Customers line up to get into the grand opening of Macy's Backstage at Tri-County Mall on in Cincinnati. Macy's debuts Cincinnati's first Backstage, the brand's off-price store, at the Tri-County locationMacy's Backstage Grand Opening at Tri-County Mall, Cincinnati, USA - 12 Apr 2018

Macy’s, Old Navy and Sears were among the top retailers in advertising effectiveness for September, according to the ABX Advertising Effectiveness Benchmark Index. The fashion retail group tracked by ABX ran 88 ads in September and included retailers Neiman Marcus Group, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom Inc., Lord & Taylor, J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Kohl’s Corp., Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., Old Navy, Dillard’s Inc. and Gap Inc. In August, the retailers ran 114 ads.

The ABX Index measures overall ad effectiveness and creativity across television, radio, digital, print and freestanding 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 September 2018 Retailer Advertising Effectiveness Report for Retailers.

Kohl’s 15-second online video scored the top spot for Best “Overall” Ad, with its “It’s Here! Kohl’s Lowest Prices of the Season” campaign that was “simple, straightforward” and set to rock music. ABX noted that the retailer’s ad effectiveness score is driven by its Kohl’s Cash concept, which gives shoppers a $5 credit to the store for every $25 spent. Kohl’s Cash impacts its high Reputation score at 156 and Action intent at 135, ABX said. High Call to Action scores include Intent to Go to the Web Site at 159; Intent to Look for the Products, 156, and Intent to Purchase at 163.

Shoppers enter the Kohl's store in South Burlington, Vt., on . Kohl's Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income increased 14 percent as merchandise profit margins improved through exclusive brand offerings and tight inventory managementEarns Kohls, South Burlington, USA

Kohl’s was scored as Best “Overall” Ad in the ABX Index.  Toby Talbot/AP/REX/Shutterstock

And Kohl’s had another win for its “Elle — Only at Kohl’s” print ad that scored the top spot as the Best ABX Gender Equality Index Ad, which appeared in Elle magazine. The ad for its Elle Contemporary Collection showed an “exceptionally clean-cut looking model” wearing a cream-and-black vertically striped shirt on one page and a forest green bell-sleeve-shaped jacket with a floral-print dress on the facing page. Its message was clearly received with a high Message score of 121 in addition to a high Reputation score 151. Its Call to Action scores include Contact the Store at 127, Go to the Web Site at 118 and Look For at 106.

The highest-scoring ad for Reputation and Likeability was Old Navy’s 30-second online video, “He’s Just Guarded.” The video aims to show the durability of its new product, “Built-In Tough” slim-fit jeans, by showing a man running through a “virtual obstacle course” in a playground to rescue a child from slipping off high monkey bars. The ad ties with Kohl’s Reputation at 156, and “performs well” in Message at 121, Likability at 161 and Action at 117. Its Call to Action scores are high in every category, including Contact the Company at 211, Recommend at 163 and Go to the Web Site at 138.

Sears’ 15-second online video, “Get More Out of Your Busy Life,” scored the highest in Message Understood, a subcomponent of the Message category. The ad garnered a high Reputation score of 129, due to “clear reiteration of the information, plus high Gender Equality scores,” according to ABX. The highest Call to Action scores were “information seeking,” such as Go to the Web Site, Talk About It and Recommend.

And “It’s Time to Shop at Macy’s,” a 15-second television spot, scored the highest in “Brand Clarity” at 109, likely due to its bold logo. Gender scores for male and female models were high, in addition to clear Messaging at 120. Interestingly, the ad scores were average for Reputation and Action and had only one strong Call to Action, which was Go to the Web Site at 187.

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