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Google Dominates List of Most Effective TV Ads by Dot-Coms

  |  November 9, 2011   |  Comments

TheLadders and GoDaddy get low scores in ad effectiveness study.

A combination of storytelling and market testing has made Google's TV commercials the most effective of all TV ads from dot-com companies, according to Ace Metrix.

The distinction comes just two years after Google began running television commercials. GoDaddy and daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial dominated the list of least-effective TV ads from dot-coms.

Every year, Ace Metrix, an ad-measurement company based in Mountain View. CA, ranks TV commercials produced by dot-com companies on the basis of how effective they are. The rankings are based on a metric the company calls an Ace Score, which asks TV viewers to measure factors like relevance, desire, likeability, persuasion, and watchability of TV commercials.

Google's Dear Sophie commercial topped the list for 2011 to date. The ad shows a father creating a Gmail address for his newborn daughter, then sending e-mails to it as she grows up.

That ad was just one of five Google TV ads that made the top 10.

"Google, who two years ago never advertised on television, has truly emerged as a major brand marketer this year, introducing high-impact spots delivered at low frequency that last longer than the average 30-second ad," said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix.

The other brands to make the top 10 were Bing.com (with three spots), Disney.com, and TheDaily.com.

Most Effective TV Ads for Websites

Brand, Ad Air date Ace Score
Google, Dear Sophie 5/3/11 661
Google, The Johnny Cash Project 9/12/11 640
Google, It Gets Better 5/3/11 611
Bing, You Can Always Change a Person's Life 7/28/11 608
Disney.com, Turn off That Water and Save 6/26/11 596
Google, Lady Gaga: Mother Monster 5/21/11 595
Google, Mom  Pop: Daniel  Jennifer Northcutt 9/13/11 590
Bing, Real Steel Promotion 9/27/11 589
Bing, Krochet Kids Explain Their Story 9/12/11 583
The Daily.com, Meet the Daily (Super Bowl) 2/6/11 581

What separated the most effective ads from the least effective ones was a focus on storytelling, said Daboll. By engaging consumers emotionally and compelling them to pay attention, ads like Google's left more of an impression with viewers.

But testing played a role as well. Brands with the most effective ads were the ones who market tested their ads a lot before running them - Google's ads tend to live on YouTube for a while before becoming TV commercials - while less effective ads were released untested.

Dominating a list of least-effective TV ads from dot-com companies was GoDaddy, with three of the top-10 spots. Groupon had two commercials on the least-effective list, and LivingSocial had one. Careers site TheLadders.com's ad, People Pose as a Model, was ranked the least effective.


Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.

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