The ABX "Top Three Radio Spots" Scoreboard



For 2019, a few new rules will apply to the ABX choices of the Top Three Radio Ads for the Month:

July 2019

For July 2019, 134 English language radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 134, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 127 (+27% over norm) for Walmart to a low of ABX= 53 (-47 below norm), for Remy Martin from a GenPop audience.  Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages.  However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change.  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. Walmart – “Introducing Free Next Day” - :15

Walmart Score

Summary: Get your must have items delivered tomorrow with no membership fees at URL. So if you’re in the store and you forget what you need, you can still get it the next day.  No membership fee. On eligible items only $35 minimum order not available in all locations. If ever there was a reminder that WHAT we say is more important than HOW we say it, this very fast :15 spot is it.  A female voice/over just explains the latest Walmart service – free next day food delivery – and what’s not to like?  The ABX Index score of 127 puts this spot into the 98th percentile of all spots measured.  The Reputation score of 174 clearly shows the spot, or announcement of the service, made listeners think more of the store.  Relevance is 123; Likability 136; and all the CTA’s were positive including Intent to Contact the Store – 251; to Recommend 189; to Look at the Website 182 and to Purchase 134.  All in 15 seconds.


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#2. Kroger – “ISN'T IT YUMMY WHEN YOU FIND …” :60

Kroger Score

SPLIT 60 -1st Ad: You're going to love the Digital Coupon Savings Event happening now at Kroger. Just go to the App or URL and download coupons for tons of select favorites throughout the store. You can use your coupons up to 5 times in 1 transaction. While you're online, download another coupon to earn 1 extra fuel point for every dollar you spend Thursday through Sunday. Limited time offers and restrictions apply. Tagline. 2nd Ad: At Kroger, we've got more ways to save on the foods you crave with great sales, fuel points and digital coupons, the savings at Kroger really add up. Come save on peak of the season favorite, like 18-​ounce Michigan grown Blueberries for $3.99 and USDA Boneless Top Sirloin Steak at $4.99/​lb. with card.  

In the 95th percentile, this Kroger ad packs a lot of information into two back-to-back spots that focus a lot on using their App or URL and downloading coupons.  It has pleasant music beneath the female voice-over, which communicates a clear Message at 128.  But again, I think it is the offer itself that drove the Reputation score of 184 and the CTA’s, some of which include Intent to Contact the Store of 225; Look for at 163 and Purchase at 130.  Personally, I think the music makes the flow of information harder to understand, but clearly, the panel thought otherwise.


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#3. Red Robin – “Sometimes you just don’t want …” :30

Red Robin Score

If you're Jonesing for a burger but don't want to leave the house, Red Robin delivers or if you're all (noise), I'm going to stay in and eat some onion rings on the couch, Red Robin delivers. You can get crave worthy burgers, pizzas and more delivered to your office or your own front door. Order today at URL. Tagline. At participating locations. This is a good spot using sounds and music that punctuates what the male narrator is saying.  Again, the topic is food delivery – this time from a restaurant instead of a grocery store. This scores high in Relevance at 125, Reputation at 159 and CTAs including Intent to Contact the Store at 198 and Intent to Purchase at 175, the highest we’ve seen so far!



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – July 2019

 



June 2019

For June 2019, 158 English language radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 158, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 129 (+29% over norm) for Pizza Hut to a low of ABX= 67 (-33% below norm), for Hennessey from a GenPop audience.  Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages.  However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change.  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. Pizza Hut – “Large 2 Topping Pizza for $7.99” - :30

Pizza Hut Score

Live Read: "So this week at Pizza Hut, you can get a large 2 topping Pizza Hut pizza, it's just $7.99 when you order online and carry out at any Pizza Hut location. Tagline [...]." This DJ is crazy good, adding lots of color … "no one out-pizzas the Hut" … to the spot. Two large pizzas for $7.99 is a crazy good deal, too, so the combination of great talent + a great deal drove Brand Awareness and Messaging, resulting in an ABX Index of 129, in the top 95% of all ads tested by ABX. In addition, of the CTAs, Intent to Purchase was 170 and Intent to Recommend 189.


