With strong creative, a bump in spending and innovative brand integrations, 2012 marked another positive year for the advertising industry.
Nielsen’s lists of most-liked ads and product integrations of 2012 include Ancestry.com’s emotional Ellen Harrington spot, Subway’s placements on Community and JCPenney’s hilarious and highly successful campaign featuring Ellen Degeneres. The most-liked ads of the year further demonstrate that audience-appropriate humor, an ownable creative concept and a relatable, emotional appeal, are effective practices that help the audience connect with ads on a personal level. Product placements that made this year’s top 10 seamlessly integrated the specific brands into the storyline of the television programs, and most placements involved longer-term show sponsorships, which suggests that using a storyline to deliver brand messages is effective in traditional creative and in branded integrations as well.
U.S. ad spend for the first three quarters of 2012 was up 2.5 percent across all media types from the same time period in 2011. Major contributors to ad spend for this time period included automotive (company and dealership), fast food, telecom/wireless, pharma, retail, motion picture and auto insurance. The biggest advertisers by spend during the period included Procter & Gamble, AT&T and General Motors.
|Rank||Brand||Ad Description||Likeability Index|
|1||Ancestry.com||Ellen Harrington (:15)||319|
|2||Wendy’s||My dad Dave Thomas (:30)||269|
|3||JCPenney||No receipt no return (:60)||256|
|4||Ocean Spray||Cran-Cherry George Washington (:15)||256|
|5||JCPenney||Why so many coupons? (:60)||250|
|6||KFC||Hide & Seek (:15)||244|
|7||JCPenney||Excuse me, where are all the shoes? (:30)||238|
|8||JCPenney||What’s with the 99? (:30)||238|
|9||M&M’s||I’m Ms. Brown (:15)||238|
|10||Ford||Ford Mustang driving down the road changing colors (:60)||231|
|Source: NielsenOnly new ads airing in 2012 YTD (January 1, 2012 to Novermber 30, 2012) were considered. Top ads were identified by filtering on General Recall, Brand Linkage, & Likeability Linkage, then ranked on Net Likeability. The Likeability Index was calculated by taking the Likeability score (% of Viewers who liked the ad “somewhat” or “a lot”) for each top ad and indexing versus the mean score of all new ads during the same time period.
For example, with a Likeability index of 319 the top ranked Ancestry.com ad has proven to be 3.19 times as well liked as the average new ad.
*Super Bowl ads were excluded.