The ABX "Top Three Radio Spots" Scoreboard



For 2018, a few new rules will apply to the ABX choices of the Top Three Radio Ads for the Month:

May 2018

For May 2018, 81 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 81, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 117 (+17% over norm) for Walgreen’s to a low of ABX= 70 (-30% below norm), for Boost Mobile. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness. Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Walgreen’s – “Since 2015 Walgreens shoppers like to embrace over $100 million for children in poverty as part of Red Nose Day?”

Walgreen's Score

Last month, Walgreen’s had a longer version of this spot with a phenomenal score of 130, putting it in the Top 99% of all radio tested by ABX.  This month, the campaign continues with the results – that since 2015, Walgreen’s shoppers had contributed over $100 million to children in poverty as part of Red Nose Day.  The ABX Index of 117 is more modest, but it’s still top for the month.  Within the various Action scores is the option to Contact the Company.  That option has a score of 200%, which is something we rarely see.

 
Walgreen’s had a second spot on the same topic that would have placed #2 on this list, but as we only feature one ad per company, we’ll move on to the next in line.

 

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#2. CVS – “This week at CVS Pharmacy earn $100 extra bucks for real life”

T-Mobile Score

Like Walgreen's, CVS has several spots this month that have scored well, and this one was highest of all. It is a fairly typical voice-plus-rhythm-track that speaks of all the reasons you should shop a store for beauty brands. The voice is young, a little grating, but probably appeals to Millennials. While she didn’t punch "CVS" enough to get more than an average Brand Awareness score of 101, the $100 extra bucks message drove Reputation and Action to good levels. The strongest Action score beneath the 124 was for "Intent to Look For" at a 170 and an Intent to Contact the Store at 141.

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#3. Arm & Hammer – “Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin plus fresh scent detergent is now available in a new white bottle…”

Arm & Hammer Score

This third spot did well for clarity of Message at 120, and certainly in Reputation at 132 and Relevance at 116.  It even did okay for Awareness at 107.  But the spot was not well-liked at 104, nor did it generate much Action beyond an Intent to Recommend at 114 and Purchase at 113. Perhaps more interesting, no one wanted to Talk About it at a score of 78.  The spot is very commercial, focusing on its new bottle, and has one “testimonial” that sounds a bit like a script.  Having said that, at an ABX Index score of 111, it’s +21 points above the average score for radio spots, which is 90.  So, there’s plenty for Arm & Hammer to work with to make it even better.

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April 2018

For April 2018, 168 English radio spots were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 168, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 130 (+30% over norm) for Walgreen’s to a low of ABX= 56 (-44% below norm), for 1800 Tequila. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness. Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Walgreen’s – “Did you know there are millions of children living in poverty today?”

Walgreen's Score

At an ABX Index score of 130, this ad is in the Top 99% of all ABX-measured radio spots, so our congratulations to Walgreen’s. The voice over describes the problem of children living in poverty today and how listeners can help by participating in “Red Nose Day.” The panel scores (above) really show how audiences love companies that get involved with societal issues, as evidenced here by the sky-high Reputation score of 223. The Message at 131 was extremely clear, and Action at 128 was comprised of plans to “Talk about it” (180) and Purchase (149).

Please Note: Walgreens had another two spots that would have fit in the Top Three, but we’ve purposed to only show one ad from each company in Top Three listings. 

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#2. T-Mobile – “Military active members, family and veterans get 50% off forever.” 

T-Mobile Score

Here’s another issues-related spot that pushed Reputation very high at 182. T-Mobile is offering an amazing packing of 50% off permanently for Military families – active or veteran. The segment is very simple with a somewhat frenetic live read that has a clear Message at 127, though Brand Awareness at 106 could be higher. While the spot scored well, there were some who felt it was not Relevant nor Likeable. But the segment drew a strong Action score of 120, comprised mainly of people who intend to “Talk About it” at 191 or “Recommend it” at 164. It did not pull Intents to Purchase, Contact the Company or Research the Web.

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#3. Mr. Clean – “Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser …”

Mr Clean Score

Of all this month’s spots, this is the most creative and fun. Mr. Clean doesn’t just remove tough dirt from just about anything … it also removes words from this spot. Hysterical. The narrator’s words are erased with squeaks and squishes, so you end up with a clear enough Message (123), but in staccato. The spot was Well-Liked and Relevant, and every Action option was positive, including Intent to Purchase at 198 and Intent to Look for at 179. Reputation wasn’t as high as the other social-issue spots, but it was still +37% over norm as a commercial message.

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March 2018

For March 2018, 126 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 126, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 122 (+22% over norm) for Domino’s to  a low of ABX= 52 (-48% below norm), for Cricket Wireless. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness.  Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Domino’s – “Are you Hungry for Pizza?”

Domino's Score

This ‘live read’ plays exceptionally well due to the humor in the copy and the DJ’s heavy ‘sell.’ Domino’s offers two for one pizza during a specific time period, but “only” for pick-up. It would be interesting to see how customers respond to the pick-up idea since pizza is so strongly identified with delivery. The spot scores very well at 122 (remember, the highest-ever radio spot as measured by ABX is 135). Strong Message, clear Awareness (brand linkage), a very high Reputation at 156 and Action breaks into some nice CTA chunks like Intent to Purchase at 181. A couple other measures not readily seen include Relevance at 133 and Likeability at 116.

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#2. MetroPCS – “Best Free Phone Event Ever.” 

MetroPCS Score

This is an exceptionally clear :60 with DJ live read that really works. Normally, a spot like this would have blaring rock music behind it. But this one does not. Scores for Message Delivery and Presentation are 115-116, though there is still some challenge with Understanding at only 104, showing the complexity of phone events. Reputation scored high at 136, and the highest CTA’s are Intent to Contact MetroPCS at 173 and Look for it on the Web at 156. Purchase was only a 68, but that’s about average for mobile providers. It’s a tough category.

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#3. Shedd’s Spread – “Need to bake in a hurry, New Country Crock Buttery Sticks with Sunflower Oil are rich and creamy …”

I love fully-produced spots with relevant music and sound effects, great voice-overs and a bit of a story line. This one almost has a “Disney” feel to it with musical flourishes and animated child and mom voices. Having said that, this type of spot may need to be heard a couple of times before you fully understand it. The 107 Awareness message is okay, but could be higher for brand-linkage. The 110 Message should be higher given production values, but perhaps there’s a little too much going on. Fortunately, listeners responded well with a high Reputation score of 129; a decent Relevance score of 110 and a Likeability score of 111. For CTAs, ALL were favorable, but the highest was Contact the Company to learn more at 156.

