ARF Conference Explores Metrics For Creative — And Children

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by Charlene Weisler, Op-Ed Contributor, June 23, 2016, 11:24 AM


We talk a lot about data in media measurement these days, but often in the context of improving  current measurement. The recent Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Audience Measurement 2016 conference, held last week, explored how the industry has begun to expand the range of measurable actions and audiences through the use of data as well as through advancements like neuroscience.Taking on the Issues

There are many challenges in the market. “Ad blocking and fraud are big issues,” explained ARF CEO and President Gayle Fuguitt.

Other issues include the sequencing of ad messages across platforms. What is the optimal order? “Context is vital, as timing a message to the consumer at the right time in the right place is everything,” she stated.

And how do we take big data and translate it into emotional advertising? “We are offering audience measurement survival kits, because creating creative is more important than counting…Brands are built in the brain,” she said. “We have fine-tuned quantification to neuroscience. We need to build emotional connections with consumer with unbiased research that finds and identifies consumer needs. And we can’t take years to answer these questions.”

Measuring Kids and Teens Cross-Platform

CIMM, The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, has embarked on an initiative to measure kids and teens across platforms.

Hampered by legislative, data, compliance and sample challenges, “it is even more challenging to measure for kids and teens than adults, and the young are the future,” explained Marc Normand, VP research, Disney Media Sales & Marketing.

“Imagine that when you start a family and you are at the hospital when the baby is born, you actually see room full of 18-year-olds. That’s what was happening in TV measurement. We are missing all of the growth,” he added.

The first stage of the study involve 500 households. “The data analysis challenge is something that you cannot imagine,” said Jane Clarke, CIMM CEO and managing director. “Streams coming in via the router are a firehose of data. Making sense of it… is an unbelievably complex challenge. It makes sense to start small.”

And now, “the first phase is done,” said Rolfe Swinton, Chief Reality Miner at Reality Mine. “Next we will scale up and remove the check-in process. We want to be clear about who is exactly watching, but make it passive.”

Measuring Creative Using Neuroscience

The ARF has embarked on an initiative to measure the efficacy of creative using neuroscience. Dr. Manuel Garcia-Garcia presented the latest findings, noting  that a unified creative approach that is cross-platform and customized to each platform develops “neural pathways to great creative. You can amplify consumer engagement if you customize your creative for the platform and don’t simply repurpose it,” he explained.

His work also found that two platforms are better than one and that optimal sequencing — whether a TV message should be first or not — depends on the focus of the campaign. “We generally recommend starting with TV, because if you start first with digital and then go to TV, there is less impact. But starting first with mobile is better if you are customizing your campaign for mobile.

“Mobile before TV equals higher memory. If TV is preceded by a different platform, the neuroscience suggests that there is higher brand consideration.”

Elements within the creative can impact viewer response. Garcia-Garcia explained, “A TV ad that explains benefits of the product or service results in higher purchase intent. And adding digital to TV raised brand consideration up three times. Your creative strategy is key to optimizing impact.

“In short, the platform does not determine strategy. The strategy should determine platform.”

Conference Conclusion
Fuguitt, ARF president and CEO, summed things up: “We need to be fearlessly facing forward. Media is being redefined, and consumers want media on their own terms. We need to serve it up to them as they want it.” The time is now to take bold steps.


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