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#2. Walmart – ““You know I was at work earlier …” :30

Walmart Score

Live Read: All I got to do is go in the app, tell them what I want, and Walmart experts pick the best & freshest items just like I would and I can pick a specific time to come pick it up and they'll put in my car …  or for a small fee, I can even get it delivered right to my house. Plus, the best part a money back satisfaction guarantee …”.  Another great DJ with clear voice, enthusiasm and no underlying noise.  He sells the concept because he sounds like he’s using it and loving it.  The high Reputation score of 163 shows the spot reflects well on Walmart, and of the Action CTAs – the strongest are Intent to Contact the store at 192 and Intent to Recommend at 180.


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#3. Kroger – “So we have a coworker that just had a baby …” :60

Kroger  Score

Live Read: You can order all of your groceries right online at Kroger.com and they can deliver them right to your house. They showed up to my house in the time frame that that I chose, and it was great. You've got options, you can have your food delivered very conveniently right to your home or maybe you're just going to head home from work and you want to just pick up at the store. You're going to get all your fuel points for all of that so make sure you download the Kroger App right now or go to URL. I don’t think it is a coincidence that more and more of the top spots have no blaring soundtrack underneath for live reads.  This is true for June’s top spots, and we’ve had many other months like it.  This time female and male deejays talk about Kroger’s home delivery, using friends or themselves as recipients.  Again, enthusiasm, clarity, drove high scores with Reputation being the largest at 172.  This one had a high Likability score of 125 and CTAs including Intent to Contact the Store at 197 and Talk About it at 207.



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – June 2019

 



May 2019

For May 2019, 152 English language radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 152, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 118 (+18% over norm) for Walmart to a low of ABX= 65 (-35% below norm), for Absolut Vodka from a GenPop audience. Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages. However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change. 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. Walmart – “Walmart Pick-up and Delivery is a definite winner” - :30

Walmart Score

Live Read: "Download the Walmart Grocery App or go to URL, Put your order in select an exact time for pick up or a one hour window for delivery satisfaction because the folks at Walmart are trained in picking out the best [...]." Another strong DJ read with no underlying noise. The Walmart app allows you to select pick-up or delivery within a precise time window. The Message at 126 is particularly strong, and so is Brand Awareness at 109. Surprising low scores included Relevance at 104 and Purchase at only 80. However, going to the Website, Talking about it and Recommending were all in the 130’s-140’s, suggesting that there’s a lot of interest in these services, but perhaps respondents hadn’t tried them yet.


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#2. Walgreens – “Did you know that 18% of children in the US live in poverty?” - :30

Walgreens Score

"Red Nose Day is back at Walgreens to help change that. When you buy a new everyday hero Red Nose at Walgreens you can help keep children in need safe, healthy [...]." Again, a live read with no underlying sounds. Strong copy appears effective as reflected in the scores above – particularly Reputation at 163. The spot was Likable at 114 but had only an average Relevance score. All CTAs were positive except for Purchase at 80, which isn’t surprising considering this is more of a public relations spot than anything. Strong CTAs included Going to the Website at 149; Recommend at 137 and Talk about it at 142.


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#3. Kroger – “Get ready for hot deals at the Kroger Buy 5 Save 5 Event” and “Is there anything better than seeing a smile on mom’s face?” – split ad, :60

Kroger Score

Split Ad: New/ New;2nd L/A: IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER THAN;1st Ad: Kroger Buy 5 Save 5 Event. Just choose from a huge selection of participating items and when [...] – Both :30 spots, which play back-to-back, are upbeat, use female voice-overs, have complimentary music tracks and offer great promotional values. Copy is clear and helped drive a strong Reputation score of 138. Relevance scored 113 and Likability 105. For CTAs, the strongest was Look for at 148, followed by Go to the Website at 129 and Purchase at 121. Clearly, Kroger is offering a lot of value with its promotional deals. I question how effective it is to run two ads from the same company back to back. We’ll have to test this at some point!



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – May 2019

 



April 2019

For April 2019, 129 English language radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 129, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 121 (+21% over norm) for Outback Steakhouse to a low of ABX= 68 (-32% below norm), for Malibu from a GenPop audience.  Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages.  However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change.  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. Outback Steakhouse – “Sirloin with mouthwatering ribs” - :30

Outback Score

Live Read: "Outback is caring its Signature Sirloin with mouthwatering ribs with your choice of sauce or dry rub. You get both for just $14.99 this deal is …" At an ABX Index of 121, this radio spot is in the top 90% of ALL 170,000 ABX-tested ads. You may be surprised since it is only a live read with no sound effects at all. But the copy and delivery are so good, your mouth waters as you picture ribs and dry-rub steaks – all at a low price plus $10 gifts with a purchase of $50 in gift certificates. Scores not shown above include Relevance at 131, Likability at 123 and huge CTA scores include Purchase at 198, Recommend at 178 and Talk About it at 160. Once again, simple and clear hits a home run.


