Fast-feeders top Q3 recall charts

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Eight spots for fast-food restaurants ranked among the Top 20 most-remembered TV ads launched during the third quarter of 2003, according to the latest Advertising Age/IAG Quarterly Report. Included among these recall leaders were fast-food brands Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King and KFC.

Although it was the top scorer on pure recall, longstanding spokesman Jason Alexander's final pitch for KFC didn't fare nearly as well when factoring in viewers' likability of the spots. Compared to all new TV spots during the period, the chicken chain's ads featuring Mr. Alexander and golfer Annika Sorenstam fell to just near average in the likability ratings.

The spot rated as the best-liked of the quarter was a youth-targeted commercial from Sony PlayStation 2 for its "Downhill Domination" video game. The humorous ad ranked alongside a number of reflective new spots from the American Legacy Foundation and Office of National Drug Control Policy. Viewers also responded favorably to both America Online and Pepsi-Cola Co.'s celebrity-driven spots, in addition to commercials from Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser continuing its "True" work and Heineken USA's reality-themed effort.

A mix of commercials landed among the quarter's recall leaders in the automotive category. Pacesetters included 30- and 60-second ads for the Hummer H2 and Buick Rainier-which continued to integrate the brand's "Ghost of Harley Earl" theme. Mitsubishi Endeavor's most recent spot, emphasizing the car's family appeal, also ranked among the sector's most memorable.

The wireless Top 10 included at least some representation from most of the major carriers. Work supporting both Verizon and Sprint PCS camera phone services, for example, rose into the category's most-recalled. An AT&T Wireless spot tied to a Ford Thunderbird promotion, featuring "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, registered in the No. 2 slot. Nextel's ad campaign highlighting the service's walkie-talkie functionality cut through the cellular clutter as well.

Prescription drug category-recall leaders included 45-second versions of previously airing Nexium spots and an ad supporting anti-impotence entrant Levitra.

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