IAG to Award Automotive Advertising

Judging Based on Measurement Firm's Effectiveness Criteria

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- The industry that spends the most on advertising will get a new yardstick this spring when IAG Research bestows its first Automotive Advertising Awards during the New York International Auto Show's opening breakfast.
A Ford Escape Hybrid ad starring Kermit the Frog is a finalist in the first IAG Automotive Advertising Awards.
A Ford Escape Hybrid ad starring Kermit the Frog is a finalist in the first IAG Automotive Advertising Awards.

Unlike many other ad awards that reward only breakthrough creative, the upcoming kudos for national TV commercials that ran in 2006 will be based on effectiveness, including brand recall and ad likeability.

"Effectiveness is not only about creative, but about the right media," said Lois Miller, who was promoted last month to president of IAG Automotive from corporate exec VP.

Recall and likeability
IAG, a TV ad-effectiveness measurement outfit, leveraged three of its syndicated survey questions -- "Was the ad memorable enough to break through the clutter?"; "Did the TV viewer recall whose ad it was?"; and "Was the ad appealing?" -- to draw its results from its national online panel of over 1.5 million TV viewers.

Ms. Miller explained that judging criteria varied depending on the award category. The results in the luxury category were tied to the target viewers -- adults 25- to 54-years-old, with an annual household income of $75,000 or above. For the broader non-luxury award, adults 18-54 in that audience were surveyed. All ads were evaluated at similar media weight to even the playing field between the smallest and biggest TV spenders. "You can't just outspend someone to be more effective," she said.

"All the finalists had work that engaged the viewer," Ms. Miller said. The national TV commercials "weren't just a car winding around a road."

IAAA industry show
There is at least one other dedicated auto industry ad show, the International Automotive Advertising Awards. But the IAAA has agency executives judging creative in different mediums. IAAA judging for the 2006 work is currently under way, and the show is planned for late spring, said co-founder Grace Fox.

John Rinek, who left Nissan North America last summer as its media director, said he thinks IAG's new auto awards are a good idea. But he believes the all-industry and more detailed American Marketing Association's Effie Awards that also honor ad effectiveness will remain as the most coveted among advertisers.

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Here is the list of IAG's 15 finalists:

Most Effective Overall Ad: Non-luxury
  • Ford Escape Hybrid: Kermit the Frog talks about being "green"
  • Volkswagen Jetta: African-American male asks white Jetta owner to teach him how to dance
  • Volkswagen Passat: Women in the sedan are run into by another vehicle

    Most Effective Overall Ad: Luxury
  • Lincoln Navigator: Basketball star Dwayne Wade helps build an inner-city court
  • Lexus LS 460: Demonstration of the sedan's no-hands parallel parking option
  • Hummer H3: A man turns the SUV into a submarine.

    Most Liked Ad: Luxury or Non-luxury
  • Honda Pilot: A troll stops a family in the SUV
  • Jeep Wrangler: A lizard stares down the SUV
  • GM Warranty: Cars fly above the street

    Most Effective TV Launch Campaign for an Established Nameplate
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Lexus LS
  • VW Passat wagon

    Most Effective TV Launch Campaign for a New Nameplate
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Nissan Versa
  • Toyota Yaris
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