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#2. Carrabba’s Italian Grill – “Johnny Carrabba, the founder of Carrabba’s …” - :30

Carrabba's  Score

"At Carrabba's our Wood Fire Grill Chicken has an unforgettable flavor based with my family signature recipe giving me smoky flavor in every bite." This one surprises me a little. The spot is well-produced with a member of the Carrabba family being part of it. Background includes the soft sound of voices at the restaurant and a small amount of music. The ABX score of 116 is good, but Brand Awareness of 103 is barely above average. It should be higher given the repetition of the restaurant’s name and family member and promise of more chicken in every dish. I think Carrabba’s best KPI win for this spot is Reputation at 161 with Relevance at 113 and Likability at 109. Purchase was only 108 but Talk About it is 138. But do the dishes really need more chicken?


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#3 – Walmart – “Low Prices on What you Want” :30

Walmart Score

"From breakfast in bed to easy date night dinner, from Taco Tuesday to Fish Friday, from everyday saver to those special birthday treats because at Walmart low prices …"" Another well-written spot with descriptive options of what you can buy at Walmart at low prices. The spot had decent, rather peppy music beneath the voice over. This spot tied with Carrabba’s at #2 with strong scores across the board though Brand Awareness is never as high as one would expect given the repetition of the the advertiser’s name. Other scores include Relevance at 124, Likability at 103, and positive CTAs in every category with Contact the Store being highest at 167 and Purchase at 121.



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – April 2019

 



March 2019

For March 2019, 102 English language radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 102, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 117 (+17% over norm) for Vicks to a low of ABX= 56 (-44% below norm), for Tullamore Dew from a GenPop audience.  Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages.  However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change.  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. Vicks - Vapo Drops with Sick Announcer” :30

Vicks Score

This is an adorable spot. The announcer pretends to have a cough and sore throat so he needs relief to be able to do the ad.  So he takes some Vapo Drops and the heavens open and he is cured. It’s primarily a quiet ad, but sound effects are added as he gets better. The brand linkage (104) wasn’t quite as strong as we like to see, but the Message got through (123) and all other markers like Relevance, Likability and Reputation (143) did well. Action CTAs that were strongest were the ones that matter: Look For at 149; Purchase Intent at 137; and Recommend at 153.


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#2. Bounty – “Red, Red Wine” :30

Bounty Score

Another very cute ad. It starts with the song “Red, Red Wine” and then a glass breaks and spills the wine all over. The hero is Bounty, which picks up the mess in no time. The music restarts and all is well. Good use of music and underlying sound effects without drowning out the narrative. The sores above are all good including brand awareness at 107 (which tends to be one of the toughest scores to nail). The spot was considered relevant and likable and had a huge “Intent to Purchase” CTA score of 189.


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#3 – Prilosec OTC – “Stereo Radio” :30

Prilosec Score

Another good script here.  The spot starts with the announcer discussing how those that suffer from heartburn stash little packages of antacids in the various pocket of our purses, or other locations, and never find them when we need them.  So, he suggests taking one Prilosec OTC a day to solve the problem.  Light music builds a bit later in the segment, but Message clarity at 120 was very good.  Reputation was strong, but Action could have been stronger with Purchase at only 117 and Contact at 129.  But all CTAs were in a positive direction, so this is a good #3 for the month.



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – March 2019

 



February 2019

For February 2019, 96 English language radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 96, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 126 (+26% over norm) for Listerine to a low of ABX= 67 (-33% below norm), for Boost from a GenPop audience.  Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages.  However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change. 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. Listerine Ready Tabs – “Just Chew it Until it Turns into a Liquid” - :15

Listerine Score

Talk about a plain ad!  This :15 spot has no underlying sound; just the DJ’s quietly enthusiastic and very clear voice. This ad is 26% over norm, which is very high for a radio spot. But look at the Awareness (Brand Linkage) spot at 111; usually, we see this number cluster closer to 100 even for good ads. And the Message score of 127 is again unusual for radio, not to mention for a :15 spot. The spot was considered Relevant and likable. And every CTA was positive including Intent to Purchase at 183 and Look For at 178. I have to wonder if this is where the radio advertising industry is going – quiet, uncluttered, clear and convincing.


