Discover the latest and most impactful research on audience, media and advertising measurement across platforms and devices here. All the research listed comes from the ARF or one of its subsidiaries: The Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) or the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM). Feel free to bookmark this page, as it will be updated periodically.

KaH: Optimal Frequency Planning: Research, Guidelines & Recommendations

Much of the early but still influential thinking around optimal frequency stems from Herbert Krugman. While at GE in the 1960s, Krugman developed the “three hit” theory of frequency. It said that consumers needed to be exposed to an ad three times for it to be effective. Michael Naples’ work in 1979 supported Krugman’s claim but added a few nuances. For one, he concluded that less well-known brands require more frequency. Then, in 1982, Joseph Ostrow outlined several marketing factors that impact which frequency is optimal, Including brand share level, length
of purchase cycle and the nature of the target audience.  Read the article.

MSI: Is Big Brother (or Little Sister) Watching – And Does it Matter?

Who is really watching that TV ad and how does doing so affect their behavior? Analyzing attention in real-time demonstrates the value of TV ads. Attention studies are especially important now with the rapid growth of streaming video on demand (SVOD) and other alternatives. Their rise has heightened the importance of determining what and where audiences are viewing and how that’s impacting their behavior.  Read the article.

CMO Briefs: Optimal Frequency Planning: Research, Guidelines & Recommendations

Despite a significant amount of research focusing on optimal frequency and recency, stemming back to the 1960’s, there is very little consensus on how many exposures/impressions are “too many” across platforms. Indeed, a blank frequency cap is likely to lead to inefficiencies. The bottom line, there is no simple “rule of thumb” for optimal frequency planning. Read more.

MSI: How Consumption Capital May Explain Brand Preferences

Consumer packaged goods have experienced increasing fragmentation in recent decades. This is most often attributed to millennials’ preference toward smaller and seemingly more “authentic” brands. But is this true? New research suggests that generational differences in “consumption capital” may be an even more significant factor. This is based on the range of products available over time. Read the article.

MSI: Do Ad-Blockers Help — or Hurt — Consumers?

The emerging digital advertising ecosystem is rich with opportunities, but not without its challenges. One significant yet unforeseen one has been ad blockers. These hurt publishers and advertisers. Yet, consumers believe they benefit from them, since it gives them more control over their online experience. Is this true? New research finds that ad blockers may also make it harder for new brands to break through and compete, which leads to greater market concentration.  Read the article.

JAR: Modeling Cultural Mindsets with Endorser Origins to Predict Brand Attitudes

An endorser’s native origin can trigger brand reactions in consumers due to their cultural predispositions. New research in this area has revisited ethnocentrism and xenocentrism, not as diametrically opposed mindsets but as ones coexisting in dynamic configurations, with each mindset expressed or suppressed as a result of origin cues from brands and endorsers. The resulting models provide blueprints for predicting favorable attitudes, by aligning targeting and messaging strategies with appropriate mindsets and origin cues.  Read the article.

JAR: Going Live: How “Shoppable” Ads Measure Up

Live, “shoppable” advertising has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with big investments from influencers, brands and retailers. In response, researchers in London, Stockholm and the U.S. have collaborated on a typology for evaluating the value of this emerging platform. The work is essentially a launching pad for future investigation and measurement of liveness and shoppability in advertising.  Read the article.

The Study of Device & Account Sharing: The How and Why

In the digital age, it is difficult to measure media usage on the individual level. Users may share multiple devices, have several profiles across and even within service categories. People share usernames and passwords with others to allow them access to their ecommerce or streaming media accounts. As a result, providers of digital services and research lack a consistent, reliable and efficient way to parse out the digital world at the user level. Now, a new study by the ARF aims to provide a solution.
Read the article.

CMO Brief: Attention and Ad Impact — New Insights from New Research

One of the essential goals of advertising is to get customers’ attention. However, a lot of campaigns approach this simplistically. More “attention” does not necessarily mean an ad is more effective. Attention is a much more complex phenomenon than that. While attention is a prerequisite for ad impact, the term is ambiguous, complex and attention is difficult to measure. Moreover, “attention” does not necessarily indicate a positive response, and a high level of attention is not always a sign of a positive ad impact. Read more.

MSI: Web Scraping for Consumer Insight “Nuggets”

One technique that offers a treasure trove of insights into consumer behavior is “web scraping.” Although worthwhile, using it to gather data requires a specific, methodological approach. Otherwise, validity is threatened. This MSI working paper addresses how researchers should go about web scraping in order to ensure design transparency, analytic reproducibility, analytic robustness, replicability and generalizability of effects.

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