Yes, the thinly supported brand of thin-sliced aluminum owned by heavy-industry titan Alcoa, which got all of $7.5 million in media support last year as measured by TNS Media Intelligence, has the strongest brand equity in the U.S., according to Harris Interactive.
Reynolds scored highest among more than 1,000 brands in a survey of 25,666 consumers by Harris in its 2006 EquiTrend survey. Though the survey is annual, Harris did not provide data for prior years, which have not previously been released.
Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, which must have missed the entry deadline for the Effies this year, handles Reynolds.
Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's
As the advertising world gathers in Cannes to celebrate the creative achievements of brands such as Axe, Adidas and Guinness, Reynolds Wrap's real-life home-economist pitchwomen Betty and Pat has them all whipped in brand-equity impact. Reynolds also topped such icons as Coke, Pepsi and McDonald's. It blew away the ubiquitous Nike. It outclassed Mercedes and Lexus. It left the hip iPod in the dust.
None of those brands even cracked the top 10, which was heavy on unsexy package-goods staples in seemingly commodity categories. Three of the top-10 brands belong to low-key privately held SC Johnson and its highly devoted ad agency -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' FCB Worldwide, Chicago, which will soon be merged with direct-marketer Draft. SCJ's Ziploc food bags, Ziploc containers and Windex glass cleaner ranked second, eighth and ninth, respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 were Hershey's candy bars (No. 3), Kleenex tissues from Kimberly-Clark Corp. (No. 4), Clorox Bleach (No. 5), WD-40 lubricant (No. 6), Heinz ketchup (No. 7) and Campbell's soup (No. 10).
Clorox spends most
Clorox was the big spender of the group, with $253 million in measured media support last year, though only $27.9 million of that was on bleach, which was the product that made the list. WD-40 was the lowest media spender of all at $25,400, under-spending even the always-frugal Heinz, which shelled out $413,800.
Betty and Pat, were, in fact, busy as usual in the kitchen today, shooting a new commercial, a spokesman said. But even though they don't get the world's most generous media budget, the Alcoa spokesman wasn't surprised they were working hard for the brand, or that Reynolds came out on top. He said the two enjoy strong name recognition, big budget or not.
"We view a lot of things going into brand equity," the spokesman said. "You've got to make sure you've got a quality product living up to what consumers are looking for. Included in that is innovation and overall quality."
Plain aluminum foil
Though plain aluminum foil may still be its biggest seller, he said Reynolds Release, a premium-priced nonstick foil, is an example of how innovation has helped build the brand.
The 25,000-plus respondents were all ages 15 and up, weighted to demographically reflect the U.S. and surveyed between March 7-16, Harris said. Brand equity was based on scores for quality, familiarity and purchase consideration on a 1-10 scale. At least 1,275 consumers weighed in on each brand, but Harris said it could not provide a sampling margin of error.