Most Effective Ads of 2011

Ace Metrix puts together a Top Ads list with a different set of criteria and testing method. Instead of rating the artistic merit, they rate efficacy. Using results from focus tests throughout 2011, the group named the following Kitchen Aid commercial the most effective of 2011.

It's easy to see how this works. It's almost 40 seconds of close-up shots of the Kitchen Aid food processor in action. You see delicate foods like kiwi and tomatoes slice perfectly and evenly. The gentle voice over and cheerful tinkly music in the background only adds to the effect. You want to be as happy and productive as the perfect family in the Kitchen Aid commercial.

This isn't to say that more creative ads cannot also be highly effective. The second place Kinnect commercial stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it.

The Kinnect is presented as more than a gaming system. A few years ago, I competed in speech competitions with a presentation on gaming systems being used to train surgeons. Now it seems like the Kinnect allows it to be done without a controller at all. With a sweeping orchestral score and a mix between weighty and light-hearted images, it's the kind of ad that sticks with you.

The seventh place commercial is perhaps the kind of ad you'd normally see at the top of a list like this. It's the Snickers commercial with the sharks.

In a send-up of the very focus groups that fueled this ranking, Snickers places sharks in the role of volunteers for a focus group. After tasting two humans, they're asked to compare the tastes. The man who just ate a Snickers candy bar was preferred to the woman who just ate a peanut butter cup. Then the sharks ask for an extra sample. It's funny, it's cute, and just a little bit dark in its humor.

Efficacy does not mean advertisers need to sacrifice style or artistic quality. However, a stylish ad that people talk about does not necessarily sell a product. You might laugh at the dancing hamsters, but do you instantly know they're selling Kia Soul products? It took me a minute to remember that brand.

A great ad will stick with you because you remember the brand and the concept. Tired as the Kitchen Aid ad's approach is, it is executed with a good eye for color and clearly sells the product and brand. The best ads are the ones that stick in your mind for service and style.

Thoughts? Love to hear them.