Samsung got a lot of attention, not to mention video views, for its funny send up of the Apple iPhone faithful in its Galaxy ads in 2012. But humor and celebrity users like LeBron James weren't enough to unseat Apple as the most effective mobile phone advertiser in 2012, according to ad effectiveness research firm Ace Metrix.
Samsung did win the hard-fought tech category overall -- which includes PCs, tablets, phones and TVs -- by producing numerous high-quality spots for its myriad products.
"It's one thing to create a great ad. It's another to do a consistent good job over 45 or 50 executions," Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll said.
Samsung's "For Your Big Life" spot for its French door refrigerator was the most effective ad of the year, according to Ace Metrix's scoring.
It was not enough to unseat Apple as the most beloved phone brand, as its iPhone ads still resonated better with consumers.
Mr. Daboll credited Apple's success to what he called "iPhoria," customers' unwavering loyalty to the iPhone and a coinciding willingness to be impressed by even the most lukewarm of iPhone ads.
"I didn't think the Apple ads for the iPhone 5 were really that revolutionary," Mr. Daboll said. "You wonder if they couldn't put a blank logo up there and people would be interested in it."
Revolutionary or not, two of Apple's iPhone 5 ads ranked on Ace Metrix's list of the 20 most effective ads of 2012. Apple's ad promoting the iPhone's new panoramic picture-taking feature was tied for ninth with an Ace Score of 672 while the spot showcasing Apple's new earbuds had a score of 668 and was ranked 15th.
The company tracks the effectiveness of every TV spot released in a given year by randomly surveying 500 television viewers about a variety of criteria such as likability and relevance. Responses are used to determine an ad's "Ace Score," an effectiveness metric ranging from zero to 950.
Surprisingly, Blue Moon won the alcoholic-beverage category, beating out larger beer brands Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light.
"Blue Moon appeals to a pretty wide demographic and that 's what we used to see with Budweiser," Mr. Daboll said. "They really appealed to everyone with the Clydesdales and ads with a zebra as a football referee. Now its just young male beer drinker." Microsoft's Kinect failed to make an impact on consumers after being named the most effective brand just a year ago. The company's "On the Surface" spot for its new tablet was the sixth most popular ad of the year, however.