The annual back-to-school national television ad battle is in full force and data from Ace Metrix, provider of television advertising analytics, shows that an ad from Kohl’s promoting a “Vote for Your School” contest tie-in with social networking site Facebook is the early winner. Based on creative effectiveness data gathered from 30 national television ads for the nation’s top retailers which aired between 7/9 and 8/13, the Kohl’s ad scored highest with an Ace Score of 614 out of a possible 950.

Although Target has been by far the most active back-to-school advertiser with 13 national breaking ads, they are also running the worst scoring ad, “The Roommate and her Gathering”, also featuring a Facebook tie-in, with an Ace Score of 355. Despite the number of ads, Target had just one ad in the Top 10 retail back-to-school ads.

“It’s interesting that both the highest scoring ad and the lowest scoring ad feature tie-ins with Facebook. These retailers are tapping into the popularity of social networking and extending their national television campaigns to drive online visibility,” said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. “But, just having a Facebook tie-in does not guarantee success with consumers. Kohl’s clearly hit a home-run with their ad promoting the ‘Kohl’s Care’s’ campaign which features a $20 million giveaway where the top 20 vote-getting schools will receive $500,000 apiece.”

The average Ace Score for the 30 ads studied is 481, which compares to an overall average Ace Score of 532 for all national advertising.

Wal-Mart ran three back-to-school ads with one, “Last Night of Lighting Bugs” making the Top Ten, yet the overall number of ads was down from last year.

While not a back-to-school spot, Wal-Mart tapped into the ‘do-good’ creative with an ad called “New Technology for Clean Water”, airing 7/16, garnering an Ace Score of 692 making it the 2010 highest scoring retail ad to-date. Target scored its highest Ace Score to-date with an ad called “Save Change with Bags” which aired 3/21, promising customers a nickel for each use of a reusable bag.

Ace Score data for the Back-To-School ads is as follows:

Advertiser           Advertisement           Air Date           Ace Score



Vote For Your School





Best Buy           Mom & Son Disagree over Geek           7/18           574
Target           S.Soto Small Space Solutions           7/18           570
Staples           Boy Gives Mom Back to School List           7/25           566
Office Max           Woman Sees Child as Astronaut           7/25           551
Office Depot           Susan Buys Sony Notebooks           7/26           535

JC Penney

          Students Pose for Photo           7/15           532
Kohl’s           Big Weekend Sale           7/21           529
Macy’s           Style on Your Terms           7/29           524
Wal-Mart           Last Night of Lightning Bugs           8/2           524
Office Max           Children Head Back to School           7/25           522
Target           Where the Children are Free           7/25           517
Target           Coloring Many Books           8/2           509
Old Navy           Kids Clothing On Sale           7/22           505
Kohl’s           Everything Kids Want           8/10           500

JC Penney

          Huge Sale Hot Looks for School           8/4           486
Wal-Mart           Mom Makes Sure Boy is Ready for Everything           8/13           484
Wal-Mart           Vote For Vanessa           8/13           483
Target           First College Party           7/11           482
Kmart           Back To Campus Sale           7/9           479
Target           Man Teaches Quadratic Equation           7/25           477
Target           First College Roommate           7/11           476
Target           Mother Yells For Boy Who Forgot Bookbag           7/26           469
Target           Meeting Roommates Parents           7/11           463
Target           Men Have Roommate Drama           7/11           459
Target           Boy Dreams of School w/o Pants           7/26           453
Target           Children Names on Lunch Bags           7/26           432
Target           Roommates Annoying Laugh           7/12           429
Target           Man Meets Stacy in Class           7/15           424



The Roommate and Her Gathering