Engagement, viewer recall, purchase intent and ad likability, are among some of the hottest terms on Madison Avenue these days, as marketers increasingly seek proof that their advertising pitches are reaching consumers.
One firm aiming to provide that proof is New York-based IAG Research, which measures viewer response to TV ads. IAG has assembled a group of 1.5 million people it regularly surveys via the Internet. A few times a week, people on the panel are questioned about their recall of specific programs and whether they liked them or not.
Alan Gould talks below about marketers’ latest quest for more substantial measurement, the amount of ads being squeezed into commercial breaks and his firm’s problems getting people to participate in online panels.
WSJ: Marketers are obsessed with finding ways around commercial-skipping devices. Isn’t the real issue ad clutter — too many commercials being jammed into commercial breaks?
Mr. Gould: From an advertiser perspective, what the advertiser is interested in is having their ad viewed. So anything that improves the chances of having that ad viewed, they will support. If you combine that with the network’s recent announcement that they are moving to commercial ratings, however that ends up getting defined, its clear that there will be a lot more experimentation when it come to advertising construction in and around TV programming.
WSJ: Is all clutter the same?
Mr. Gould: There are two issues with clutter that we see. The first issue is with competitive clutter. It’s pretty clear from looking at data over the last five years that competitive clutter is a problem. So if you have two car ads in a pod (commercial break), even if they are for different types of cars it causes confusion with viewers — that is clear. Some of the experimentation done over the past few years is very instructive. For example, CBS did a deal with Philips Electronics and became the sole sponsor of ’60 Minutes’ so there was lot less advertising and basically all of the ad time was dedicated to Philips. We saw much higher levels of recall and likability. But most importantly, positive viewer opinions of Philips increased substantially.