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February 2018

For February 2018, 92 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 92, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 121 (+21% over norm) for Aveeno to a low of ABX= 59 (-41% below norm), for Boost Mobile. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness. Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Aveeno – “This cold weather in Boston really dries out my skin”

Aveeno Score

The strength of this :30 spot is its clarity, which we see in the Message score of 131 and Reputation at 150. The female narrators have smooth voices and enthusiasm about the unusual ingredients in the skin cream (oatmeal). Listeners can almost *feel* the skin protection in the cold weather. Of note is also the Awareness score of 108 which is higher than normally seen. CTAs of Intent to Purchase at 126 and Look For at 144 are also strong.  

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#2. Taco Bell – “Taco Bell's new Nacho Fries are very real and very delicious.”

Taco Bell Score

Here’s another :30 Live Read with no underlying sound that comes across with clear Awareness of the brand (108) and Message (111). While these scores aren’t overwhelmingly high, the spot still managed an Action score of 132, with big CTAs of Look For (168) and Purchase Intent (185). It is worth noting that this spot indexed much higher against only Radio ads at 125 instead of at 114 against all ads in the ABX database. The trend toward quiet spots with only V/O continues to produce strong results even if creative is toned down.

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#3. Home Depot – “Right now The Home Depot has up to 35% off Appliance Special Buys including …”

The male DJ talks over the Home Depot music track and manages to communicate clearly (Message = 117) despite the underlying noise. The :30 spot promotes Home Depot’s 35% off Appliance Special Buys and more. Radio is always hard to do well and has a lower average ABX Index than other mediums at 90 instead of 100. So, the ABX Index score of 111 is very good. The Message drove Reputation and Action, though the spot wasn’t particularly liked at 95. The strongest call-to-action was Intent to go to the Web for more information. 

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January 2018

For January 2018, 67 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 67, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 124 (+24% over norm) for Febreze to a low of ABX= 62 (-38% below norm), also for Febreze. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness.  Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Febreze Is that your car that smells like a No. 5 with Fries?”

Applebee's Score

Back-to-back :15s of the same ad, this hard-hitting spot talks about the embarrassment of having a smelly car, and how Febreze can take care of the problem. The double-play likely pumped-up the Message score to 125 since the second rendition may have answered questions from the first. Reputation and Action scores were also high, with the Intent to Purchase CTA at a very high 220. 

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#2. Old Navy – “You’ve reached the high fashion online.” 

Sam's Club Score

Rather frenetic :30 spot with only a phone ringing and then two female voices discussing how to become “new” for the New Year.  Sales prices of 50% off all activewear and very low priced kids clothing drove Reputation to 169, showing listeners were believing the Message (122).  Action was high at 138, but especially plans to Go to the Web to learn more at 202, Purchase Intent at 159 and Recommend also at 159.

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#3. Downy – “At our house we always use Downy”

Very convincing DJ live read with no underlying music. The DJ had experimented with using, and not using, the product and saw a major difference in how his clothes fit. The Awareness (Brand Linkage) score is a little lower than expected at 105, and Likeability is only 93, but the Message got through loud and clear. Strong Reputation and Action scores were also strong, as was the Intent to Purchase score at 176.

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The ABX "Top Five Radio Spots" Scoreboard

December 2017

The following five radio spots ranked highest in overall creative effectiveness in December 2016 as tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  A total of 269 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very strong 133 for Subway to a low of 59 for Cricket Wireless. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

Some new views of all tested data are now available at the following links:

#1. Applebee’s “Call a Friend or Family Member and Run to Applebee’s”

Applebee's Score

Applebee’s produced an unusually clear, compelling ad with a strong female voice over that made the spot work. They also refrained from background noise and music, enabling the Message (+34% over norm) to come over loud and clear. The high Reputation and Action scores manifested in high scores in every CTA including +104% above norm in intent to “Talk” about the deal, and +81% in “Purchase” intent.

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#2. Sam's Club– “Your Pizza Night Just Got Easier …”

Sam's Club Score

This is another good ad from Sam’s Club which uses a clear-speaking male voiceover to best advantage with copy that makes the listener hungry. There is some background music, but it doesn’t overwhelm the spot. However, Awareness could be a little higher; Sam’s Club should be punched with a bit more impact. Still, the Message got across (+27% over norm), Reputation was great (+30%) and so was Action (+30%). Of Action, the highest-scoring CTAs were in the +50s range for Talk and Recommend. One surprising finding was the Likeability score was just Average, which I would have ranked as higher.

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#3. Burger King – “3 Pancakes at $.89”

Okay, I just have to say it: I don’t ‘get’ this one and why it performed so well. The huge Message score (+34% over norm) was undoubtedly because the singular message was repeated at least six times in the 30-s duration. Clearly, the audience loved the message and thought highly of Burger King to offer such an ‘unbelievable’ deal. In fact, the Intent to Purchase score (a subset of Action) scored +110% above the norm! However, a few respondents were irritated at the repetition and gave the spot Likeability scores in the +10% range.

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#4. IHOP – “All You Can Eat Pancakes are Back at IHOP”

Ad sounds live-read with a DJ who does well making the offer sound delicious and in the moment. Of note here is the very high Reputation score (+43% over norm), which shows listeners really appreciated the offer. The biggest CTA responses were intentions to Talk about the offer and Recommend it (both around +64%), but purchase was lower at +29%. Some of the background noise may have affected the clarity of brand linkage (Awareness), which was only average.

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#5. Home Depot – Holiday savings on appliance special buys and 12 months financing …”

This very clearly-read ad by a woman with a well-modulated voice should have scored higher, in this writer’s opinion, though at an ABX Index of 112, it is well above average. There is some lack of clarity in Awareness, and Message should have been higher given the clarity of the narrative. In addition, the Dislike score was a -9% below norm. But, there is intent to look for the product at +47% above norm, and purchase it at +24%.



November 2017

For November 2017, only 86 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 86, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 129 (+29% over norm) for Wendy’s to to a low of ABX=79 (-21% below norm) for Taco Bell. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness. Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:


Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Wendy’s – “The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption”

V/O only with male narrator, this :30 focuses on Wendy’s support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and draws customers to come to Wendy’s to join in. The Message was loud and clear and drove the enormous +123% over norm score for Reputation and +21% in Likeability. For Action, Intent to Talk About it was the biggest result at +91%, but Purchase was also high at +63%. Here is strong evidence that “PR” messaging can indeed drive sales.

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#2. Subway – “try a new six-inch Sub every day for only $3.50”

Subway scores Purchase Intent in a huge way with a score of 219 (119% over norm) with this rather frenetic and noisy spot. The high-value Message is presented with enthusiasm and drives both Reputation at +31% over norm and Action at +50%. Besides Purchase, Subway receives high scores in Look For at +30%; Recommend at 41% and Talk About at +36%.

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#3. Taco Bell – “Introducing Taco Bell's $5 Cravings Deal”

Similar to Subway’s spot above, this spot has heavy background music that makes it harder to hear, but also received high Likeability scores at +36% over norm. The Message does well enough to drive a +46% Reputation score and +52% in Action. Amazingly, Action included Intents to Purchase at +155%, Recommend at +99% and Talk About at +70% over norm. Simple formula but great offer makes this spot work.

