Taxis pass Saks flaship store on New York's Fifth Avenue, . Saks Inc. agreed to sell itself to Hudson's Bay Co., the Canadian parent of upscale retailer Lord & Taylor, for about $2.4 billion in a deal that will bring luxury to more North American localesSaks Acquisition, New York, USA

Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and J.C. Penney were among the top retailers in advertising effectiveness for June, according to the ABX Advertising Effectiveness Benchmark Index. The fashion retail group tracked by ABX ran 125 ads in May and included retailers Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Penney’s, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, Old Navy, Dillard’s and the Gap. In June, the retailers ran 88 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 June 2018 Retailer Advertising Effectiveness Report for Retailers.

J.C. Penney attained the top score for the best “overall” ad in television for its 15-second spot “Shop Father’s Day at J.C. Penney.” Centered on its offering to “Spend $50 earn $10 in J.C. Penney bonus bucks,” the ad shows jovial shots of a family and friends playing basketball. Its high ABX index score of 124 connotes a strong brand linkage, with high awareness at 111, a clear message at 126, high reputation at 160 and high action intent at 126. “The key to this spot is likely the excellent multicultural casting as reflected in high ABX gender equality index,” according to ABX.


Macy’s in New York City.  Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Macy’s 30-second television spot “Yeah, we’ll take it to her” ad scored the best of the ABX gender equality index in a campaign that features a narrative of a man speaking to his wife while packing for a business trip as he reassures his daughter that he’ll soon return. Though the daughter is “visibly disappointed,” she greets her father at the door with Father’s Day gifts upon his arrival and he is pleasantly surprised. Its overall ABX index, awareness, message and intended action scores were not significant, but its reputation score was very strong at 157, ABX said. And gender scores were unusually high for the mother, the girl and especially the father.

The best FSI (Freestanding Insert) was Kohl’s “Make it a Point to Shop” ad, which garnered a clear messaging score at 123, reputation at 141 and high gender scores for all at 109. Its ABX index score, at 118, is “one of the highest this month and reflects great graphic art and photography, respectful and appropriate use of models and strong price offers,” according to ABX. And the firm said this FSI was the number-one ad for purchase intent against the 87 other ad creatives, across all media types.

The top ad in the reputation category was J.C. Penney’s 15-second spot video “60 percent off St. John’s Bay’s apparel for Him,” scoring 171, with lively scenes of fathers spending time with their children. Its gender equality casting was well received, as was its intended action for every call to action in the action category at 139, ABX said.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s online ad scored the best overall ad in the high fashion store category with its “Get up to $250 off your purchase” campaign, scoring 108. A simple and straightforward placard piece was placed over a photo of a female model, which led to a low gender equality index score of 93, but a high reputation score of 137, “in response to the generous message from Saks,” ABX noted.

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