Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s are among the brands that secured top spots in advertising effectiveness for the month of September, according to the ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. The highest overall ABX Index score was Wal-Mart at 132 and the lowest was Macy’s at 52. Top retailers ran 513 new ads in September 2017, which was approximately 138 down from August.
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.
Wal-Mart’s “But the strongest force in nature is still love” campaign landed the number-one spot in television. The text-only ad focuses on the continued hurricane devastations alongside a “Lean on Me” music track, which relays the message that Wal-Mart will match two times the value of every dollar donated to the Red Cross. The ad scored in the 98th percentile of all 125,000 ABX tested ads. Its ABX Index was 132 and the ad scored 224 in Reputation and 146 in intended Action. For the Calls-to-Action category, its Talk About It score was 237; 174 for intention to go online and learn more and 151 for Intend to Purchase. Its scores in High Message, Likability and Relevance were other contributing factors to the ad’s success, according to ABX.
In radio, Macy’s “Levi’s and Macy’s” campaign took the top spot with its 30-second ad featuring a female narrator, sans background noise or music. Its message that Macy’s and Levi’s “know some people don’t like low prices…they like the lowest prices,” achieved a high 119 for Message score and an overall ABX Index of 111, which is typically closer to 90 than 100. Action scores included 154 in its “Look for” category and 155 for Recommend.
The number one ad in digital was Kohl’s “We hear a store closed in your area, we’ve got you covered” campaign, which featured visuals of couples and a family walking together, with no spoken audio. The ad’s Likability scored 63 and 98 for the “Holy Grail” Purchase Intent. Its “precise message” scored high in Reputation, at 179; an Action score at 144 and high ABX Gender Equality Index scores for all sexes.
Kroger’s “Fresh Food, Low Prices” ad ranked number one in print advertising. The ad’s Reputation score is 141 and Action intent is 133. Kroger’s print advertisements are consistently very effective, according to ABX. And for free-standing inserts, Target ranked the highest with its “Playful and New; Your List for Less” campaign, which scored 121 on FSI overall, which is at the 90th percentile for all ABX tested ads. “The use of live pets, colorful graphics and clear product descriptions” enhanced ad effectiveness, which is namely illustrated by its strong Messaging score and high Reputation score at 159. Its Intent to Purchase category scored 113.
No outdoor advertisements were seen this month, the company said.
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