Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's, iPod, where art thou? Not among America's current top ten brands as measured by Harris Interactive's EquiTrend Brand Study 2006.

The survey was conducted online in March among 25,666 consumers, aged 15 upward. Each respondent rated 80 brands and each brand received approximately 1,275 ratings.

Data for age, sex, race, education, income, presence of children (under 18) in the household, and geographic region were weighted to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

For many marketers the results are eyebrow-raising - and in most cases a million light-years distant from the values reverberating around the current Cannes Lions love-in.

The Harris ratings are calculated from a number of factors, arguably the most important being a brand's equity. That term takes account of consumer valuations of Quality, Familiarity and Purchase Consideration variables.

Of 1,030 brands, these are US consumers' Top Ten (equity ratings in parentheses) . . .

  1. Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil (80.8)
  2. SC Johnson Ziploc Food Bags (79.1)
  3. Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars (78.1)
  4. Kleenex Facial Tissues (78.0)
  5. Clorox Bleach (78.0)
  6. WD-40 Spray Lubricant (77.7)
  7. Heinz Ketchup (77.5)
  8. SC Johnson Ziploc Containers (77.2)
  9. SC Johnson Windex Glass Cleaner (76.9)
  10. Campbell's Soups (76.6)
There appears to be little correlation between measured media spend and brand equity. Clorox, the biggest spender of the group, with $253 million in measured media support last year, spent only $27.9m on bleach. WD-40 was the lowest media spender of all at $25,400, under-cutting even the close-fisted Heinz, which spent just $413,800 on ketchups.

Explained a Harris spokesman: "We view a lot of things going into brand equity. You've got to make sure you've got a quality product living up to what consumers are looking for. Included in that is innovation and overall quality."

Data sourced from AdAge (USA) and Harris Intercative; additional content by WARC staff