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Budweiser, Google and Microsoft Use Emotive Storytelling to Earn Top Ad Honors for Q1, According to Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix®, the new standard in television and video advertising analytics, today announced the most effective ads to debut during the first quarter of 2014—a season that included four of the largest TV audiences advertisers will have access to all year. Both of Budweiser’s heartstring-pulling Super Bowl ads top the list of category standouts followed by Google’s Oscar inspired ads. Two more Super Bowl ads were the highest scoring ads for the quarter: Microsoft’s “Empowering” (Ace Score 710) and Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” (Ace Score 706), which are also two of only three ads to ever break 700 of more than 32,000 ads in the Ace Metrix database.

“Many advertisers used the epic stages of the first quarter to demonstrate their storytelling prowess—delivering ads that inspired and introduced us to the brand in a new way,” said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. “Google and Budweiser have demonstrated exceptional skill at delivering broadly appreciated, highly emotive ads, but we also saw compelling stories from Microsoft, Hyundai and Dick’s Sporting Goods.”

The top ads across both lists earned Emotional Sentiment Index (ESI) scores well above the 12-month average of 48, indicating that each of these ads generated positive emotional engagement from consumers.

Top Ads of the First Quarter by Category Average*

Rank   Brand   Ad Title  




% Above


  Category   ESI
1   Budweiser   (SB 14) Puppy Love   681   39.1%   Beer   83
2   Budweiser   (SB 14) Hero’s Welcome   675   37.9%   Beer   75
3   Google   Tonight   627   36.2%   Websites   55
4   Google   We’re All Storytellers   625   35.8%   Websites   55
5   Dick’s Sporting Goods   Sports Matter - Combo   637   33.0%   Retail–Other   60

Top Ads of the First Quarter by Ace Score*

Rank   Brand   Ad Title  



  Category   ESI
1   Microsoft Corporate Promotion   (SB 14) Empowering   710   Corporate Branding   59
2   Hyundai   (SB 14) Dad’s Sixth Sense   706   Luxury Auto  


3   TGI Friday’s   New Burgers   692   Restaurants   64
4   Ore-Ida   Fresh Take On Ore-Ida   689   Staples   77
5   Procter & Gamble   Mom’s Work   686   Corporate Branding   67

*See “Award Qualification and Methodology” below.

Category Standouts
This quarter’s category standouts outperformed their competitive set with stories of friendship, inspiration, and pride. Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales have a reputation for earning high praise and high scores and debut almost exclusively during the Super Bowl. This year Budweiser introduced two tearjerker spots—one featuring the friendship between a puppy and the majestic horses, while the other focused on a hero’s return. “Puppy Love” drew the highest score on the Emotional Sentiment Index that the brand has ever produced (83). “Puppy Love” and “Hero’s Welcome” earned the second and fifth ranked positions respectively, in terms of Super Bowl XLVIII ads and claimed the number one and two spots on the top ads of the quarter list, outperforming the beer category average by more than 37%. Budweiser was ranked third among Beer brands according to the recently published Ace Metrix BLACKBOOK—up from eighth place in the 2013 edition.

Google’s Oscar inspired ads ranked third and fourth with an ode to creativity. “Tonight” (Ace Score 627) was a tribute to the movies and their makers (featuring Google Play) and “We’re All Storytellers” (Ace Score 625) was a tribute to the potential movie-maker in all of us (featuring Google search). Both outperformed the Websites category average by approximately 36%. Google recently earned the 2013 Brand of the Year both overall and was the number one ranked brand within the Software & Websites BLACKBOOK category.

Rounding out the top five list was Dick’s Sporting Goods “Sports Matter - Combo” (Ace Score 637), a particularly notable accomplishment given that nearly 20% of the 1,800 ads to debut last quarter were from a retailer, and this ad outperformed the Retail average by 33%. The ad delivered another emotive story on why sports matter in our daily lives.

