MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Best Buy tops a list of the most effective back-to-school advertisers, according to Ace Metrix, which provides television and video analytics. An ad promoting free kids’ haircuts at JCPenney also was a top perfomer.
“It’s very clear that back-to-school is a season unto itself; though, like Christmas, it’s not just about retail,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “The list of top ads this year is such an interesting variation of retail, personal care, toys and tech companies, and while technology played a role in this year’s ads, other themes such as value and philanthropy were also prominent.”
Unlike last year’s top advertisers, the traditional big box retailers and office supply stores shifted, in large part, from messages touting tech to those characterized by messages of “value,” or in the case of Walmart, philanthropy– airing five separate back-to-school ads, the best of which promoted its “Box Tops for Education” program with General Mills.
Notable exceptions include Office Depot’s ad starring singer Nick Cannon, which appealed most favorably to females 36-49 and males 21-35. In addition, Best Buy along with HP, played down the overt “back-to-school” message and focused on students’ use of technology, messages that appealed across a number of demographics.
In addition, JCPenney was a big winner this year, according to Ace Metrix, with two ads in the “most effective” list, including the haircut ad, as well as one promoting back-to-school fashions. Also scoring well with moms were Old Navy’s back-to-school ads that starred former “Beverly Hills 90210” cast members. In addition, Macy’s and Kmart both had weaker showings this back-to-school season.
“Kmart’s ads featuring runway models offended some moms and came across as very loud,” Daboll said.