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#4. Target“It’s order pick-up time at Target”

Somewhat frenetic, high-pitched female narrator says: “You're cozy up on the couch with a cup of hot coco and checking things off your ever-growing wish list … Order online and pick up in store.” The underlying music soundtrack is big and exciting, almost like a movie soundtrack. The ease of ordering online makes sense with a score of 121 for Messaging, 110 for Awareness of the brand, and a strong 149 in Reputation. Clearly, Target is reaching prospective customers at their sweet spot with a huge 223 in Intent to go to the Web to learn more.

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#5. Home Depot – Holiday savings on appliance special buys and 12 months financing …”

Another spot with only male voice-over, this carries a straight-forward Message at +23% over norm for its clarity. High Reputation also results from Message and good offers. For Action, this spot yields an unusually high Intent to Contact the store at +102% over norm and researching more by Web at +61%, which is ideal for appliances.



October 2017

For October 2017, 147 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 147, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 121 (+21% over norm) for Discover to a low of ABX=62 (-38% below norm) for Macy’s. An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness. Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135. Please see the following for more explanation:


Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Discover Card – “Social Security Card/New Account Alerts”

Very believable :30 spot with clear Message (+31% over norm) about how Discover can help you protect your identity amidst so many data thefts recently. The calm male voice and no underlying sound track led to a high Reputation score (+41%) and intended Action including Go to Web (+100% over norm), Contact Company (+75%) and Talk About it (+31%).

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#2. Kohl’s – “Take an extra 20% off with Promo code FRIEND'S 20”

Another male V/O without underlying sound. This :15 is straightforward about the latest sale and is clearly understood at +31% over norm for Message. The Kohl’s spot also generated a very high Reputation score with good Action sub-scores including Intents to Recommend (+41%) and Go to the Web (+33%), but did not score well in Intent to Purchase (-18% under norm).

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#3. Taco Bell – “Steal a Base, Steal a Free Doritos Locos Taco”

Another quiet spot with just a male voice-over. This promotes Taco Bell’s baseball promotion and is well received with very high Reputation and Action scores including Intent to Recommend at +67% over norm; Intent to Purchase at +64% and Intent to Look For at +50%.

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#4. JCPenney – “Get more savings on everything you love, get an additional 50% off clearance prices”

A calm, easy-to-listen-to :30 spot with a soft male voice and no underlying sound.  He explains why spending time with family in the car can be better with Glade Plug-in fragrances.  Awareness is barely average, possibly because Glade was only named once at the beginning and twice at the very end.  But listeners got the Message (+22% over norm) and both Reputation and Action scored very well.  Highest-scoring CTAs were Intents to Recommend (+74%), Purchase (+56%) and Contact the company (+47%). Simple, calm can work.

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#5. Subway – The Steak Club, Part of the new Subway Steak lover's collection…”

This :60 is comprised of two :30 back-to-back spots. The first one is pretty good with strong background music but a clear narrator who scores decently for Message. The second one is highly irritating with too much noise and a narrator who speaks so fast it is difficult to understand. Having said that, the listeners scores the segment high for Reputation and Action even though the “See Again” score was low at 102. Intent to Purchase is +102% higher than norm, so clearly the offer matters more than creative in spots such as these.



August 2017

For August 2017, 128 English radio spots were "First-Runs" and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 128, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 118 (+18% over norm) for Kohl’s to a low of ABX=66 for Glade (-34% below norm). An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness.  Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135.


Please see the following for more explanation:

#1. Kohl’s – “Right Now at Kohl’s Friends and Family, take an Extra 20% off.”

This ad was comprised of two 30’s played back-to-back to make a 60-second spot. Kohl’s formula for its Friends & Family sales works consistently, and this was no exception. The female narrator was enthusiastic and listed specific products as well as the overall "plus Kohl's cash" offer. The music track worked despite its high volume since it emphasized certain points. High Reputation score of +52% over norm shows appreciation of good offers and Intent to Talk about it scored +77%; Intent to Recommend or to Contact Company were up +62%.

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#2. JCPenney – “This Saturday Only at JCPenney … Coupon Giveaway”

Here's another split spot, this time two :15s merged into one. Male announcer punches promotional Messages (+21%) clearly and with enthusiasm, and the energetic music track is at a good volume level. The audience responded very well to its Relevance and in Liking it. Top CTAs include Intent to Purchase (+28%) and Talk about it (+43%) as well as other intentions to learn more.

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#3. McDonald's – "As a public service, McDonald's …"

McDonald's uses the back-to-back technique to stitch two 30-second spots for various food items into one :60. Strong promotional offers and good sound effects make the Message clear and understood. The real stunner is the Intent to Purchase score, which is part of Action. Purchase is up 125% over norm, and of course Reputation did well, too, at +40%. The play on “public service” likely grabbed extra attention even though the messages were strictly promotional.

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#4. Glade Plug-ins Car – "Time Spent with Family is …"

A calm, easy-to-listen-to :30 spot with a soft male voice and no underlying sound.  He explains why spending time with family in the car can be better with Glade Plug-in fragrances.  Awareness is barely average, possibly because Glade was only named once at the beginning and twice at the very end.  But listeners got the Message (+22% over norm) and both Reputation and Action scored very well.  Highest-scoring CTAs were Intents to Recommend (+74%), Purchase (+56%) and Contact the company (+47%). Simple, calm can work.

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#5. MetroPCS – "Two Free Smartphones, a Backpack and School Supplies."

Wonderful female announcer who is confident that her audience will thank her for what she's about to share. MetroPCS offers a free backpack, school supplies and two smartphones (in addition to other offers) in return for switching service. Her voice is so smooth, it's easy to listen to, and the background music offers energy. Reputation soared +43% over norm and the strongest CTA was the Intent to go to the Web to learn more at +85%.

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July 2017

For July 2017, a full 149 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 149, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 120 (+240 over norm) for JCPenney to a low of ABX=52 for Cricket Wireless. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).  Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135.


Please see the following for more explanation:

1. JCPenney – “Get your Penny's Worth – Buy One, Get One for a Penny.”

This :15 spot was successful in every area, with a +20% ABX Index, a +20% Message and +9% Awareness. While +9% may not seem like much, this is the area in which most ads fail, barely hitting Average (100) ABX scores. The play on “Penney” and penny” seems to work well for the chain. Reputation and Action scores are high across every option. (Note: JCPenney also had the third highest scoring spot, “Stretch your Pennies Sale,” at an ABX Index of 115).

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2. Wendy's – “They're cooking up a new Bacon Queso burger …”

This :30 spot did what all spots try to do – delivered a huge Intent to Purchase CTA at +121% over norm.  The spot is well-orchestrated and fun with special voices, melodramatic music and clear Messaging (+11%).  The spot and new product also engendered a high +55% Reputation score.  Well done, Wendy’s.

