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The marketing battle among 3-D TV set manufacturers shifted into high gear in the first quarter as three competitors in the space launched new TV ad campaigns. And Samsung appears to have won the opening round, according to ad effectiveness tracker Ace Metrix.

Samsung not only beat the competition, including Sharp and LG, but one of its spots also achieved the highest overall Ace score since the ad assessment firm launched its service last June. The ad, titled "Wonder-full," garnered a total 736 out of a possible 950 points. (View the complete list.)
 
A number of new campaigns promoting high-tech consumer products were launched in the first quarter. And Samsung's two ads for its 3-D TVs placed first and third, sandwiching a spot for the new Apple iPad that ranked second on the Ace top 10 list for the period. The iPad hit stores April 3. (See also: "Brands Probe the 3rd Dimensiion.")

New ads for video games struck positive chords with consumers, too. Nintendo debuted a spot for its Wii Fit Plus video game that ranked sixth on the Ace Metrix list. An ad for another game, Just Dance, from Ubisoft, ranked eighth.

Ace Metrix, which launched in mid-2009, analyzes the creative effectiveness of TV commercials. Proprietary software provides near-real-time reports on virtually all new TV ads across major categories such as auto, retail, packaged goods and movies based on the impressions of a nationally representative sample of 500 consumers.

Ace provides an online report for spots within 24-48 hours of their debut. The system evaluates variables such as persuasiveness and likeability across an array of demographic and geographic targets, but also asks panelists to provide their personal impressions of spots.

Ace co-founder JuYoung Lee said the high marks for both the Samsung and iPad spots "show that consumers are still intrigued by innovative new products presented with powerful creative."

The theatrical film Avatar debuted in 3-D late last year and helped drive consumer interest in 3-D sets, Lee said. Still, consumers felt Samsung delivered the most compelling ads, by a significant margin. The LG 30-second ad scored a 619, while the Sharp spot garnered a 615, both more than 100 points lower than the Samsung "Wonder-full" ad.

The Samsung ads were created by Leo Burnett. "The main thing we looked at was how to create something that dramatized 3-D in this 2-D medium," said Burnett ecd Bob Price. "The campaign is always going to be defined by what we're calling these moments of wonder.

Something wonderful that the consumer can do. That's the core idea that will manifest itself [throughout the campaign and ] we are giving it a broad enough palette to handle lots of different" variations  within the creative development effort.   

But it wasn't just high-tech items that resonated well with consumers during the quarter-basic items like candy, soap, pizza and cars also made the Ace top 10.

A spot for Hershey's Pieces placed fourth with a score of 667, followed by an ad for Lysol's No Hands Soap System that ranked fifth with a 663.

Rounding out the top 10, a new ad for AT&T Wireless ("Unbelievably Easy Vacations") ranked seventh with a 645, while the ad for Just Dance and a Pizza Hut spot ("You Don't Have to Settle") were right behind, each scoring 644.

An ad for the Acura MDX took the tenth spot with an overall Ace score of 643.

--with Eleftheria Parpis