Ace Metrix Announces the 2015 Brands of the Year

Tech Parents and their Children Make Notable Branding Splashes in 2015, including Google & Android and Amazon & Amazon Fire

LOS ANGELES--()--Ace Metrix®, the leader in measuring the impact of video advertising, today announced the Brand of the Year winners for each of the most competitive video advertising categories. This coveted award honors the brands that delivered a portfolio of video ads that in aggregate connected with audiences and outperformed category competitors. This year has been marked by informative, educating—and, at times, highly emotional campaigns— as well as ads that effectively drove desire. Forty percent of brands maintained their number one position year-over-year, including Google, for the third year running as the top Software & Websites brand, earning an average Ace Score of 612, 20 percent above norm. Nipping at its heels in the category was its very own Android (average Ace Score 588); together, the two brands represented eight of the top 10 ads of their respective category. Similar parent-child brand domination was seen with Amazon (average Ace Score 594, which joined incumbent Petco as the top retail brand) and Amazon Fire (average Ace Score of 597), which barely edged out incumbent Samsung Mobile Phones (average Ace Score of 589).

“Google wins again and again by continuing to remain highly relevant to consumers. Its powerhouse domination alongside Android, which won through incredibly high breakthrough scores in Attention and Likeability, keep them at the forefront of brands to watch and emulate in this space,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix.

Advertisers that have achieved Brand of the Year status delivered a portfolio of work that set them apart from their peers—a remarkable achievement considering the number of world-class marketers contributing creative. Three hundred and eight brands qualified for Brand of the Year across 17 categories, representing over 5,600 creative executions.

HBO Gains Serious Brand Cred by Changing Consumer Opinion in 2015

HBO’s body of work in 2015, which included the launch of the HBOnow app, achieved the 2nd highest average Ace Score compared to its category norm (+12 percent above norm) and produced three of the top 10 ads in the category. Consumers consistently identified the “Product Itself” and “Visual Scenes” as best things about the ads. Each of HBO’s ads were powered by strong communication components of Change and Information, demonstrated most notably in the scores given it by consumers who “have never purchased or used the brand, but may consider it in the future.”

“HBO lets their premium content speak for itself, highlighting the variety of movies and award-winning shows available now on nearly any mobile and internet enabled device,” Daboll commented.

LifeLock and Samuel Adams Bestow Information and Remain Relevant in 2015

Maintaining its position of top Financial Services brand year-over-year, LifeLock earned one of the highest average Ace Scores compared to its category norm (+12 percent). LifeLock’s ads at the beginning of the year contained very simple graphics and language, which effectively established the problem their solution solves. Ads later in the year incorporated humor and relatable situations and people. Thirty percent of consumers stated that the best thing about LifeLock’s ads were the message.

“LifeLock’s strong brand and product awareness campaign effectively delivered information and reinforced brand recognition,” Daboll commented.

2013 Beer Brand of the Year winner Samuel Adams reclaims the honor in 2015 after being runner-up to Budweiser in 2014 (whose 2015 Super Bowl ads were the two highest scoring ads of the category). The Samuel Adams tagline “Know More, Love More” personifies its dominant ad personality trait: “Information.” Each spot uses a story-telling approach, educating viewers not only on the Samuel Adams product and process, but also on general beer facts. Top performing Samuel Adams ad “Brew” earned the highest Information score of any 2015 ad in its category – 29 percent above norm (689).

Desire is a Key Driver of Brand Performance for Food Brands Hershey’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Hunt's and Pizza Hut

When it comes to food and restaurants, a strong Desire score is the way to consumers' hearts (and stomachs). QSR Brand of the Year winner in 2012, Pizza Hut earned the title once again this year with an average Ace Score of 615. Pizza Hut introduced nearly two dozen new ads in 2015 and took a few different approaches to creative in its vast portfolio, incorporating humor, product promotion, deals and even Michael Bolton.

In the Casual Dining category, Longhorn Steakhouse is the Brand of the Year for the second year running with an average Ace Score of 666. Longhorn also had the two highest-scoring ads of the category (“Get Steak Pairings” and “Turf and Surf”), the only two ads to break the 700 mark. While powered by Desire, each ad in the portfolio effectively captures attention and holds on with stunning sizzling steak imagery and frequent new product couplings and alluring offers.