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3. Discover Card – “We alarm our houses and we alarm our cars …”

A very effective :30 spot, Discover Card motivated a +98% over norm Intent to Contact Company. A believable, mature-sound voice over and well-written copy ensured high Message understanding (+13%), which produced a very high Reputation score (+73%) and strong Relevant and willingness to See Again. No underlying sound tracks to distract.

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4. Kohl’s – “It’s Super Saturday at Kohl’s.”

Kohl’s had three radio spots that all indexed at 111, so we chose the best of the three. This :30 spot had such loud rhythm and noise beneath it, it was difficult to hear – which is reflected in the low Awareness (Brand-Linkage) score of ABX=101. Regardless, the Message got through (+16% over norm), reflected well on Kohls and resulted in a healthy Action score of +25% over norm (with Purchase at +33%).

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5. McDonald’s – “Celebrating National Delivery Day”

Another :30 that impacted Purchase in a large way at +83% over norm as well as other Action CTAs. The high Reputation score (+30% over norm) is likely due to the Message itself, which talks about McDonald’s starting home deliveries. But Likeability was down (-6%) and Awareness was barely average at 103, which may reflect the background music that was so loud, it was hard to full understand.

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June 2017

For June 2017, , a full 93 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 93, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 124 (+24% over norm) for Walmart to a low of ABX=67 for Yoplait. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness). Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135, so this month’s “Top Five” are pretty strong.

Please see the following for more explanation:

1. Walmart - “Now you can save more time by using or online ordering”

This :30 spot generated very high scores across all measures with Reputation (+57% over norm) and Message (+31%) driving a high Action Score – with a huge CTA of +101% above norm for Intent to go to the Web. The spot’s strength was a “step 1, step 2, step 3” type of clarity of message that enabled listeners to understand how ordering online and using drive-by pick-up could be done.

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2. Arm & Hammer - “Oxyclean - For Life’s Messiest Moments”

This :15s spot is not outstanding in a creative sense, but the narrator punched the message clearly and the product itself, Oxi-Clean 3 in 1 Power Paks, drove a very high Action score of ABX = 140 (or +40% over norm). Subsets of Action saw Intent to Look For Product to score +63% and Intent to Purchase at +42% over norm. Basic, but effective.

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3. Gillette – “Gillette On Demand”

This :15s spot did very well in Reputation (+33% over norm) and Action (+22%) despite a few challenges. The spot itself features a high-energy male voice with a fairly loud music track. The offer itself – ‘your first and fourth orders will be free’ – is strong and doubtlessly generated the response. However, other scores like Likeability was -28% below norm and Awareness is basically average at 102. Action scores did include intents to learn more about the offer and to purchase (+33%).

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4. JCPenney – “We've got what you’re looking for. Everything from refrigerator and ranges to washers and more.”

This :30s segment had lots of energy from the female spokesperson and music background (which did not conflict with the voice). The sales offer was good with national brand products and extended payment terms. The Awareness score at +9% if very good in radio and indicates listeners recognize JCPenney’s creative style. But the second half of the message was legalese, and thus the score is lower than it might have been. Still, the Action score at +22% was mainly focused on Intent to Learn More, so it should be considered a successful spot.

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5. Macy’s“Nobody Celebrates the Fourth like Macy’s”

This :30s scored the same ABX Index of 110 as JCPenney, and did better with Messaging (+15%), but not as well in Action, which was just above average. The two narrators – male and female – convey enthusiasm for the Fourth of July event and discounts, but it is interesting to listen to the music track for this ad as compared with JCPenney’s. This ad scored average for Relevance and below average for Likeability whereas JCPenney scored better in both. This one was just a bit hard to listen to.

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May 2017

For May 2017, a very low total of 47 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 47, scores ranged from ABX Index = 109 (+9% over norm) for Walgreens to a low of ABX=50 for Cricket Wireless. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness). Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135, so this month’s “Top Five” are the lowest we’ve seen for a while.

Please see the following for more explanation:

1. Walgreens –When you're Feeling that Little itch in your Throat”

This :30 spot seems to be a recut of an April spot that also did quite well. The Message (+20%) resounded with listeners concerned about allergy relief and the strongest CTAs mainly addressed Intent to view the Web or to Recommend. There isn’t a clear-cut reason for the lower Reputation score (-5%) unless it related to the loud music in the background.

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2. Kohl's – “Super Saturday”

The score of ABX=108 makes sense for this :30 spot. The male announcer is good (Message +10% over norm) and the offers themselves are always strong as they are repeated each month. The average Reputation score may point to some fatigue with the message, though, as +46% Disliked the spot overall. Action CTAs were good, however, as all were positive – especially “Look For” and “Recommend.”

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

3. Neutrogena -“Neutrogena beach defense sun screen.”

This :30 spot with a male announcer was hard to listen to given the sound mix. Respondents did get the Message (+16%) and had Intent to Look for More Info (+45%) or Purchase (+17%). But the Likeability scores were all negative and Reputation should not have scored this low (-14%). It is possible the sound mixes overwhelmed listeners, who didn’t quite get the brand name.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads.

4. Straighttalk Wireless – “What if I told you that you could keep your phone you love but pay less every month you use it.”

Straight Talk takes an unusual approach with the ‘legalese’ that so often follows spots like this. Instead of the usual rushed gibberish, they featured a smooth, clear communication that made sense. That second part may have helped drive the Message score (+6%) up a little. The spot itself used a dialogue between two men that was also easy to follow, and resulted in a formidABle reputation score (+14%). Beneath the low Action score were several high CTA responses: Intent to Contact the company (+86%) and Intent to go to the Web (+47%). However, like several other ads this month, this also had a negative Likeability score.

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5. Sam's Club - “Turn any night into Movie Night.”

Radio Reps, we say it all the time, but blaring rock music under a voice-over only obscures the message. This Sam’s Club ad is a perfect example. Neither the brand (Awareness -2%) or the Message (-1% below norm) was understood as well as it could have, and Likeability scores may indicate why. Despite the distractions, Reputation came out strong at +13% and Action also at +21%. The CTA’s that worked well include Look For, Recommend and Purchase.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads




April 2017

For April 2017, a total of 89 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 89, scores ranged from ABX Index = 118 (+18% over norm) for MetroPCS to a low of 59 for Boost Mobile. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness). Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135, so this month’s “Top Five” are quite a bit lower, though still significantly good.

Please see the following for more explanation:

1. Ritz Crackers –Crisp & Thin”(Tied for First Place)

This :30 radio spot from Ritz was very well-written, likening a new cracker to potato chips but baked and more flavorful. Strong, convincing V/O likely from DJ; no background music. At +18% over the ABX Index norm, this spot was one of the top three for the month with giant Reputation (+35%) and Action (+38%) scores. Particularly strong is Purchase at +73% (part of Action). The only challenge in this spot was Awareness. Radio reps need to make sure there is enough brand repetition in ads to not come up short in this critical area.