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#2. Walmart – “Grocery Delivery the Sound of Time” :30

Walmart Score

Also very strong with an ABX Index of 122 (22% above average), this spot does have some sound effects, but relies most heavily on the female narrator.  The effects are doorbell rings indicating the Walmart delivery has arrived.  Subpoints like time saved were convincing and no one mis-took the advertiser (Awareness 111) and Message (130).  Like the spot above, this ranked high in Reputation and CTAs were highest in the “seeking” areas like “Contact the Company” at 148.
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#3 – Taco Bell – “Taco Bell Delivers through Grubhub” - :30

Taco Bell Score

Live Read: Taco Bell does delivery, there's one dream you can have handed to you, Taco Bell delivers through Grubhub that means you can get Tacos, Crunchwrap, [...] – here’s another plain spot with only DJ voiceover.  What stands out, though, is the clever copywriting.  The spot starts by talking about how tough it is to realize our dreams I life.  But then switches to ‘here’s one dream you can have handed to you’ – Taco Bell delivered!  Clever and delivers high Brand Awareness at 111, clear Message at 122 and high outcomes of Reputation and Action. The spot is also well-liked.  In CTAs, the strongest was “Intent to Contact” at 220, “Intent to Purchase” at 136, and very high “Talk About” and Recommend” scores around 158. 



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – February 2019

 



January 2019

For January 2019, 47 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index.  Of the 47, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 114 (+14% over norm) for Outback Steakhouse to a low of ABX= 70 (-30% below norm), for Remy Martin from a GenPop audience.  Note that any ad may score much higher in its target demographic, such as among drinkers for alcoholic beverages.  However, ad ranking within target audiences usually doesn’t change.  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. Outback Steakhouse – “Steak & Unlimited Shrimp” - :60

Outback Score

Live Read: Steak and Unlimited Shrimp only at your San Diego area Outback Steakhouse locations. Tender juicy Sirloin paired with your choice of crispy Shrimp [...] – Back to basics with a DJ live read, no background sound and strong copy.  The enthusiasm of the reader underscored the message of unlimited shrimp with your steak and all at a great price.  The brand was clear at 109; the message resounded at 122; and it all resulted in a good Reputation score of 120 and above average Action score with strong individual CTAs like Intent to Look For at 125 and Purchase at 117.


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#2. Taco Bell – “$1 Grande Burritos on new Cravings Menu” -  :15

Taco Bell Score

Live Read: Come into Taco Bell and try the delicious new $1 Grande Burritos and Chicken Enchilada and 3 Cheese Nachos only on Taco Bell's new Cravings Menu. [...]  Okay, so I’m just going to say it: how did this ad do so well?  It is a live read, rushed narrative, no sound effects, ordinary ad.  And maybe we’re seeing that ordinary works as long as the promotional message makes sense and is compelling.  The Reputation score is strong at 125, meaning listeners felt better about Taco Bell after hearing the ad than before.  But the individual CTAs that make up Action are amazing – Contact the Company – 151, Look For – 140, Purchase – 135, Talk about 150, etc. 


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#3 – Bank of America – “Cash Back Rewards” - :60

Bank of America Score

Recently Bank of America announced a new cash back card, which for the first time gives consumers the power to choose where they earn reward. The new cash reward [...] Three for three this month – Bank of America uses narration only to announce its new program to provide rewards in six different ways, not just travel. A female voices the introduction, and hands it over to a very official-sounding male.  The brand and message resound so positively, Reputation shoots up to 137.  While this ad does have a high Dislike score of 144, it also has a 177 score for Going to the Website to learn more, and strong scores in Recommend and Talk About.  So, another plain ad creatively speaking, but one that did the job of generating a lot of interest.



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart of these three ad KPIs – January 2019

 



December 2018

For December 2018, 65 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 65, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 120 (+20% over norm) for Aveeno to a low of ABX= 67 (-33% below norm), for Hennessy Privilege. 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 – “I don’t know about you, but …” :60

Aveeno Score

Live Read: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Wash and Daily Moisturizing Lotion together. I love using the Body Wash and the Lotion together because they complement [...] Like last month’s #1 spot, this is another cheery spot with female live read over soft, non-competitive music. Again, it’s the validity of the Message (127) that sets this spot aside. This time, the narrator talks of the importance of mixing two of the products for safety against winter dry skin.  Also mentions that Aveeno has been dermatologist-recommended for more than 50 years. The strongest Action scores include “Look for” at 170 and “Purchase” at 135. Aveeno also had the #2 ad, so we’ll move on to the next.


