Amazon's Prime service

For August, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. took two top spots in the ABX Advertising Benchmark Index in the digital and freestanding insert categories for its “Thousands of Rollbacks Here to Stay” campaign. For television, Amazon Prime’s “Lion” spot was number one while Kohl’s “Sneakers…Snag Some Cash, Too” was tops in radio.

ABX said the top retailers ran nearly 500 ads in August, which the company said is the highest seen since May when it began tracking the ads. The ABX Advertising Benchmark Index is comprised of 14 variables and is rated by a consumer panel. A score of 100 equals “average effectiveness.” The ABX Index reveals the overall impact of the ad while other measures include awareness, message, reputation and call to action.

The researchers at ABX noted that “Wal-Mart recently brought back its yellow smiley face, and it has been very well received.” The firm described Wal-Mart’s digital ad as “hugely likeable” with an ABX Index score of 126, a reputation score of 171 and a call-to-action score of 125. The ad featured the Wal-Mart smiley face bouncing on price tags and with each bounce, the price point sheds to a lower amount.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart’s freestanding insert garnered a 121 score on the ABX Index via the smiley face amid low prices on free and packaged foods.

With the Amazon TV ad, the company nailed an ABX Index score of 127, which was buoyed by a reputation score of 187 and a call-to-action score of 130. “This creative is the best we’ve seen for a while in retail, with a strong emotional component,” the ABX researchers said in their report.

The Kohl’s radio ad came in with a ABX Index score of 115. “Nothing extraordinary about this spot at all, but the multiple offers of 15 percent off and cash, too, must have driven the results,” the researchers said. “Still, the average [ABX Index score] for radio is 90, so at 115, it very definitely ‘worked.’”

Gary Getto, president of ABX, said the “attitude of too many advertisers is that some media types are not important; spending is too low to care how well those ads perform. If you are not focused on the success of those mediums, you should cut their investment to zero. Every ad creates an impression of your brand. Underperforming ads don’t just waste money. They negatively impact your brand reputation.”