Commercials breaking during the Jan. 26 football championship broadcast topped both Intermedia Advertising Group's Top 20 recall and likeability lists and also fared well in their individual product categories.
Leading the quarter's most liked commercials were Budweiser's "Zebra Referee," FedEx's Castaway spoof and Burger King's "Steve Harvey Live." The top spots ranked for brand recall were Pepsi Twists' Ozzy Osbourne and the Osmonds, Pizza Hut's stuffed crust gold and Nike's streaker at a soccer game.
The Ad Age/IAG report, which can be downloaded as a .pdf from this page, includes full rankings for Brand Recall, Likeability, Consumer Products, Automotive, Wireless, Restaurant and Presectipion Drug commercials during the quarter.
The Ad Age/IAG Ad Recall Quarterly Report focuses exlusively on new campaigns breaking Jan. 1 to March 31, 2003.
Six networks monitored
IAG is a market research firm that measures advertising effectiveness by monitoring the TV viewing population's ability to recall an ad and its brand within 24 hours after the ad has aired. Throughout the year, IAG monitors all advertising in primetime on six broadcast networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, WB and UPN.
Every two weeks, the latest results of its monitoring are reported in the "Ad Age/IAG Top Spots" feature in "The Week" section of the print edition of Advertising Age.
The Pepsi Twist spots, which blurred the line between the Osbourne and Osmond clans, achieved brand recall rates about 150% higher than the average spot breaking during the past three months. And no new ad from the first quarter of the year has been able to catch up with Budweiser's zebra in "Clydesdales Replay." The Bud spot easily maintained its status as the leader on the likeability chart -- scoring 15% higher than second-place Federal Express and 156% higher than the average new ad.
The mix of automakers landing Top 10 positions for the category show there is more than one way to generate high consumer recall scores. Cadillac banked on attentive eyeballs when launching its latest campaign during the Super Bowl, and two of its "17th Street" spots benefited from these premium placements. Saturn earned high recall marks for its recent Ion and L-Series ads.
Chrysler integrated singer Celine Dion into its "Drive & Love" flight, and some of the ad impact can likely be attributed to her growing connection with the brand. And notably, the only Top 10 inclusion from the crowded SUV class was the Mitsubishi Endeavor -- with a spot that launched late last month introducing the new model.
Every Sprint spot breaking since the start of the year has ranked among the top performers in its category. Verizon's year-old "Test man" branding ads also scored well. Virgin Mobile has begun to grab the attention of younger consumers -- and it only took one execution in broadcast network prime time to do so. Pizza Hut held its own throughout the first quarter, while ads supporting several new product initiatives in the personal/household care categories registered high recall -- including extensions to the Old Spice, Saran and Windex brands.
Lighthearted executions for Viagra and Lipitor and more sober ads for Procrit achieved the pharmaceutical category's highest recall scores.