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#2. Clorox Clean-up Cleaner with Bleach – “It’s that time of year again”

Clorox Score

Luckily, Clorox Cleanup Spray kills 99.9% of germs, so you can keep those excuses for another day. Stock up on Clorox Cleanup Spray today for a healthy home [...] This :30 is a cute vignette with a little boy trying to prove he’s got a fever so he can stay home from school, and a mom not buying it because the house is so clean.  The spot is considered Relevant (137) and Likable (121) in addition to having a clear message.  Reputation at 152 is very high, since the average is 100.  Of the Action CTA’s, Purchase is highest at 158.


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#3. Lubriderm Intense Skin Repair Lotion – “Have I told you I don’t like Winter?”

Lubriderm Score

What a difference a good DJ makes to a live read.  This :60 would have been endless had it not been for such a strong believer in the product.  It sounds like a sincere testimonial.  And, in fact, it did receive a fairly high Dislike score of 131, likely from those who don’t care about dry skin.  But she even makes the point that this lotion doesn’t have a ‘flowery scent,’ so it’s also good for men. What’s unusual here are the CTA scores with the largest being Contact the Company at 235 and Purchase at 149. If we had verbatims on this ad, we could tell why the Contact score was so high.  Regardless, another successful spot for this month.



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart for December 2018:



November 2018

For November 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 = 123 (+23% over norm) for Aveeno to a low of ABX= 64 (-36% below norm), for Avion 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.Aveeno – “In True Pittsburgh Fashion …” :30

Aveeno Score

“Dry skin is no fun so, don't suffer through it. Use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Wash and lotion for 2 times the moisture this winter. Aveeno will leave your skin [...] This :30 is a cheerful little spot with twinkly music beneath the female voice over.  The message was clear as you could almost feel your own dry skin in the midst of winter.  The validity of the message and clarity of the product benefits pushed Reputation and Action – which included positive marks in every CTA.  While there was nothing uniquely creative about this spot, the scores do show the power of a clear and simple message. (Note: Aveeno spots actually captured the top five radio spot scores, so we’ll pull the next down the list for #2 and #3!


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#2. Outback Steakhouse“Walkabout Weekdays”- :30

Outback Score

Walkabout Weekdays. Choose one of the classic entrees served with Aussie Fries and a small domestic draft beer or ice-​cold Coca-​Cola product. A delicious [...] This :30 spot is #2 for our purposes this month, but really #6 if you consider the top five ads from Aveeno.  Nothing unusual about this spot which was voiced by an enthusiastic male with no underlying music or sounds.  Again, the offers were described clearly enough to result in a high reputation of 135 and intent to purchase at 153.


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#3. Liberty Mutual – “Cheeseburger”

Liberty Score

Now this is a great and very funny piece of creative for radio!  Two men are talking over very dreamlike, harplike music.  One man talks about Liberty Mutual customizing its plans, taking out what you don’t need.  The other surmises why this practice is not done on hamburgers – like, if you ask for no onion, why don’t you get a discount?  Truly marvelous as you can see at a Reputation score of 146.  Intended Action includes Contact the Company (158), Go to the Website (168) and Talk About it (154).



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart for November 2018:



October 2018

For October 2018, 156 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 156, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 121 (+21% over norm) for Heinz to a low of ABX= 62 (-38% below norm), for New Belgium Brewery. 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:

Continuing this month is a KPI comparison chart of all metrics for the three ads. You can see where ads are strong and weak in comparison to the others. The Heinz ad is in the 90th Percentile of all ads tested by ABX (150,000) and the other two are in the 81st percentile.

Like last month, this month continues the “British invasion” of American radio airwaves. In both September and October, ALL winning ads used UK-accented voice overs!

#1.Heinz – “Seasons change – Heinz Tomato Soup – Made with Great”- :30

Heinz Score

A rare fully-produced radio spot with rich orchestral soundtrack beneath a female (English accent) voice over. The script is achingly rich with visual pictures of the season’s change, cooler weather and the perfectly designed flavor of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup. All ad measures are positive including the all-important Brand Awareness and Message scores, without which no ad can be successful. Beneath the Action category, all CTAs are also very positive including Purchase Intent at an incredibly high 314! The ad was also considered highly Relevant (151) and Likable (140).

