A Walgreens location in New York.

Walgreens, Kroger and Aldi reached the top spots in the ABX Advertising Effectiveness Index for March. The top retailers tracked by ABX ran 621 new ads, which was well above the 465 ads that ran in February.

The ABX Index measures overall ad effectiveness across television, radio, digital, print and outdoor advertising. Each ad is rated by a consumer panel based on 15 variables 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 March 2018 Retailer Advertising Effectiveness Report for Retailers. 

Kroger’s “At the Kroger Three-Day Sale” campaign scored the number-one spot in television with its “bouncy” and “energetic spot” that featured buoyant music alongside imagery of jovial people and food. The ad saw high “reputation” and “action” scores at 220 and 248, respectively, as well as high ABX “gender equality index” scores. Its calls-to-action included “look for” at 195; “intent to purchase” at 198, and “recommend” at 195.

In radio, Walgreens’ “Spring Beauty Trends are Here…” spot scored “clear brand-linkage” illustrated by its 109 awareness score, and a message score of 121. Its call-to-action scores were above average in the “look for” category at 107 and “recommend” at 108. It is important to note that the average score for all radio is 90, instead of 100.

Walgreen’s also ranked number one in digital with its “My Name Is Mike Haynes; I Work in the St. Louis Store” ad, which employs a “goosebumps” strategy by featuring an older employee “who sets the mood of the day for everyone else,” and receives endless praise from his boss, as well as his customers. The ABX gender equality index reflected a high male score of 124. Its ABX Index of 131 “is high for retail” and saw a clear message at 127; reputation at 227; action at 133 and likability at 167, all of which “illustrate the wisdom of the [goosebumps] strategy.”

The number-one ad in print was Kroger’s “Fresh Food. Low Prices,” which resonates with consumers month after month. ABX said, “no other retailer comes close to the 20-plus print ads that Kroger runs most months.” The ad had a high message score of 124; high reputation at 174 and higher intent to purchase, at 190.

For Free Standing Inserts, Aldi took the number-one spot with its “Aldi 3-28-18 Tab,” yielding very high message and reputation scores at 130 and 164, respectively. Its “beautifully crafted photos and surrounding description were appreciated by respondents,” according to ABX. Its call-to-action scores included “look for” at 180 and “intent to purchase” at 192.

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