What do viewers know about good ads?

Thanks to the Advertising Rating Co., I no longer have to decide for myself whether commercials are good or bad. The Glendale, Calif., company has devised a ratings system to answer such questions for me, the New York Post reports. The startup is led by a former BBDO exec, so they should know a thing or two about bad advertising. (Just kidding. Couldn’t resist.) It asks a panel of 1,000 consumers to rate ads on their “creative effectiveness” on a scale from 0 to 950. Out of 140 recently graded ads, this Bud Light spot, with two guys at the opera, scored best (527), while this much-derided HeadOn spot scored worst (95). (That itself should be a red flag, as many experts believe the HeadOn stuff is effective, at least from a sales standpoint.) Anyway, unless my math is badly off (and my monthly AmEx statements insist that it is), 527 out of 950 would actually be an F in most standard grading systems. I guess there’s a curve. Not so in my ad school, though, where everything gets an A. Except for Activia’s spots, which score an “I” for irregular—and not in the strictly digestive sense of the term.

—Posted by David Gianatasio