January 3, 2017 Last Updated 1:39 pm

Ace Metrix ranks the most heartwarming, inspirational, humorous, creative ads of ’16

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – January 3, 2017 – Ace Metrix, the leader in measuring the impact of video advertising, today released lists of the ads that U.S. consumers found most heartwarming, inspirational, humorous, and creative in 2016. The lists were derived through scientific calculation based on the frequency of emotive words and phrases used in viewer comments. Out of nearly 8,000 video ads analyzed last year, these ads distinguished themselves by achieving the highest level of emotional impact with viewers.

“One of the ground truths proven by our data again and again is that emotionally evocative ads, whether heartwarming or inspirational or humorous, are the best at grabbing viewer attention, being persuasive, and influencing in-market behavior,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix.

“Last year was marked by intensely emotional events, and video advertising was in some ways a reflection of this. The Olympics brought many uplifting pieces of creative from brands like Hershey’s and P&G, while brands like Zappos and Microsoft tackled social issues like homelessness and female empowerment. The presidential election opened the door for brands to deliver messages of inclusion and unity. As usual, the Super Bowl brought us some of the year’s funniest ads, including Doritos final installment of Crash the Super Bowl.”

We also saw brands such as Johnsonville, Avocados from Mexico, and Kohler surprise us using innovative approaches to creating memorable ads. Operating on a highly creative plane, these brands kept viewer interest though clever dialogue and mesmerizing visuals,” said Daboll.

The lists below provide a look back at the ads that moved us last year. They were ranked using multiple NLP techniques to determine emotional reaction uncovered in viewer comments. The example words and phrases below were the highest matches related to each specific emotional sentiment.

The Most Inspirational Ads of 2016 – frequently occurring words and phrases include “very inspiring”, “motivating”, “empowering”, and “uplifting”:

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length
1 Nike

Unlimited Scout Bassett

2 Frosted Flakes

Making of “Let Your Gr-r-reat Out”

3 Always

#LikeAGirl Keep Playing

4 Fitbit

Love Fit: Team Hoyt

5 Microsoft

What are you going to make?


The Most Heartwarming Ads of 2016 – frequently occurring words include “heartwarming”, “touching”, “emotional”, and “sentimental”:

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length
1 Hershey’s

Hello From Home: U.S. Olympic Wrestler Jordan Burroughs

2 Hallmark


3 Zappos

Box Home

4 Toyota

Welcome Home

5 Procter & Gamble

Thank You, Mom


The Funniest Ads of 2016 – frequently occurring words and phrases include “funny”, “very funny”, “laugh out loud”, and “humorous”:

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length
1 Cheetos

The Lie Detector

2 Doritos


3 Slim Jim


4 Slim Jim

Jim Skywriting

5 Hyundai

First Date


The Most Creative Ads of 2016 – frequently occurring words include “clever”, “creative”, “witty”, and “unique”:

Rank Brand Ad Title Ad Length
1 Johnsonville

“Regular Speed Chase” by Brett

2 Avocados from Mexico


3 Kohler

Never Too Next

4 Audi


5 Adidas

Basketball Needs Creators, feat. James Harden


Ace Metrix measures ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to video ads, providing the advertising industry an unbiased resource to measure creative impact. Ace Metrix scores every national television ad, and an expanding proportion of digital ads, across 96 categories creating a complete comparative database—Ace Metrix LIVE®. A unique panel of at least 500 consumers, demographically balanced to the U.S. census, scores each ad in the exact same manner. The results are presented on a scale of 1–950, which represents scoring on creative attributes such as Attention, Likeability, Information, Change, Relevance, Desire and Watchability. Ace Metrix applies a natural language processing algorithm to the hundreds of qualitative verbatim responses collected for each ad, deriving additional metrics related to emotional engagement.

Comments are closed.