Hershey's took the Brand of the Year title in the Candies & Snacks category with an average Ace Score of 629 and landing three of the top ten ads in the category. Hershey's relied on 15-second ads to drive Desire and feature its products.

In the Packaged Foods category, Hunt's earned Brand of the Year with an average Ace Score of 623. “Home of Tomatoes” earned a score of 693, 21 percent above the category norm while other Hunt's ads featured their natural process and organic options, earning an average of 90 percent brand recognition for these spots. 2014’s Packaged Foods winner was Cheerios.

Top Brands of the Year, 2015 (listed by largest percentage above category norm)

See the full list of Brands of the Year at acemetrix.com.

Brand     Category    

Average Ace
Score

   

Percent
Above Gap
to Norm

    Powered By
Google**    

Tech – Software & Websites

    612     20%     Relevance
HBO     Telecom Services     602     12%     Change
LifeLock**     Financial Services – Banking, Investment & Mortgage     562     12%     Information, Relevance
Hershey’s     Candies & Snacks     629     10%     Desire
Petco**     Retail     595     10%     Likeability
Amazon     Retail     594     10%     Desire, Change

Longhorn Steakhouse**

    Restaurants – Casual Dining     666     9%     Desire
Samuel Adams     Beverages – Beer     554     9%     Information
Hunt’s     Packaged Foods     623     9%     Desire, Relevance
Amazon Fire    

Technology – Mobile Devices

    597     8%     Desire, Information
Pizza Hut     Restaurants – QSR     615     7%     Desire
 

*To qualify for Ace Metrix Brand of the Year, a brand must have debuted five or more unique pieces of creative on national television, within a category containing more than 100 pieces of creative and five qualifying brands. The Brand of the Year winners earned the highest average Ace Score for their 2015 portfolio of work, outperforming all other qualifying competitors within their category. Data is based on ads initially aired between January 1, 2015 and December 10, 2015, from data available through December 21, 2015.
**Won in 2014, as well.

About Ace Metrix Brand of the Year

Ace Metrix scores every nationally airing television advertisement and the majority of digital video ads across 24 industries, 96 categories and is therefore uniquely qualified to report a brand’s overall effectiveness across the entire video advertising industry’s body of work over a year, as well as year-over-year. To qualify for Ace Metrix Brand of the Year, brands must have debuted five or more unique pieces of creative within a category containing more than 100 pieces of creative and five qualifying brands. Ace Metrix gathered more than 3.25 million responses, including nearly 2 million verbatim comments left optionally for the 6,500+ new television video ads in 2015. Each ad is scored against a unique panel of 500+ consumers, demographically balanced to the US census for age, gender and income. The Ace Score is the holistic measure of ad creative impact and includes data on attributes such as Persuasion, Likeability, Information, Attention, Change, Relevance, Desire and Watchability. Hundreds of qualitative consumer verbatim responses are collected for each ad and inform additional measures such as the Emotional Sentiment Index.

About Ace Metrix

Founded in the belief that ad creative excellence drives brand performance, Ace Metrix provides technology, tools and insights that enable the advertising ecosystem to understand how and why video creative works with viewers. Advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Ace Metrix to provide qualitative and quantitative measures, normative data and competitive insights that inform each phase of the creative lifecycle, resulting in advertising that consistently delivers results. The Company's comprehensive suite of tools map to ad objectives including the creative impact of persuasion, breakthrough, emotional connection, and indicators of shareability. The Company is privately held and is backed by leading venture capital firms and industry leaders including Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Palomar Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures and WPP.

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

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

Contacts

for Ace Metrix
Michelle Robertson, 646-279-5775
michelle@kerlancomm.com

Release Summary

Ace Metrix reveals the Brand of the Year for each of the most competitive categories. Google, LifeLock, Mercedes, Reebok, Petco, Longhorn and Xbox return to the podium.

Contacts

for Ace Metrix
Michelle Robertson, 646-279-5775
michelle@kerlancomm.com