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2. Kroger – “Easter is on the Way” (Tied for first place)

These numbers actually apply to two Kroger ads that ran back-to-back, obviously designed as a set. The first promoted gift cards to other businesses that are available at Kroger, and for which digital coupons are available. The other was a more standard “Easter Egg Hunt” spot for Easter food. Kroger does radio consistently well with strong scores across the top and particularly strong Reputation at +47% over norm. Biggest CTA was to “look for” the items described in the ad at +73% over norm.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

3. MetroPCS -“Unlimited talk, text and data not too shabby”(Tied for First Place)

The scores on this :60 radio spot are confusing. It is a very upbeat, humorous spot with only V/O and no complicating sounds. She mentions MetroPCS many times and clearly communications their latest offers in a convincing way. At an ABX Index of 118, it is one of the three top spots. The Reputation score is also very high at +73%. And the Message was clear. So why Awareness was only 105 is confusing; MetroPCS could not have been mentioned any more. The underlying CTAs under Action show Intent to look for more information on the Web at +84%, and Intent to Contact the company was +78%. But Intent to Purchase was a -6%, and the Dislike score was +36%. Nevertheless, it was a good ad overall.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads.

4. Walmart – “Helping Feed People in Your Community.”

Great ad, only one point (+17% below norm) below the top 3 this month. African American female voice-over engaging and likeable, talking about Walmart’s continuous program to help feed the country. Great music comes in about half-way through. The Walmart brand could be punched a little harder, resulting in only an average Awareness score, but Reputation (+59%) and Action were still strong. Among the CTA’s making up the Action score, all but one were in the positive column, focusing mainly on intents to learn more about the program.

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5. Walgreens - “I want allergy season to be easy not sneezy.”

This :30 Radio spot is high-energy with a little humor/silliness on the part of the announcer. The heavy background music/rhythm is somewhat distracting, but the spot had a very low Dislike score, so apparently it didn’t bother listeners. Branding is above average (+7%) and Message is strong (+21%). The rest of the scores are good with the strongest CTA being +73% for “Look For.”

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads




March 2017

For March 2017, a total of 115 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 115, scores ranged from ABX Index = 122 (+22% over norm) for Sam’s Club to a low of 54 for MetroPCS. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).  Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135, so this month’s “Top Five” are stronger than last month’s.

Please see the following for more explanation:

1. Sam’s Club – “Sam’s Club is Teaming up with Feed America”

This great spot shows the impact of a public relations strategy on Reputation, which is 109% over norm.  Listeners clearly understood they could help Feed America by participating in this promotion.  A high +33% Action score primarily reflected Intent to Talk About the effort at +73%.  Radio Reps should encourage clients to tie in with non-profits at every opportunity.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

2. Applebee’s – “Boneless Wings and Fries”

This Applebee’s :30 did well across the board with above average Awareness, strong Message at +19% over norm and Reputation at +15%. Listeners understood the ‘good deal’ and responded with a very high +34% Action Score, which includes an Intent to Purchase at + 71% and Talk About it at +74%.  Likeability was barely above norm, though, so the audience didn’t want to hear it again. For Radio Reps, this is a good spot to play for prospects that shows how to impact messaging, but where pure listenability could be improved.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

3. Kohl’s - “It's Super Saturday at Kohl's”

Another formulaic promotional ad – this time from Kohl’s.  Scores were good overall, though Awareness (Brand Linkage) could be stronger, and the Likeability score was slightly below Average. But the high Action score of +30% over norm showed positives in almost every CTA including a +41% in both Purchase and Web Intent.  Radio reps – it is ABX’s sense that the music/background was too loud to clearly identify the advertiser. Beware heavy production effects.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads.

4. JCPenney – “Get to JCPenney’s Clear Away Sale”

This 30-second promotional ad worked better than some across the board, even in Awareness at a +7% over norm.  The clear Message (+14%) drove +22% in Action – primarily in Intent to go to the Web for more information at 88% over norm. Radio Reps might use this as a good example of punching the name of the Advertiser enough times to be remembered.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

5. Home Depot - “Now get up to 35% off on top brand name appliance's you trust”

This ad from Home Depot was well-liked (+13% over norm) and did well across the board with the exception of Awareness/Brand Linkage, which is only slightly above Average.  ABX commends the enthusiastic narrator for mentioning the Home Depot name multiple times, so one would have expected a stronger association with the brand.  CTA’s that scored best included Go to the Web (51%) and Look for (+46%), which makes sense on appliance sales. Radio Reps – use this spot as a good example of how effective a spot can be without any background noise.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads




February 2017

For February 2017, a total of 118 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 117, scores ranged from ABX Index = 113 (+13% over norm) for MetroPCS to a low of 57 (-57% below norm) – also for MetroPCS. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).  Note: the highest Radio spot ever measured by ABX had an Index of 135, so this month’s “Top Five” are good for Radio, but a bit lower than other months.
Please see the following for more explanation:

1. MetroPCS – “It’s Tax Season and MetroPCS is giving everyone a new free smart phone.”

This DJ Live Read is one that worked pretty well due to his enthusiastic voice and clear messaging. Respondents also rated this spot high on Reputation (+46%) due to the great ‘free phone’ offer. However, the spot also had a fairly high Dislike score (13% over norm) and intend Action in the ‘learn more about’ or ‘recommend’ areas.  A radio rep might encourage a client like this to keep the spot to a :30 instead of a :60, since the last half was primarily legalese.  Also, make sure spots punch the name of the client as many times as possible; this one barely makes it past Average at 102 for Awareness/Brand Linkage.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

2. Straight Talk – “Nationwide coverage on America’s largest and most dependable 4G LTE Networks”

This Straight Talk ad is similar to MetroPCS’ ad above with a simple live read and without background noise. At an Awareness score of 102, the audience had some trouble understanding or remembering the name. The message was clear, however, and Likeability was about 5 points below norm. For radio reps, the advice above applies here.  This one was easier on the listener, though, at :30.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

3. Home Depot – “Right now get a GE top load washer and matching dryer for just $398 each with a saving off $200 on the pair”

This Home Depot spot has the distinctive sound and music background that all Home Depot spots have, with the same low-voiced announcer.  But respondents were only Aware this was a Home Depot spot at an average score of 100.  The Message was pretty good at ABX = 111, and the offer appealed to listeners, who scores Reputation a +30% over norm.  Action was primarily Intent to go to the Web or to Recommend to others.  Radio reps – it is ABX’s sense that the music/background was too loud to clearly identify the advertisers. Beware heavy production effects.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads.

4. Oreo’s – Sweepstakes to meet Christina Aguilera or Shaquille O'Neal”

This 60-second Live Read is a bit of a mystery with virtually Average ABX scores for Awareness (Brand Linkage), yet some very high CTA results beneath the +21% over norm Action Score.  For example, Purchase Intent is +69% and Recommend is +49% over norm, and of course Reputation is +23%. Yet, surprisingly, Likeability was well Below Average. The spot is quite fun with the DJ suggesting several ways to “dunk” your Oreo, as that’s what the contest is about.  Radio Reps might critique this spot as moving too fast for audience comprehension, and as too long to sustain attention. Still, overall, it worked very well in generating intended Action.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads

5. Best Buy – “Best Buy President's Day Sale”

As we’ve seen a lot with the February spots, here’s another one that is Average on Awareness (Brand Linkage) and a bit better on Message (+10% over norm), but low on Likeability (-15%).  This :30 produced spot has a great voice over, but the loud rhythm track almost drowns him out. For Action, the only CTA in the positive column was Intent to go to the Web at +88% above norm.  Radio Reps – use this spot as a good example for clients who want to sound ‘cool’ by using loud music or rhythm tracks.

Please send me the Creative Reports for Selected Ads.




January 2017

As we start 2017, a few new rules will apply to the ABX choices of the Top Five Radio Ads for the Month:

For January 2017, a total of 236 radio spots were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index, of which 160 were “First-Run.”  Of the 160, scores ranged from ABX Index = 124 (+24% over norm) for IHOP to a low of 55 (-45% below norm) for Jack Daniels. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).
Please see the following for more explanation:

1. IHOP’s “All You Can Eat Pancakes”

This spot is short and sweet with a clear, compelling message, very enthusiastic and clear voice talent, and strong Action response with a Purchase sub-score of +103% over norm. Similar IHOP spots also scored well, but lower, possibly because of they were too long. A Radio Rep might encourage prospects to opt for more frequent 15-second spots over less frequent, longer versions. IHOP also scored in the Top Five with two other spots this month!  This would be a good example to show a sales prospect.

Click for a full creative report for this ad.

2. Old Navy – “Fashion Emergency – Active Wear”

Another “fashion emergency” spot that does well through animated voice-overs, a few sound effects and a quiet background.  Strong Message resounds resulting in a very strong Reputation score, and good Action – the highest of which was for going to the Web (+42% over norm). For radio reps, this again had a lower Awareness score than it should have received. The spot seems clear it is Old Navy’s, but you can’t be too careful about brand linkage.

Click for a full creative report for this ad.

3. MetroPCS – “It’s Almost that Time of Year – Tax Time”

This spot seems long at 60-seconds, but the female voiceover does a great job of explaining a great new program where MetroPCS gives away brand new phones to both old and new customers.  The Message was understood and it greatly impacted Reputation.  Listeners appreciated the offer, and among various Action CTAs, the one that did best was Intent to Contact the Company at +139% over norm.  The spot suffered a little on Likeability, too, which perhaps relates to the length.  Radio reps – again, beware of selling spots that are longer than they need to be. Also, be aware that some spots deliver high on Reputation by design, realizing Action may take more time.

Click for a full creative report for this ad.

4. Applebee’s “As Any Sports Fan Knows”

This 30-second high-impact spot with strong narrator, strong offer and a message that appealed (in this case) a bit more to men than women.  This spot wasn’t quite as “likeable” as the IHOP spot above, but it still scored +62% over norm in Purchase Intent.  This one suffered a little from a just-above-average Awareness score (brand linkage), so Radio Reps should ensure that the brand name for client spots is repeated multiple times, very clearly.  And, they can use this example to show how a strong Message impacts Calls to Action.

Click for a full creative report for this ad.

5. Sam’s Club – “Thank you to the Military”

This is the kind of spot that really scores in Reputation, but has a little more trouble in Action, though at an ABX Index of 111 for Action, that’s pretty strong.  Note: most of the Action focused on audience intent to Recommend or Talk About the Message.  Again, Awareness could be strengthened.  Radio Reps – use this spot as a good example for clients who want to impact Reputation.

Click for a full creative report for this ad.




December 2016

The following five radio spots ranked highest in overall creative effectiveness in December 2016 as tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  A total of 269 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very strong 133 for Subway to a low of 59 for Cricket Wireless. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).
Some new views of all tested data are now available at the following links:

1. Applebee’s – “Call a Friend or Family Member and Run to Applebee’s”

Applebee’s produced an unusually clear, compelling ad with a strong female voice over that made the spot work.  They also refrained from background noise and music, enabling the Message (+34% over norm) to come over loud and clear.  The high Reputation and Action scores manifested in high scores in every CTA including +104% above norm in intent to “Talk” about the deal, and +81% in “Purchase” intent.

2. Sam’s Club – “Your Pizza Night Just Got Easier …”

This is another good ad from Sam’s Club which uses a clear-speaking male voiceover to best advantage with copy that makes the listener hungry.  There is some background music, but it doesn’t overwhelm the spot. However, Awareness could be a little higher; Sam’s Club should be punched with a bit more impact. Still, the Message got across (+27% over norm), Reputation was great (+30%) and so was Action (+30%).  Of Action, the highest-scoring CTAs were in the +50s range for Talk and Recommend.  One surprising finding was the Likeability score was just Average, which I would have ranked as higher.

3. Burger King – “3 Pancakes at $.89”

Okay, I just have to say it: I don’t ‘get’ this one and why it performed so well.  The huge Message score (+34% over norm) was undoubtedly because the singular message was repeated at least six times in the 30-s duration. Clearly, the audience loved the message and thought highly of Burger King to offer such an ‘unbelievable’ deal.  In fact, the Intent to Purchase score (a subset of Action) scored +110% above the norm!  However, a few respondents were irritated at the repetition and gave the spot Likeability scores in the +10% range.

4. IHOP – “All You Can Eat Pancakes are Back at IHOP”

Ad sounds live-read with a DJ who does well making the offer sound delicious and in the moment. Of note here is the very high Reputation score (+43% over norm), which shows listeners really appreciated the offer.  The biggest CTA responses were intentions to Talk about the offer and Recommend it (both around +64%), but purchase was lower at +29%.  Some of the background noise may have affected the clarity of brand linkage (Awareness), which was only average.

5. Lubriderm for Walgreens – “Men’s 3-in-1 Lotion”

This very clearly-read ad by a woman with a well-modulated voice should have scored higher, in this writer’s opinion, though at an ABX Index of 112, it is well above average.  There is some lack of clarity in Awareness, and Message should have been higher given the clarity of the narrative.  In addition, the Dislike score was a -9% below norm. But, there is intent to look for the product at +47% above norm, and purchase it at +24%. 

Click for more information or to get a full creative report for any of these ads.




November 2016

A total of 170 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very strong 126 for Subway to a low of 54 for U.S. Cellular. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

1. Subway – “Come into Subway this Thursday, November 3rd ...”

The “Buy One, Get One Free – and Help Feed America” message was very powerful, driving Reputation +90% over norm and Action +29%.  Beneath Action, giant scores for Purchase (+138% over norm), Recommend (+93%) and Talk (+76%).

2. Applebee’s – “Get Ready Steak-Lovers!”

Basic spot but food descriptions are especially effective along with the very low pricing on steaks.  The offer and clear Messaging (+25% over norm) drove the high Reputation and Action scores.  More importantly, as a component of the Action score, Purchase scored +129% over norm!

3. Old Navy – “Run to Old Navy Right Now!”

This is another pretty standard promotional spot, but with clear Messaging and very good deals that drove both Reputation (+39%) and Action – mainly in intent to search for more information or recommend to others.  Notably, the Likability score on this one was only average, but Relevance at +19% meant the message was of interest to listeners.

4. Taco Bell – “Rumor has it Taco Bell …”

Here’s a spot with some humor and a strong voice-over.  It makes me hungry with its description of Rolled Chicken Tacos and five dipping sauces.  As shown above, the spot did well across the board even though the Likability score was slightly below average. But Purchase intent reached +105% over norm.

5. Sam’s Club – “With a Sam’s Club Membership”

While this spot was one of the top for November, and it did well on Reputation, it had some clear challenges.  Not shown are the average Likability score, the low Relevance score, and low CTAs except for intent to Talk about the offers in the spot.  The spot conveys good values at Sam’s Club and has a standard voice-over, but the heavy guitar music makes it hard to listen to.




October 2016

The following five TV spots ranked highest in overall creative effectiveness in October 2016 as tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  A total of 241 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very strong ABX Index score of 124 from Duracell to a low score of 47 for Flying Dog Brewery. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

1. Duracell – There is a Storm Headed Your Way

Gigantic scores across all measures for this compelling spot from Duracell.  Extra clear delivery with sound effects of a crashing sea impacted urgency.  Not only is Reputation and Action strong, but scores for Relevance were up +58% over norm.  Purchase Intent was a huge +135% over norm, and Recommend is +77%.


2. Taco Bell –
Taco Bell has a Feast for You

This is another good spot from Taco Bell that again focuses on mouth-watering food descriptions and this time, for only $1.00.  The spot drew a very high Reputation score – likely due to what sounds like a generous offer from Taco Bell.  Action is also very high with a +88% Purchase Intent score, and +58% Recommend score, both over norm.


3. Target –
“Imagine hearing that your child has cancer …”

This spot has performed exceptionally well radio spot given a +101% above norm Reputation score and +20% in Action.  A female voice asks listeners to imagine their child has cancer or Sickle Cell Disease and how terrible that would be.  That’s why Target is teaming up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Interestingly, Awareness and Message are only about average, but the association with St. Jude’s drove high Action subset scores in Intent to Contact, Research the Web, Recommend and Talk About it.


4. Kohl’s – Levis Are, Quite Simply, the Best Jeans Around

I always love radio spots with no conflicting rock music in the background, so I understand why this spot did so well.  Clear message with a great offer (40% off) impacted both Reputation and Action – especially Intent to Contact the store for more information at +95% over norm.


5. Burger King –
Taking Breakfast to the Next Level

Here is another Burger King straight-forward promotional spot with the 2 for $6 Croissan'wich Meal Deal and other add-ons.  Good scores across all variables, with most notable being the sub-Action score of Purchase Intent, which is at +65% over norm.




September 2016

The following five TV spots ranked highest in overall creative effectiveness in September 2016 as tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  A total of 210 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a strong ABX Index score 116 from Taco Bell to a low score of 56 for MetroPCS. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).


1. Taco Bell -
Dollar Cravings Menu

This 17-second spot is packed with multiple delicious-sounding deals. Clear Message drove Reputation and Action – and especially Purchase Intent at +64% over norm. (Purchase is a subset of Action)


2. Sam’s Club –
Labor Day Angus Steaks



This ad has healthy scores across all areas, but Awareness (Brand Linkage) could have been stronger, and so could Relevance (not seen).  A bigger surprise was the Purchase score, which was actually down (-28%) in the Action category, though there was some intent to look at the offer more via Web.


3. JCPenney –
Red Zone Clearance


This standard formula promotional spot really resonated with listeners. While Reputation was fine, it was one of the lower-scoring metrics in this analysis, but Action soared across sub-sets including Intents to Purchase, Research the Web, Recommend and Talk About it. 


4. Jergens –
Who said Mom Always Knows Best? (Wet Skin Moisturizer)

This ad featured a vignette of a daughter using Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer while she was in the shower as her mother questioned her about it.  It was all friendly and upbeat, and the Message came through very clearly.  Beneath the hood, though, it had some problems with an only average Reputation score and a high Dislike score (not shown) of -41%.  At points, the spot sounded too rehearsed, which could have affected the scores. 


5. Kohl’s –
This Weekend its Kohl’s

Something Kohl’s always does well is use strong talent in its spots.  This V/O is exceptionally clear in pronunciation, so the Message score is strong and reflected well on Reputation.  Action is a little less robust with the strongest being to Research the Web for more info at +48% above norm.




August 2016

A total of 116 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very low ABX Index score of 57 for Visa to a high score of 115 for Kohl’s. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness). . A total of 116 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very low ABX Index score of 57 for Visa to a high score of 115 for Kohl’s. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

 

1. Kohl’s - “Get your kids’ sneaker game on”

This is a very standard ad with an exceptionally good offer.  Not only do shoppers get 15% off, they also get “cold cash” - $10 back for every $50 spent.  The message was clear and impacted Reputation at +32% over norm, but Action at +9% was likely disappointing.


2. Burger King - “Burger King Presents Breakfast Stories – 2 for $4 Croissan’wich”

This spot uses a humorous voice talent who punches in the “2 for $4” great deal.  This spot is clear, understandable and impacts both Reputation and Action.  Most important, the Intent to Purchase score (which is part of Action) is +38% over norm.


3. Burger King - “Burger King Presents Breakfast Stories – 2 for $4 Croissan'wich”

In the same series as the #2 spot, this time Burger King utilizes a male with an exaggerated Minnesota accent who is complaining about some lady making “moon eyes” at him to get close to his croissan’wich. The skit may have cost Burger King some points on Reputation, which is barely about the average of 100.  However, it didn’t hurt the Intent to Purchase, which had a high score of +30% over norm (part of Action).


4. Kohl’s  -
“Father’s Day Shopping and Levi’s”

This spot sounds like a co-op ad plus a locally-produced spot spliced together.  The message of dad being the “hero of the family” may have impacted Reputation at +26% over norm.  The high Message and Awareness scores show that Kohl’s and Levi’s were memorable. Making up the Action score were variables such as Intent to Contact (+114%) and Recommend (+34%), though Purchase was -16%.


