Creative elements used in advertising that refer to objects or areas behind the main focal area or object of interest. A background is used in many types of advertising, including video, print, out of home, radio, rich media and online displays.

Banner Ad

A static or rich media advertisement placed on websites, typically rectangular and containing a link to the advertiser’s website. Also referred to as “Online Banner Ad.”


Action taken after or during exposure to an advertisement (see “Advertising Exposure“). Common types can include engaging with the ad, visiting an advertiser’s website, posting about it on social media, conducting an online search of the brand, doing research on the brand, or purchasing the advertised product or service. Specific types of this during an exposure that are often measured include moving one’s eyes to a point on the screen or page, scrolling to a certain point, clicking away from the ad or pausing or muting a video ad.

Behavioral Coding

A structured human observation measurement technique (see “Structured Observation”) used in media and market research that independently categorizes individual participant’s actions (for example, the coding of product interactions and behaviors while consuming media). This technique may be used in controlled settings (such as a laboratory environment) or naturalistic settings (such as in the home or in a store) to understand consumer behaviors (see “Behavior“).

Behavioral Targeting

The process of designating online recipients of advertising based on their online activities, such as web search history, the web pages they visited, or online buying. Behavioral targeting is also used at point-of-sale to trigger competitive offers and/or reward current buyers with future rewards, such as coupons. Also referred to as “Behavioral Advertising.”


In media and marketing research, a point of reference used as a basis for comparison for new measurements, using the same methodologies. Usually based on a historical average but can also be a current value or threshold value associated with previous success. (See also “Norms”).

Bias (general)

In research, the amount by which the true value of a metric differs from the value that would be obtained if a given research design were executed repeatedly, as opposed to a difference due to sampling variability. This occurs, for example, when those being measured do not accurately represent the target population. Also occurs when there is a predisposition or prejudice in favor of or against a thing, idea, concept, person or group in comparison with another, in a way that produces either an unfavorable or distorted perspective or interpretation. (See “Bias, Cognitive”; “Bias, Selection”; “Bias, Response).”

Bias, Acquiescence

A type of cognitive bias whereby research participants tend to agree with or respond positively to questions/stimuli that are presented to them in an effort to please the researcher or ease the burden of the survey. Also referred to as “Yea Saying.”

Bias, Anchoring

The inclination of a research participant to focus on, or rely too heavily on, an initial piece of information (called the “anchor”) when answering researchers’ subsequent questions. For example, if a participant is told that the average product receives 4.0 out of 5.0 stars in customer reviews, he or she may be more likely to assign favorable product ratings. Also referred to as “Focalism.”

Bias, Authority

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive“) where the individual attributes greater knowledge and accuracy of opinion to persons of authority, and so is more likely to be influenced by their opinions. See also “Celebrity Endorsement.”