Note to sales reps: this ad exemplifies what makes a good sound track for a radio ad. Orchestral music doesn’t tend to distract or obfuscate the message. Note there is no hard banging rhythm.


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#2. Tesco – “Family Favorites Fish & Chips”- :20

Tesco Score

Continuing the “accent” theme, Tesco has put together a short but effective voice only ad – with a male Scottish (we think) accent. Strong script-writing including other favorite UK food favorites make the ad highly listenable. The Brand Awareness score is unusually high at 109, and so is the Message at 128. Three Action CTAs were very high – Intent to Contact – 223; Intent to Purchase – 220; and Recommend – 183.


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#3. Listerine Nightly Reset – “Works While you Sleep”

Listerine Score

This short :10 spot from Listerine is not to be outdone by the two prior ads; this, too, utilizes a female voice with an English accent! The crispness of the voice enables clear Brand Awareness and Message, and in this case, the Reputation score soared at 140. The idea that listerine can help remineralize and strengthen your teeth while you sleep is a very strong benefit. Surprisinglyl, however, this ad was not well-liked, scoring only a 90 for Likability. Perhaps there is some push-back to all the UK voices on the air in the US. Action scores were good, particularly for Look For at 165 and Purchase at 125, both of which beat the Category Norms.



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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart for October 2018:



September 2018

For September 2018, 162 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 156, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 119 (+19% over norm) for Tesco to a low of ABX= 54 (-46% below norm), for KFC. 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:

Continuing this month is a KPI comparison chart of all metrics for the three ads. You can see where ads are strong and weak in comparison to the others. All of the September top ads scored in the 90th Percentile of all ads tested by ABX (150,000).

#1. Tesco – “Hundreds of Quality Products”- :21

Tesco Score

A wonderfully narrated :21 spot from Tesco featuring a female with an English accent. A strong script and vocal modulation are captivating with no need for a music track. Brand Awareness and Message are good, and Reputation at 145 is particularly strong as is Relevance (149) and Likability. Most important, the Intent to Purchase score at 202 is stunning, and so are other CTA scores such as Look For at 154 and Recommend at 138.


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#2. eBay – “Brand New Mongoose Helmet”- :30

eBay Score

Yet another set of voices from the UK in what’s beginning to feel like a British invasion. This spot is a little hard to understand, but the sound effects from outdoors are not distracting and add to the story. Brand Awareness at 103 is just a little above average, but the Message is clear about how one can buy brand new merchandise for biking on eBay. The Action CTAs included very strong Intent to Contact the company at 210 and Intent to go to the Website at 177. Those were likely the intention for the spot, so it was definitely a success.

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#3. Argos – “3 for 2 on toys, until 2nd October.”

Argos Score

And again, a UK narrator – this time from Scotland or Ireland (we think). High Brand Awareness and decent Message score, though pairing toys with a vacuum cleaner may have confused listeners a little bit. Action scores included Intent to Contact at 144 and Go to the Website at 161. Reputation was also strong at 127, likely due to the generous offer of least-expensive toy free.

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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart for September 2018:



August 2018

For August 2018, 143 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 143, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 118 (+18% over norm) for Febreze to a low of ABX= 49 (-51% below norm), for Avion 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.Febreze – “Does Your Car Smell Like a #5 With Fries?”

Fabreze Score

This :15 spot uses a strong male voice and no other sound. He paints a vivid picture describing the ways your car may smell and how Febreze can make a difference. The Message at 124 is very strong and clear; Awareness of the Brand at 106 is well above average. Strong Reputation and Action scores drive the overall ABX Index score of 118, and individual CTAs that are especially strong include “Look For” at 160 and “Purchase” at 181. That’s a lot of value for fifteen seconds.
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#2. Taco Bell – “Perfection, Meet Even More Perfecter”

Taco Bell Score

Another 15-second spot with male voice only. This voice had an exceptionally warm quality, not unlike a character on Winnie the Pooh. The brief spot did not punch Taco Bell hard enough with an Awareness score of only 101, but the promotional Message was strong and appreciated as evidenced by high Reputation (142) and Action (125) scores. The strongest CTA was Intent to Purchase at 163, followed by Contact at 141.