5.Best Buy - “Warehouse Sale – 60% off”

This is another fairly routine spot with strong testing numbers.  Information about the big sale is presented clearly and with a sense of urgency.  Reputation at +13% indicates listeners appreciated the offer.  Most notable in the Action score, which 2% beneath Average, is the Intent to Contact was +96% over norm, Intent to learn more through the Web was +44%, and Intent to Recommend was +22%.  But, Intent to Purchase was -37% - undoubtedly because this type of purchase requires more research.




July, 2016

A total of 116 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very low ABX Index score of 57 for Visa to a high score of 115 for Kohl’s. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness). . A total of 116 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very low ABX Index score of 57 for Visa to a high score of 115 for Kohl’s. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

1. Papa John's – Extra Large 2 Topping Pizza”

This highest-scoring spot is straightforward but with clear branding (Awareness +12% over norm) and very clear Message (+26%), and with a good offer that certainly impacted Reputation (+29% over norm). An ABX Index score of 119 is very strong in Radio.

2. Hefty - (Hefty Ultra Strong) - “Using an overpriced trash bag”

Clever copy playing off the 3x repetition we all know from “Hefty, Hefty, Hefty.”  The spot sells well by underscoring the need for strong trash bags.  In addition to the high scores above, particularly on both Reputation and Action, this spot received a very high “Relevance” score (+45%) and “Purchase” (+43% over norm), (not illustrated).

3. Domino's (Online Special) - “If you love a good deal …”

Another straightforward spot with a strong promotional offer resulting in very high Purchase (+54%), (which is part of the Action score above, but a slightly below average “Like” score (-1.6%).  The voice over was very clear for the first half of the spot, and then some music interfered a little with the message.

4. Red Robin – Red's Tavern Double Burger”

This friendly, upbeat spot scored well across the board, particularly in Awareness (+15%) and Message (+20% over norm). The Action score at ABX 102 is disappointing until you look beneath the surface and see that Purchase is +43% above norm.  Having said that, the other Action scores like Talking about it, Going to the Website, Recommending to Others, or Contacting the Company, were below average … which may not matter at all if Red Robin’s goal was to stimulate Purchase!

5. Amazon (Prime Now) - “This July Twelfth is Amazon’s Biggest Day Ever”

A very enthusiastic voice-over makes this spot work with sound effects that blend into the message.  Both Awareness (+9%) and Message (+6%) should have scored higher in my opinion, but perhaps the audience didn’t quite understand the offer.  Regardless, the spot generated a big Action score at ABX 126, and under the hood, we see an enormous +150% score for Web, and +43% for Contact the Company (which are part of Action).  So, the spot stimulated enough interest to make listeners go online to check it out.




June, 2016

A total of 250 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very low ABX Index score of 49 for U. S. Cellular to a high score of 115 for Taco Bell. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

1. Taco Bell – "Doritos Locos Tacos – NBA Finals

When the team steals the game, everyone in America gets a free taco.  This message plus delicious-sounding food descriptions and clear voice-over impacted Reputation (+45%) and Action (+23%) over norms. 

 

2. Applebee’s “New Wood-Fired Grill Menu”

Enthusiastic voice over, mouth-watering descriptive copy and a lack of distracting background noise made this spot a success impacting Reputation (+33% above norm) and Action (+11%).  Within the Action score are various specific CTAs, one of which is Purchase Intent – which scored +30% over norm for this spot.

 

3. Sam’s Club – “Perfect cookout for less this Memorial Day”

This is a good example of why one needs to dig deeper into the ad effectiveness data when evaluating spots.  On the surface, it scored well across the major ABX KPIs, with Message delivered clearly and being understood at  +17% above norm. However, the full ABX report also shows one of the Likability scores (“want to see it again?) was 13% below norm. Our guess is the heavy background music was the culprit.

 

4. KFC – “The 2-​piece $5 fill up is a real meal for just $5” 

Another “effective” ad with clear Awareness (+12% over norm) and Message (+16%), but lower Reputation and Action than might have been expected. Research has found that “Likability” is not predictive for “Effectiveness,” but it was interesting that this ad scored well overall despite a very high Dislike score at +77% above norm (not shown above). We’d guess it was due to the heavy repetition in the copy.  

 

5. Burger King – “Flame-Grilled 100% Beef Dogs

Here’s another one that was not well liked, but was clear in Message (+8% above norm) and Reputation (+22%). Included in the Action figure is a very high Purchase Intent of +41, so even if the audience didn’t want to hear it again, they wanted to buy the hot dog.  Not sure what the “music” at the very end was, however.




May, 2016

In May, a total of 206 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a very low ABX Index score of 47 for MasterCard to an unusually high score of 127 for Burger King. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

1. Burger King – “Introducing the New 5 for $4 Deal”

Clarity and enthusiasm in the voice-over, in addition to a great ‘deal,’ make this a highly effective ad in every area including Action.

 

2. MetroPCS – “Hey, What’s Up, This is your Man”

A great personality and lots of silly humor make this a terrific spot with very high Reputation score.

 

3. Oscar Meyer – “When I Grew Up Things Started To Change …”

Child voice-over grabs attention as it morphs to an adult voice, linking the idea that hot dogs are favorites throughout life. Huge Action score, partly attributable to Heinz product inclusion.

 

4. Hotels.com – “Memorial Day Sale”

Strong visual copy, clear announcer and calm background music help make this ad super strong in Reputation and Action.

 

5. Burger King – “I’m not a Morning Person”

The sheer value of this spot’s offer makes it resound well in every measure including Action.  But the announcer speaks very fast and it is somewhat surprising that the Message score is as high as it is.




April, 2016

In April, a total of 179 spots were tested with ABX scores ranging from a low ABX Index score of 56 from Houston Acura Dealers to a high of 117 for Home Depot. (An ABX Index of 100 is “average” in effectiveness).

1. Home Depot – “Upgrade your appliances at down-graded prices”


2. Burger King – “Introducing our new 5 for $4 deal.”


3. Kellogg’s - Eggo Waffles – “When it comes to Eggo waffles, there are limitless options”


4. Burger King – “2 Croissan'wich Breakfast Sandwiches for just $4”


5. CVS – “The Pharmacy you trust is now in the store you love” (DJ ad)




March, 2016

1. Arm & Hammer - "Another Saving Secret from Arm & Hammer"


2. Discover Card - "At Discover We Believe ..."


3. Kohl's - "Easter is Sunday so get to Kohl's"


4. JCPenney - "Get what you love at the prices you love only at JC Penney"



5. Macy's - "Hurry in for Macy's 5 day Super Sale"

For more information, contact Angela Jeffrey, VP Brand Management, at 214-926-9794 or angie@adbenchmark.com.

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