Delta’s No Bag Left Behind ad, which traces the journey of a young girl’s checked bag from the check-in counter to baggage carousel at the destination, was the highest-rated airline TV spot since the beginning of 2014, but Southwest notched the highest average scores among airlines that ran three TV advertisements or more.

The scores, based on the ads’ persuasion and watchability factors, come from Ace Metrix, which offers an analytics service to advertisers. Ace Metrix shows each ad to at least 500 consumers and measures watchability, meaning the engagement with each ad, and develops a persuasion score based on the ads’  desire, relevance, likability, attention, information and change.

Top-Rated Airline TV Ads

RankBrandAd TitleAce Score
1Delta Air LinesNo Bag Left Behind670
2Asiana AirlinesBusiness Smartium639
3SouthwestDeal With Us638
3SouthwestRethinking Entertainment638
5UnitedHopes of A Nation626
6SouthwestZero Extra Fees623
7Hawaiian AirlinesHawaii Begins615
8SouthwestDifferent and Great612
9Qantas AirlinesThe Best of Australia610
10Hawaiian AirlinesStep Aboard608

Ace Metrix

On a scale of 1 to 950, Delta’s “No Bag Left Behind” ad achieved a 670 score, the highest-rated TV ad among global airlines that released ads from from January 1, 2014 to February 22, 2015.

The Delta ad follows a little girl’s checked bag in a totally unrealistic but cutesy way as it is transported from check-in to the arrival airport. The bag travels virtually solo; there are hardly any other bags in view. And the bag gets treated by Delta crews with the utmost attention and respect; there is no tossing the bag or any unsettling mishaps along the way.

During the ad, Delta touts its “fewest cancellations” and most on-time flights, and ends with the statement: “No wonder more people choose Delta than any other airline.”

Asiana’s Business Smartium ad touts the first class seats on its A380s, and waxes on passengers having their “own private room with its own sliding door,” which makes for “an experience as perfect and special as you are.” The ad achieved the second-highest Ace Score among airlines, 639, but was in a virtual tie with two Delta ads that score 638.

Southwest placed four ads in Ace Metrix’s top 10 and recorded the highest average Ace Score, 595, for any airline that published three or more TV ads.

As you can see from Southwest’s Deal With Us ad, for example, Southwest has abandoned an earlier effort to portray itself as more than a discount airline. The “Deal With Us” ad emphasizes saving money, $69 airfares and booking on Southwest.com for optimal savings.

United’s Hope’s of a Nation ad , which generated a score of 626, coincided with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and depicts U.S. Olympics athletes onboard a United plane. The ad culminates with the statement, “United: Carrying the hopes of a nation for over 30 years. That’s Team USA friendly.” If only passengers could place a carry-on bag in an overhead bin with the ease depicted in the ad.

Photo Credit: An ad featuring the improbable journey of a child's checked bag topped Ace Metrix's rankings of airline TV ads. Delta Air Lines