likeability at 162. ABX enjoyed the story and gender presentation, but said the retailer “lost some opportunity for Brand Awareness by waiting to show its logo until the end.”

Old Navy’s “Jump Into Summer” was the top ad for Relevance and See Again, an energetic and playful 15-second TV spot that features characters jumping rope wearing the retailer’s latest summertime clothing. Its ABX Gender Index scores are high for male, female, boy and girl characters, contributing to a high Reputation score 170, as well as the strongest Call to Action scores for “Look For” and “Go to the Web.”

The top ad in the Recommend category is J.C. Penney’s “Here comes Shaq, making big and tall even bigger ad,” which features Shaquille O’Neal promoting the retailer’s “Big & Tall” selection in a 30-second TV spot. The ad resonated well with audiences, scoring a 123 in Message and 109 in Gender. O’Neil’s personality and the message itself influenced Reputation at 158 and two Call to Action scores: Recommend at 208 and “Contact J.C. Penney” at 229.

And the number-one ad for Clear Message is Macy’s “It’s Macy’s Memorial Day Sale,” scoring a strong Message score at 135 with its 15-second TV spot that features a voice-over and upbeat music. A model with excellent body language complemented by flashes of Macy’s red star logo effectively communicates the retailer’s Star Money Days concept, resulting in a high Reputation score at 169; 164 in Recommend, and 179 in Go to the Web.

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