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#3. Kettle Chips – “You Can’t Beat Real”

Target Score

This :30 spot was refreshing with real music woven into the background – not just guitars and drums. The narrator had an English accent, which may have caused some problems with clarity as per the “average” Awareness score of 102 and Message score of 108. In addition, the spot received a low Likability score of 77, though that is not factored into the ABX Index since it is not predictive. The only big CTA was Intent to Purchase at 160.

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See Below for the KPI Comparison Chart for August 2018:



July 2018

For July 2018, 83 English radio spots were "First-Runs" and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 121, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 115 (+15% over norm) for Breyer’s to a low of ABX= 46 (-54% 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. Breyers – “Breyer’s New 2in1s at Walmart”

Breyer's Score

This :60 Live Read is full of the usual enthusiasm of a good deejay and had no background noise to interfere with the Message (120) which came across very well. The copy used many delicious word pictures to keep the listener tuned in. But the spot would have done even better if the Brand Awareness had been stronger through perhaps one additional mention. The high Reputation (131) indicated that folks felt better about Breyers than before they’d heard the spot, and the high Action score (129) yielded a huge score for “Look for” (183) and “Intent to Purchase” (167).


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#2. Walgreen’s – “Looking for a Convenient Pharmacy, Atlanta?”

Walgreen's Score

This 30-second produced spot is focused on all that Walgreens can do for the listener in an overall image ad. Of note is the high Brand Awareness score at 108; this simple spot achieved that well along with a clear Message (122). It was also considered Relevant and Likeable. The strongest CTAs were an “Intent to Contact” the store or pharmacy (170) followed by intents to look at the Web for more information and to recommend.

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#3. Target – “Target Run and Done”

Target Score

The fact that this ad is in third place illustrates how hard it is to do great radio creative. This Live Read does fine vocally, but the copy includes some product names right at the beginning that are hard to understand and not germaine to the story. In fact, this new Drive-up service from Target is a huge boon to convenience and it seems the opportunity was a bit lost. For example, Brand Awareness was barely Average; the Message at 109 wasn’t fully understood; Relevance was only 95 and “Intent to Purchase” was only 68. However, Target did get a bump on Reputation for those who did understand the value of the service and the “Intent to go to the Web” was 155. So, it did well but could have done better.

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June 2018

For June 2018, 83 English radio spots were “First-Runs” and were tested by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index. Of the 83, scores ranged from an ABX Index = 115 (+15% over norm) for Wendy’s to a low of ABX= 60 (-40% below norm), for Remy Martin. 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. Wendy’s – “The $1.00 Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's Score

This :30 spot scored surprisingly well in Message at 116 given the loud sound effects behind the narrator.  However, his enthusiasm coupled with a very strong promotional message (here’s a new sandwich that only costs $1.00) drove high Reputation and Action scores, with an Intent to Purchase (not shown above) of 198.  The spot does have some opportunity in both Awareness (brand linkage) at 106 and Likeability at 105.  Likely, the noise was the culprit on both.

Wendy’s had a second spot 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. Walgreen’s – “It’s officially summer time”

Walgreen's Score

This :15 spot invites listeners to go to Walgreens for “sun protection, bugs spray, healthy snacks and trusted summer essentials they need at a great value.” Its an average-sounding spot with loud sound track and male voice-over, and the scores for various KPIs are varied. At an ABX Index of 108, it is one of the best this month. Brand-linkage (Awareness) is a bit over average at 107, and Message is clear and strong at 116. But it wasn’t well-liked (89), the Reputation score was below average and the CTA scores beneath Action were not as strong as one would hope. Maybe you can tell us why this relatively innocuous spot had so many vulnerabilities! Email us at angie@adbenchmark.com.

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#3. Total Wireless – “At Total Wireless stores it's easy to find a plan that fits the needs of everyone in your family.”

Total Wireless Score

Another “mixed score” spot, this :60 live read for Total Wireless had some real highs and lows. The female narrator was terrific, full of enthusiasm and very clear speech. The spot had no music track, which helped the messaging. However, a deeper look at the Message score shows it is mostly for “Delivery” and “Clear,” but is actually lower on “Understood.” This spot was full of various prices and programs, and the data (a high ‘dislike score’) suggests listeners may have tuned out after a while. The high Reputation reflects the validity of the offers, though Action numbers mainly concentrated on Intent to Contact the store, or Intent to go to the Web for more information.

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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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March2018

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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