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Ad effectiveness accolades overlook sales impact

Walmart dominated the airwaves this holiday season and the investment paid off, according to advertising measurement firm Ace Metrix which compiled a list of the most effective holiday ads.

Walmart topped the list with a heartwarming spot called Christmas Magic which featuring a selfless child donating a toy he desired to the Salvation Army only to discover he was the recipient of the same toy on Christmas Day. Walmart aired more than 40 unique pieces of holiday-themed creative this season, making it the most prolific advertiser of the season, according to Ace Metrix.

With less than a week to go before Christmas, the top 10 list is dominated by messages of family time, delicious treats and doing good for others, according to Ace Metrix, and stands in contrast to previous Christmas shopping seasons when top ad performers were far more shopping- and gift-centric.

“While consumers have a tendency to reward philanthropic work, this holiday season saw more do-good creative at the top than ever before,” said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. “What stands out in this year’s philanthropic effort is the authenticity of the brand to the cause. Walmart and Duracell are true to their brand while communicating the values of the season. In fact, many of the ads on this list are successful because they effectively impart values of family, giving and togetherness.”

Others on the list based on a measurement called an Ace Score included Reynolds, Pillsbury, IHOP, USPS, Samsung, Kohl’s, Olive Garden and Lowe’s. The Ace Score is meant to measure ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reactions and attributes such as persuasion, likeability, information, attention, change, relevance, desire and watchability. It does not look at whether the ads in question had an impact on sales.

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