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iSpot Video Ad Awards Spotlight Year’s Top Breakthrough Commercials

iSpot Creative Assessment unveils strong performance from brands like Panda Express, Subaru, Jeep and more in challenging ad environment, the real-time TV measurement company, today revealed its new Ace Spotlight Video Ad Awards to highlight the year’s best breakthrough commercials so far. Examining tens of thousands of ads from January through April 2023, iSpot names the 25 ads that broke through best with audiences across metrics including attention, likeability, brand recognition, positive purchase intent and more.

In iSpot’s research into ads from the first four months of 2023, it found that 96% had no “Adtastic” score at all, indicating a lack of any fondness for all but 4% of the ads that appeared. The results show just how difficult it is to produce ads in the current environment that audiences both watch and enjoy, while also increasing the importance of shining a spotlight on what worked effectively against that backdrop.

As a result, iSpot chose to celebrate the ads that succeeded in spite of these challenges. iSpot also shared some key takeaways from the top 25:

  • Eight of the top 25 were Super Bowl–adjacent (either in-game ads, pre/post-game or teasers).
  • Food close-ups and dogs were some of the most common “cheats” employed to spark viewer curiosity.
  • Six of the top 25 breakthrough ads convey a sense of “corporate responsibility” to the audience.
  • More on the top five breakthrough ads from Q1:

  • Panda Express: Fire-Kissed (:30) – Music and food make for a great combination, as the ad had 80% brand recognition and 79% positive purchase intent, while also garnering 12% more attention than the norm for the category, and 14% more likeability.
  • Subaru: Dog Tested: Garage Ball (:30) – Subaru uses a Labrador to make its storytelling stand out while earning 19% more attention than the norm for non-luxury auto brands, with 24% more likeability
  • Jeep: Electric Boogie (:60) – Jeep’s Super Bowl spot utilized nostalgia to get audiences excited about its EVs; the spot’s positive purchase intent was 12 points above the norm for non-luxury autos, while earning 20% more attention and 21% more likeability.
  • Nutrish: The Park (:60) – Rachel Ray’s dog-focused spot revolving around donations to dogs in need had half of viewers saying they’d be more likely to purchase the product, while also getting 15% more attention than the norm for pet food brands.
  • Coca-Cola Masterpiece (:30) – The art gallery-focused ad fueled curiosity among viewers, and succeeded with 88% brand recognition, which is especially helpful when paired with positive purchase intent 8 points higher than the soft drink norm.
  • For more information on how these brands and others including Subaru, PlayStation, Amazon, Dairy Queen and more also found success through TV advertising, download the new report today. is the market leader in real-time cross-platform TV ad measurement and attribution. The company’s always-on platform measures the business impact and brand impact of TV advertising and offers fast, accurate and actionable information that empowers brands to justify and optimize TV and video investments.