Inspiration and Empowerment Key Themes in Ace Metrix’s List of Top Breakthrough Ads of Q3

Nike dominates list with three of the top ten ads; humor also plays a role in success

LOS ANGELES--()--Ace Metrix, the leader in measuring the impact of video advertising, today released a list of the top ten Breakthrough ads from the third quarter of 2016. The Ace Score components of Likeability and Attention combine to form the Breakthrough dimension of an ad, which often translates to more impactful consumer connections for a brand. Four of the top five ads feature inspirational stories of Paralympians and everyday people overcoming unimaginable obstacles to achieve greatness. Nike’s uplifting “Unlimited” campaign landed three of the top 10 spots.

Nike’s “Unlimited Scout” earned the title of highest Breakthrough ad of the quarter. The 2:25 digital ad follows Paralympian runner Scout Bassett as she talks about the training that took her from last place to first. The ad earned the highest Likeability score of the group and evoked emotional terms such as “moving,” “powerful,” and “inspirational” in viewer comments. Following a similar theme, tying for the second highest Breakthrough ad is Frosted Flakes’ “Making of ‘Let Your Gr-r-reat Out’,” which follows 11-year-old Nicola as she unleashes her greatness at a skate park in her wheelchair. Olive Garden’s long form digital ad, the longest ad on the list at 3:30, tells the story of two college freshmen starting college without their families there to help move them in, and how the Never Ending Family Table helps bring families together.

In fourth place, BMW’s “Built for Gold” features the BMW designed U.S. Paralympic Team performance wheelchair. Nike’s “Unlimited Will” in fifth place is another ad in the brand’s Unlimited series, featuring mountaineer and quadruple amputee Kyle Maynard.

“Nike, Frosted Flakes and BMW all delivered humbling and inspiring messages, making that strong emotional connection that engages viewers,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Congrats to Nike for securing three ads in the top ten list this quarter by continuously being creative storytellers. Mesmerizing visuals and humor also entertained viewers, leading to higher quality ad experiences.”

“With three of the ads on our list being long form and digital-only, we’re seeing the beginning of a movement across the ecosystem to improve creative quality. By delivering ad experiences viewers will choose to watch, these brands are leading the fight against unwanted, uninteresting advertising,” added Daboll.

Humor proved effective at driving Breakthrough this quarter with Hefty’s “Hefty / Wimpy - John Cena” featuring celebrities John Cena and Rob Schneider as ‘Hefty’ and ‘Wimpy’ characters. Farmer’s Insurance Hall of Claims series featured the “Mer-Mutts,” landing at eight on the list. Viewers were captivated by amazing visual scenes in Audi’s “Desolation” ad, a partnership with Airbnb, and in GoPro’s branded tie-in with the The Secret Life of Pets.

Below are the ads ranked by Breakthrough capacity, which combines the Attention and Likeability component scores.

Top Breakthrough Ads of Q3, 2016



  Brand   Ad Title   Ad Length  


1   Nike  

Unlimited Scout Bassett

  2:25   781   774
2 (tie)   Frosted Flakes  

Making of “Let Your

Gr-r-reat Out”

  1:00   775   776
2 (tie)   Olive Garden  

Never Ending Family Table: Going to College

  3:40   775   776
4   BMW  

Built for Gold

  1:00   765   776
5   Nike  

Unlimited Will

  0:30   761   773
6   Hefty  

Hefty / Wimpy - John Cena

  0:30   755   761
7   Audi  


  1:00   746   769
8   Farmer’s Insurance  


  0:30   747   761
9   GoPro  

The Secret Life of Pets

  2:10   744   747
10   Nike  

Unlimited Youth

  0:55   754   735

Ace Metrix measures ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to video ads, providing the advertising industry an unbiased resource to measure creative impact. Ace Metrix scores every national television ad, and an expanding proportion of digital ads, across 96 categories creating a complete comparative database—Ace Metrix LIVE®. A unique panel of at least 500 consumers, demographically balanced to the U.S. census, scores each ad in the exact same manner. The results are presented on a scale of 1–950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Attention, Likeability, Information, Change, Relevance, Desire and Watchability. Ace Metrix applies a natural language processing algorithm to the hundreds of qualitative verbatim responses collected for each ad, deriving additional metrics related to emotional engagement. Ace Metrix collected more than 1,980 ads in the third quarter, July 1 through September 30, 2016.

About Ace Metrix

Ace Metrix® is the standard in television and digital video analytics, dedicated to measuring the impact of video ad creative. We provide data and insight to enable marketers and creative teams to produce more impactful work, test and adjust creative executions in real-time, and understand what creative drivers impact their brand KPI's. 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.


for Ace Metrix
Dori Busell, 917-689-3415

Release Summary

Inspiration and empowerment are key themes in Ace Metrix’s list of top Breakthrough ads of Q3. Nike dominates the list with three of the top ten ads, while humor also plays a role in success.


for Ace Metrix
Dori Busell, 917-689-3415