Skip to main content

Back-to-school ads didn’t make the grade


Target failed to crack a ranking of the top 10 most effective back-to-school ads compiled by Ace Metrix that was dominated by retail competitors and technology companies.

“Notably, apparel retailers did not make much of a splash with consumers this back-to-school season,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “JCPenney was a notable exception, winning big with consumers with their ‘pennies from heaven’ spot that promoted the company’s contributions to local after-school programs. This philanthropic tactic, which was used last year in the number one back-to-school ad from Kohl’s, has been an effective way of getting consumer attention for apparel retailers.”

According to Daboll, the usual reliance of apparel retailers on promotion of sales events are just not effective in breaking through to consumers in a cluttered advertising environment.

According to Ace Metrix, it captures every nationally breaking ad across 26 categories, which are then tested across a group of 500 demographically balanced respondents. Each respondent viewed the commercials prior to completing an online survey that measured such variables as watchability, persuasion, desire, relevance, change, attention, information and likeability that was then used to compile an Ace Score that range from zero to 950. The top ranked companies are listed below.

Brand Ad Title

Overall Ace Score
Microsoft Windows A Blast Of A Deal 651
JCPenney Pennies From Heaven 615
Crayola All That Kids Love About Crayons 589
Walmart She Doesn't Need The Ad 586
Best Buy Girl Gets A New Laptop 586
Staples Rico Rodriguez: Flash Drives Are Just $5.99 586
Walmart Everything You Need For Back To College 582
Chex Box Tops In The Mix 575
Dell Student Deal: Free Xbox 569
Best Buy The Geek Squad 568

Long a leader when it comes to marketing creativity, not seeing Target’s name on the top 10 list was a little like the Honda Accord not being among Consumer Reports’ top picks, the Grand Canyon not making a list of must-see natural wonders or Vince Lombardi being left of a list of the greatest football coaches of all time. The omission of Target was even more noteworthy considering two spots from Walmart made the list.

Click here to watch the ads: Top 10 Most Effective Back to School Ads

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds