The second most-liked new commercial is the 30-second "My dad Dave Thomas" ad for Wendy's.
"The most-liked ads of the year further demonstrate that audience-appropriate humor, an ownable creative concept and a relatable, emotional appeal are effective practices that help the audience connect with ads on a personal level," Nielsen said in its "Nielsen Tops of 2012: Advertising" report released Dec. 17.
The remaining eight most-liked new commercials included four for JCPenney and ads for Ocean Spray (Cran-Cherry George Washington); KFC (Hide & Seek); M&M's (I'm Ms. Brown); and Ford (Ford Mustang driving down the road changing colors).
The Ford and two of the JCPenney ads were 60-second commercials. The rest were 15- and 30-second ads.
Nielsen also studied product integrations into TV shows.
The No. 1 best-recalled branded integration in a scripted show so far this year is Subway in "Community," in which Dean Pelton gives a speech at a ribbon-cutting ceremony where a Subway restaurant is being opened in the cafeteria.
Subway took the No. 2 spot in another "Community" program in which Pelton reveals to Shirley that a vacant space at Greendale Community College was sold to Subway.
"Product placements that made this year's 10 seamlessly integrated the specific brands into the storyline of the television programs," Nielsen said.
"Most placements involved longer-term show sponsorships, which suggests that using a storyline to deliver brand messages is effective in traditional creative and branded integrations as well," it said.
The other eight best-recalled branded integrations were Porsche in "Two and a Half Men"; Chevrolet in two episodes of "Hawaii Five-O"; Tootsie Roll in "Mike & Molly"; Louis Vuitton in "Person of Interest"; M&M's in "The Good Wife"; Charmin in "Revolution"; and Kit Kat in "The Middle."
"Nielsen's lists of most-liked ads and product integrations of 2012 include Ancestry.com's emotional Ellen Harrington spot, Subway's placements and JCPenney's hilarious and highly successful campaign featuring Ellen DeGeneres," Nielsen said.
Nielsen said the U.S. ad spend for the first nine months of 2012 was up 2.5 percent. The biggest advertisers included The Procter & Gamble Co., AT&T Inc. and General Motors Co.
The remaining seven of the top 10 U.S. advertisers of 2012 were, as parent companies, Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., Comcast Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., Fiat S.p.A., L'Oreal and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The top 10 advertisers by product categories from January-September were automotive ($8 billion); quick-service restaurant ($3.28 billion); automotive dealership ($2.84 billion); wireless telephone services ($2.75 billion); pharmaceuticals ($2.42 billion); motion pictures ($2.32 billion); department stores ($2.23 billion); direct response ($1.47 billion); restaurants ($1.32 billion); and auto insurance ($1.24 billion).
The advertisers were ranked on total ad expenditures across cable network TV; free-standing insert (coupon); local magazine; local newspaper; local Sunday supplement; national magazine; national newspaper; national Sunday supplement; network radio; broadcast network TV; outdoor; Hispanic network TV; spot radio; spot TV; and broadcast syndication TV.
Nielsen, the media and consumer trends analysis company, reports the most-liked new commercial so far in 2012 is the 15-second "Ellen Harrington" ad for