A/B Testing

A type of experimental design (see “Experimental Design”) that compares two different advertising executions in which a random half of all those exposed to an ad sees one version of the ad, while the other random half sees a different version; responses to each version — measured by a post-exposure survey or by other passive measures of advertising performance (such as click-throughs, conversions, engagement, time spent for digital ads) are compared to determine which version is stronger.


A notice or announcement promoting a given brand, product, service or message in a public medium, typically with the objective to deliver information, enhance a brand’s reputation and/or to persuade people to buy. These can exist in various formats depending on the platform in which they live.

Ad Clutter

Refers to when multiple ads appear in the same space, either adjacent or close by, such as on websites, television networks, newspapers or other advertising channels and platforms.

Ad Compression

In advertising and marketing, the process of developing a shorter form ad through the “cut down” of a longer form ad, with the goal of maximizing impact and effectiveness of the shorter form ad while taking advantage of media savings often seen from the purchase of shorter form ad slots. Additionally, companies are using this process to address the rise in popularity of digital and mobile advertising.

Ad Prototype

An early stage of an ad (see “Ad”). This could refer to multiple ad formats, including an animatic (see “Animatic”) for video, pre-press proof (see “Pre-Press Proof”) for print or an early stage design of a digital ad.

Ad Testing

Research used to evaluate a specific advertisement or campaign, typically by asking consumers to rate an ad or campaign. Copy testing can be performed with unfinished work, to help inform the final creative execution, or with finished work (“finish-testing”), to help guide decisions about best audience targeting, media placement, and media weight/rotation. It is sometimes performed before ads are released (“pre-testing”), and sometimes performed post-release (“in-market testing” or “post-testing”). Also referred to as “Copy Research,” “Ad Testing,” and “Creative Testing.” See also “Concept Test.”

Ad Tracking

Research performed in-market that monitors a brand’s performance based on a particular ad or ad campaign to determine the effectiveness of the ad’s ability to deliver brand recall (see “Recall, Brand”) or message playback as an indicator of the quality of the ad’s performance.

Advertising Genre

Within advertising, a category of creative composition, characterized by similarities in style or form.

Advertising Reach

The estimated number of people or households exposed to an ad or advertising campaign at least once, often expressed as a percentage of the total number of people in a target audience or in a specific geography.