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Ace Metrix has announced its 2013 Brand of the Year Watch List, which includes the five brands within 20 categories that are in the running for "Brand of the Year." Included in the QSR category are Baskin-Robbins, Dairy Queen, Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut.

Panera Bread is also on the QSR Watch List.

In the casual dining category, IHOP, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and TGI Friday's are frontrunners.

Dunkin' Donuts Coffee and Tea is listed in the beverage category, alongside Coffee-mate, International Delight, Lipton and Gatorade.

Ace Metrix, an advertising analytics firm, compiled the list based on brands that have earned the highest average Ace Score within their category based on their 2013 portfolio of work to date.

"The Brand of the Year Watch List provides an early look at the brands that lead their category," said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. "It is one thing to make a great ad; it is another thing entirely to create a year's worth of great creative. What's especially exciting in the 2013 list is the number of new brands that have consistently distinguished their advertising, often against stiff category competition, to emerge at the top of their category."

This year's list boasts a number of new brands with only seven of the 2012 Brand of the Year winners returning.

Ace Metrix scores every nationally airing television advertisement across 23 industries and 85 categories. To qualify for Ace Metrix Brand of the Year Watch List, brands must have debuted five or more unique pieces of creative within an industry containing more than 80 pieces of creative and five qualifying brands.

Ace Metrix will reveal the final Brand of the Year winners in the first week of January once all ads for 2013 have been scored.

Read more about marketing and branding.

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