Report: AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S5 Active ad more effective than T-Mobile's 'Music Freedom' spot

AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) has run the most effective wireless TV advertisement so far this year, according to metrics from TV and video advertising analytics firm Ace Metrix.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the firm judged that AT&T's ad for Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S5 Active smartphone is the most effective spot among recent ads from wireless carriers, outshining other top ads from Sprint (NYSE: S), T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ).

Quantifying an ad's effectiveness is not an exact science. However, according to the Journal, Ace Metrix uses a sample of more than 500 viewers to rate how effective an ad is, using metrics such as persuasion and likeability. Using that system, the firm said AT&T's "Stand Up Phone" ad resonated most with consumers because it was relevant, direct and conveyed a clear message. 

The ad shows the rugged S5 Active in a variety of situations, and says the phone "stands up to most everything, within reason," showing the phone being fished out of a pool, dropped on a treadmill and squirted with ketchup. Ace Metrix said nearly a third of consumers in its sample said the best thing about the AT&T ad was its focus on the durability of the phone.

The other carriers will be pleased to know, however, that ads about some of their key initiatives this year have been rated as their most effective spots, according to Ace Metrix. For example, T-Mobile's "Stream Free" ad from this summer promoting its "Music Freedom" program--one of its "uncarrier" initiatives--was rated as its most effective ad. The ad clearly highlights the benefits of the program, which essentially zero-rates the data generated by select music streaming services so that the data charges incurred by the services are not applied to users' monthly data allotments.

Verizon's most effective ad, dubbed "Need for Speed" and released in May, promotes its "XLTE" service, which is based on its buildout of AWS spectrum for LTE in addition to 700 MHz spectrum. Verizon said in September expanded its deployment of AWS spectrum to 22 additional markets, making it available in four out of five of its LTE markets nationwide. Since the carrier has around 500 LTE markets in total, that brings its AWS deployment to roughly 400 markets.

Sprint's best ad, called "Double Data," came out just a few weeks ago. The ad highlights two new initiatives launched by CEO Marcelo Claure, who took Sprint's helm in mid-August. The ad discusses Sprint's Family Share Pack shared data plans, noting they have double the data of similar plans from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The ad also highlights Sprint's $50 unlimited plan for individual customers who buy the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The ad ends by focusing on Sprint's new tagline, "the best value in wireless."

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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