That’s according to advertising analytics company Ace Metrix, which also noted even though the majority of brands opted to focus on deals and/or promotions – versus only 6% that used emotion – it was the latter that scored higher in Likeability by consumers overall, with six of Ace Metrix’s top ten holiday ads using emotional themes this year.
That includes the aforementioned offering from Duracell, which was created in partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network and also likely got a nice boost from the cultural juggernaut that is Star Wars.
Amazon’s ad featuring a priest and an imam who use Amazon Prime to buy each other the same gift was the highest ranked overall retail ad, coming in at #2, while the other Amazon spot on Ace Metrix’s list, which featured late night talk show host Seth Meyers, was #5 – and it was the only ad featuring a celebrity in the top ten, Ace Metrix said. In fact, only 2% of ads used a celebrity this year – and only 12% featured Santa or holiday music, Ace Metrix added.
Apple’s Frankie’s Holiday, in which Mary Shelley's monster sticks his neck out to spread holiday cheer and closes with the message, “Open your heart to everyone,” carries a similar theme of inclusion featured by Amazon in its #2 spot.
“Kohl’s and Coca-Cola ads featured good deeds while Hallmark, Amazon and Apple struck an emotional chord with viewers. Hallmark reminded us to recognize the people in our lives that helped us in 2016, Apple’s ad with Frankie spread the message of inclusion and Amazon’s ad featuring the touching relationship between the priest and imam stressed unity in the current divisive geo-political environment,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix, in a statement. “All of these top ads stressed Santa and Christmas less than in prior years, but still captured viewers emotions by stressing giving and giving back, and the importance of friends and family. These brands created brilliant ads with positive messaging reflecting the spirit of the season without being too heavy handed.”
According to an Ace Metrix rep, the Likeability score for all holiday ads was 639 versus 620 for all 2016 ads, which means holiday ads are more liked than other ads in general.
What’s more, the rep said some brands that didn’t have holiday ads that were as well-liked delivered in other areas, like Information. Some brands that were strong in communicating information were JC Penney, Macy’s and Ace Hardware. And auto brands like Audi and Lexus had ads that may have had lower Likeability, but they drove Desire, the rep added.
Retail had the largest number of ads with 188. Overall volume, however, was lower compared to last year with 362 ads tested compared to 403 in 2015, Ace Metrix said.
The full list follows.
Ace Metrix said it measures ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction. It scores every national television ad and an expanding number of digital ads across 96 categories, creating what it calls a “complete comparative database.”