Every ad in the category standouts list was at least :60 long and is consistent with the data that Ace Metrix has published about how consumers process longer ads, how ads have lengthened in the Super Bowl, and how length contributes to emotion.

Highest Scoring Ads Break Barriers
Microsoft’s “Empowering” earned an Ace Score of 710, the highest scoring ad of the quarter, the highest scoring ad of the Super Bowl, and the second highest Ace Score in our entire database. The ad effectively reached across ages and demographics, imparting information about several Microsoft product brands (Surface, Skype, Windows 8, Microsoft Hardware, and Kinect) through stories of how technology can help humankind overcome any number of physical obstacles.

Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” earned an Ace Score of 706, the second highest scoring ad of the quarter and third highest scoring ad of all time. The general population score (681) earned “Dad’s Sixth Sense” third place overall and first in terms of automotive ads on the Super Bowl ranked list. Captivated consumers received an entertaining product demonstration during this artfully crafted story of parental protection.

TGI Friday’s claimed third place with the introduction of its “New Burgers,” which elicited Desire scores 14% above the norm for Restaurants ads. Ore-Ida’s “Fresh Take On Ore-Ida” combined humor and information with adorable kids to earn fourth place. The sole Olympic-themed ad to make either list, “Mom’s Work” earned Procter & Gamble the final place on the top scorer’s list. Building off of the exceptional “Thank You, Mom” campaign introduced for the Summer Olympics, this ad was among the first to debut in January ahead of the Winter Olympics.

While not as prevalent as the category standout list, longer form content again made an impact on the overall list with two ads clocking in at :60 or longer (Microsoft & P&G). All told 70% of the winners across both categories employed longer-form story-telling approaches—a trend worth watching as the year progresses.

Luxury Automotive Ace Scores are reflective of an augmented high-income sample. General population scores are used to rank events with general population audiences such as the Super Bowl and Olympics. Otherwise, augmented scores are reflective of the relevant consumer market and are used in weekly, quarterly, and yearly top ads lists.

Watch the ads and get more details at acemetrix.com/news/blog.

Award Qualification and Methodology
The Ad of the Quarter honor is awarded to the ads with the highest percentage gap to the twelve-month category norm that debuted nationally between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2014. A Top Ads list is also provided for the ads earning the highest Ace Scores among the same set. The Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads, providing the advertising industry an unbiased resource to measure creative impact. Ace Metrix scores every national television ad across 96 categories creating a complete comparative database, Ace Metrix LIVE®. A unique panel of at least 500 consumers, representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience, scores each ad in the exact same manner. The results are presented on a scale of 1–950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Persuasion, Likeability, Information, Attention, Change, Relevance, Desire, and Watchability. Ace Metrix applies a natural language processing algorithm to the hundreds of verbatim responses collected for each ad, deriving a score which indicates positive, negative, or neutral emotional impact and represents the ad’s position on an Emotional Sentiment Index ranging from 1 to 100. Ace Metrix collected more than 1,800 ads in the first quarter. All ads within categories that had at least 20 unique pieces of creative over the past twelve months, and at least five in the quarter, were considered for the award.

About Ace Metrix
Ace Metrix® is the new standard in television and video analytics, dedicated to delivering better, faster and more cost-effective solutions for evaluating video advertising within competitive context. Through the Ace Metrix LIVE® platform, companies can now access timely, actionable data wherever, whenever they need to, enabling real-time advertising campaign optimization. Combining leading edge technology and patent pending methodology, Ace Metrix is revolutionizing the way marketers measure themselves and their competitive landscape. The Company is privately held and is backed by leading venture capital firms and industry leaders, including Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Palomar Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures and WPP.

Follow Ace Metrix on Twitter for sustained insight: @Ace_Metrix.

Note: Ace Metrix®, the Ace Metrix logo design, Ace Score®, Ace Metrix LIVE® and Creative Lifecycle Management® are registered trademarks of Ace Metrix, Inc. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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