Ace Metrix Reveals Top Holiday Ads Heading into Thanksgiving

Top ads by Nintendo, Walmart, Nationwide, PetSmart, Lowe’s and Dick’s demonstrate powerful breakthrough and persuasion potential

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--Ace Metrix®, the standard in television and video advertising analytics, today announced the top 10 highest scoring holiday ads, a list demonstrative of the many paths to great creative. Nintendo leads the list using a relatable family storyline to deliver an effective product driven ad. Walmart, Nationwide, PetSmart, Lowe’s and Dick’s delivered holiday ads with outstanding breakthrough potential while also earning persuasive component scores to outperform competitive ads within their respective categories.

“As is true throughout the year, advertisers develop ads based on a variety of creative strategies. During the holiday season, however, it is even more challenging to break through the clutter and to grab the attention of increasingly distracted consumers,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “Many of the ads on this list not only generated product passion and delivered on persuasive components, but they demonstrated extraordinary breakthrough power necessary to rise above the noise of the season and to drive performance for the brand.”

Top Holiday Ads of 2014 Ranked by Percent Above Category Norm (YTD)

#     Brand     Ad Title    





Percent Gap to
Category Norm

    Powered By
1     Nintendo    

Dad Loses

    630     509     23.82%     Breakthrough

Paid to Shop

610 504 21.13% Information, Relevance, Desire
3 Subway


670 579 15.75% Information, Offer
3 Walmart


640 553 15.75% Breakthrough, Emotion
5 Nationwide

The Grinch and Santa

628 548 14.51% Breakthrough
6 Home Depot

Spread More of This

632 553 14.30% Information, Product
6 PetSmart

Thanks to Your Pets

632 553 14.30% Breakthrough
8 Walmart

Unbeatable Prices

629 553 13.76% Relevance, Desire
9 Lowe’s

Make Snowman

624 553 12.86% Breakthrough
10 Dick’s Sporting Goods

The Hoop

619 553 11.95% Breakthrough, Emotion

*Definition: The Ace Score is the measure of ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. A unique sample of 500+ people, representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience scores each ad. The results are presented on a scale of 1–950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Persuasion, Likeability, Information, Attention, Change, Relevance, Desire and Watchability. This list represents the top 10 holiday-themed ads to outperform their category year-to-date norm. The list is based on ads to have debuted this season through November 17, 2014.

Nintendo’s “Dad Loses” (Ace Score of 630) earned the #1 spot on the list by outperforming the Video Games category by 23.8 percent—the largest percentage gap to its category norm of any holiday-themed ad this year. The Video Games category is typically based on big blockbuster releases of new, often violently themed video titles, so viewers perceived the family orientation as a welcome change with 28 percent of consumers mentioning “family” and 10 percent “together” in the optional verbatims.

Unsurprisingly, Retail represents 50% of the holiday ads so far, with the majority of other contributing categories being Technology, Restaurants & QSR and Automotive.

Walmart earned two places on the top ads list. Both ads leveraged celebrities to capture attention and tell their stories. “Surprise” is a tribute to veterans and celebrates the spirit of the season, earning it a high Emotional Sentiment score, while “Unbeatable Prices” features a variety of products, pricing and glitz that engage consumers at the offer level.

Home Improvement brands Home Depot and Lowe’s both deliver top performing holiday-themed ads. Home Depot’s product-rich ad, “The Holiday,” delivers standout Information scores while entertaining and inspiring viewers to begin do-it-yourself decorating. Lowe’s has introduced a variety of quick, quirky 0:15 spots aimed at showcasing holiday deals and gift ideas, while using humor to engage.

PetSmart earned an Ace Score of 632, in large part due to strong Attention and Likeability scores, but also delivered outstanding Relevance and Change scores, displaying the emotional relationship between families and pets. Dick’s grabbed at consumers’ heartstrings with “The Hoop,” a sentimental journey between a father, daughter and basketball hoop.

The holiday season has drawn several newcomers, including Nationwide, whose ad “The Grinch and Santa” achieved a top spot on this list with an Ace Score of 628, 14.5 percent above the average Insurance ad. delivered a highly effective product ad earning strong Information, Relevance and Desire scores and outperforming the Websites category by more than 21 percent.

While at this time last year Automotive brands were noticeably absent from the holidays, this year BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln, Chevrolet and Kia have already introduced seasonal spots.

For more details on these and other holiday themed ads, contact us and visit

About Ace Metrix

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

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

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


For Ace Metrix
Michelle Robertson, 646-279-5775

Release Summary

Top Holiday Ads in the lead up to Thanksgiving include Walmart, Nintendo, Lowe's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Ebates


For Ace Metrix
Michelle Robertson, 646-279-5775