Top Five Wireless Carrier Ads of the Summer

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NielsenAT&T dominated the top wireless carrier ads of summer, holding four of the top five most-liked category ads, according to a recent Nielsen analysis. Their Olympics-themed creative brought home the gold—as well as the silver and bronze—for most-liked TV ads among adults. Verizon rounded out the top five, with their Father’s Day ad earning the fourth spot for likeability.

Top Summer Wireless Carrier Ads – By Likeability
Ranking Company Ad Description Length Likeability Score* Theme
1 AT&T Male track athlete sets goal :30 32% Olympics
2 AT&T Female swimmer changes goal :30 28% Olympics
3 AT&T Female runner changes goal :30 28% Olympics
4 Verizon Father and son speak indirectly in Verizon store :30 18% Father’s Day
5 AT&T Swimmer in the ocean :30 17% Olympics
Nielsen determined the list based on the percentage of adults 18+ who remembered the ad, remembered the brand, AND liked the ad. The average Wireless Category Likeability Norm, per Nielsen, is 14 percent.*

AT&T was able to capitalize on the timeliness of the London Games with innovative, “real-time” ads, using actual 2012 Games footage in their ads, sometimes including events that aired just hours prior.  Repeated imagery of athletes achieving and exceeding goals resonated with viewers.

Verizon’s Father’s Day-themed creative, featuring a father and son expressing emotion through indirect gestures, created an experience for viewers to connect with emotionally, which is key in creating a memorable advertisement.

*The Wireless Category Likeability Norm is from July 1, 2011 – June 20, 2012. Each of the top 5 ads is above the norm at 95 percent confidence. The Wireless Category Likeability Norm is determined by the survey respondents who saw the ad, remembered the ad, remembered the brand and liked the ad. The Wireless Carrier brands included in this research were AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.