Ace Metrix’s Top Ads of 2011 Aren’t Exactly Glamorous

List favors hardworking spots over unbridled creativity

Ready for one more list of 2011's top ads, this time with a twist? Ace Metrix has released its picks based on viewer reaction from focus groups throughout the year—and the list is full of the kind of hardworking, unglamorous ads that make snobby creatives squirm. Ace's methodology measures "creative effectiveness" based on "attributes such as relevance, persuasion, watchability, information, attention, etc." Earning the highest marks overall this year is an unremarkable KitchenAid spot for its new 13-cup food processor. That's followed by Microsoft's "Kinect Effect" and Coca-Cola's "Arctic Home." There are a few great creative spots on the list—among them, the Snickers sharks ad and Google Chrome's "Dear Sophie," both of which appeared on Adweek's list of the 10 Best Commercials of 2011. But on the flip side, you have a truly pedestrian Olive Garden spot. Maybe this is the kind of stuff that really connects with viewers. But then, how is Volkswagen's "The Force" spot—a crowd-pleaser if ever there was one—missing from the list? Check out top ads below in each category, ordered from lowest to highest score, and give us your theories in the comments.


ADVERTISER: FRESHPET
SPOT: "Protest"
CATEGORY: Pets
SCORE: 603

ADVERTISER: LYSOL
SPOT: "Happy Family Healthy Family"
CATEGORY: Personal Care
SCORE: 614

ADVERTISER: ALEVE
SPOT: "Santa"
CATEGORY: Pharmaceutical
SCORE: 621

ADVERTISER: AT&T
SPOT: "Spider"
CATEGORY: Telecommunications
SCORE: 634

ADVERTISER: COLUMBIA
SPOT: "Omni-Heat"
CATEGORY: Apparel & Footwear
SCORE: 634

ADVERTISER: GE
SPOT: "Ellie"
CATEGORY: General Business
SCORE: 641

ADVERTISER: SEARS
SPOT: "Bionic Wrench"
CATEGORY: Retail
SCORE: 644

ADVERTISER: MASTERCARD
SPOT: "Ray Romano: Stand Up to Cancer"
CATEGORY: Financial
SCORE: 646
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ADVERTISER: PHILADELPHIA COOKING CREME
SPOT: "Chicken"
CATEGORY: Packaged Foods
SCORE: 650

ADVERTISER: NISSAN
SPOT: "Vision"
CATEGORY: Automotive
SCORE: 652

ADVERTISER: AMERICAN AIRLINES
SPOT: "Thank You"
CATEGORY: Travel
SCORE: 654

ADVERTISER: APPLE iPHONE 4S
SPOT: "Camera"
CATEGORY: Technology
SCORE: 659

ADVERTISER: GOOGLE CHROME
SPOT: "Dear Sophie"
CATEGORY: Technology
SCORE: 661

ADVERTISER: STATE FARM
SPOT: "Empire State of Mind"
CATEGORY: Insurance
SCORE: 662

ADVERTISER: PIZZA HUT
SPOT: "Big Dinner Box"
CATEGORY: Restaurants & QSR
SCORE: 662

ADVERTISER: BUDWEISER
SPOT: "9/11 Tribute"
CATEGORY: Beverages (Alcoholic)
SCORE: 665

ADVERTISER: SNICKERS
SPOT: "Focus Group"
CATEGORY: Candies & Snacks
SCORE: 668

ADVERTISER: BMW
SPOT: "Changes"
CATEGORY: Automotive
SCORE: 670

ADVERTISER: AMAZON KINDLE
SPOT: "Fire"
CATEGORY: Technology
SCORE: 671

ADVERTISER: OLIVE GARDEN
SPOT: "Something New for Lunch"
CATEGORY: Restaurants & QSR
SCORE: 674

ADVERTISER: COCA-COLA
SPOT: "Arctic Home"
CATEGORY: Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)
SCORE: 682

ADVERTISER: MICROSOFT KINECT
SPOT: "Kinect Effect"
CATEGORY: Technology
SCORE: 683

ADVERTISER: KITCHENAID
SPOT: "13-Cup Food Processor
CATEGORY: Household
SCORE: 699