ad spend

JIC: Coalescing Around Standards for Cross-Platform Currencies

Brittany Slattery (OpenAP), who opened this discussion, explained that the new JIC was created by national programmers and media agencies for three main purposes: (1) To bring buyers and sellers to the table with equal voices; (2) To create baseline requirements for cross-platform measurement solutions and (3) To create a harmonized census-level streaming service data set across all of the programmers in the JIC. Fox, NBCU, Paramount and Warner Brothers Discovery are all JIC members, as are Dentsu, Group M, IPG Mediabrands, OMG and Publicis. The members hope to foster competition among multiple ad video measurement currencies. After her introduction, Danielle DeLauro (VAB) moderated a discussion with the representatives of three networks and Group M.

What Brands Did in 2020 & the Impact on Market Share


This multi-year project’s objective is to understand how brands reacted to the events of 2020 and what the long-term implications were. In that fateful year, brands encountered a pandemic-driven recession, lockdown and periods of social unrest, along with the impact of economic stimulus, leading to the current state of inflation. Questions this study looks to address include, what happens to a brand’s market share if it goes “dark.” Was this different than previous recessions? How long was recovery? Did small brands take advantage of inexpensive media and if so, how did this affect their market share? Findings from the initial year are now available.

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When Brands Go Dark, Extending the Evidence

Nicole Hartnett, Ph.DSenior Marketing Scientist, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute

This research replicates a 2021 study by Nicole Hartnett and colleagues who had analyzed what happens to sales when brands stop advertising for a year or longer. The difference in this new work is not only its focus on the impact of going dark on market share, but its use of much more extensive data, with farther-reaching conclusions and future research recommendations. It adds robustness to the prior evidence that when brands stop advertising, declines become more common and more significant, on average, as time increases. Whereas the 2021 study’s data were for a single product category — alcoholic beverages in Australia (bulk keg sales to bars and pubs and units sold by specialty alcohol retailers) — the 2023 data span 22 consumer goods categories and 365 brands sold widely in supermarkets in the U.S. Both studies look at brand size and prior trajectory conditions but the 2023 research adds whether the relationship between market share change and advertising cessation holds across product categories. Ultimately practitioners can use this work as a baseline to determine the possible effects of stopping advertising when advertising cuts are required, and as input into business cases to keep their ad budgets.

Key Takeaways

  • Market share, of brands that stopped advertising for at least one year, declined on average at a steady rate year over year.
  • Losses were quantified as declining by 10 percent after one year, 20 percent after two years and 28 percent after three years relative to the last advertised year, on average.
  • Brand size and market share trajectory before stopping advertising affect the rate of market share decline. Brands already in decline, and smaller brands suffered greater loss of market share.
  • This research adds to the evidence that advertising continuity over the long-term benefits brand performance.

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$3 Trillion Sales Study Show TV Has Highest Quality Impressions

Lloyd DarbonneSenior Director Research, Insights, & Strategy, FOX Corp.

Bill HarveyExecutive Chairman, Bill Harvey Consulting, Inc.

Audrey SteeleEVP Sales Research & Strategy, FOX Corp.

Audrey Steele (FOX) introduced this presentation by highlighting the objectivity of the years-long study focused on the relative value of different platforms and impression quality, with the brands involved amassing close to $3 trillion in sales. While many in the industry are focusing on maximum reach, this study looked at sales as the most important measure of impressions, quality and value between media platforms. Bill Harvey (BHC) detailed the study’s methodology of implementing a standard multiple regression analysis with ROI optimization using SMI’s real ad spend numbers and Circana’s and S&P Global’s sales spend across the top ten brands in each of QSR, CPG and Auto verticals over nine years of data. Lloyd Darbonne (FOX) covered how the thousands of iterations of their ROI optimizer selected the media mix that predicted the highest share for each company studied. Concentrating on entertainment (inclusive of TV sports & news, TV cable entertainment, TV Big 4 entertainment and premium digital video TV), the optimizer then measured the optimal allocation for maximum ROI in each vertical. Results across verticals documented higher ROIs with significant reallocations and rebalancing of ad spends in TV and premium contexts.

Key Takeaways

  • Brands that increased their spend in non-premium digital lost sales and market share, much of it due to misallocation of advertising spend. There are opportunities for 20-40% ROI increases by reallocating non-premium digital dollars to TV.
  • TV has 2.6x the sales effect of non-premium digital. There is a 14.6% incremental sales lift added by advertising, on top of the baseline 85% sales without advertising. TV generated 69% of the added 14% across the combined three verticals, with non-premium digital at 27%. In all three verticals studied, broadcast entertainment still has a good amount of headroom—increasing share of ad spend will increase sales effects.
  • Buyer focus on CPM and rush to oversaturated lower-priced media and non-premium digital inventory has served to suppress the sales effects of overall campaigns.
  • Focusing on ROAS instead of reach, and using standard multiple regression analysis gives advertisers an advantage over slower-moving competitors.
  • For impressions quality, context still matters.

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The ARF hosted its annual flagship conference, AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2023, on April 25-26, 2023. The industry’s biggest names and brightest minds came together to share new insights on the impact of changing consumer behavior on brands, insights into TV consumption, campaign measurement and effectiveness, whether all impressions are equal, join-up solutions across multiple media, the validity, reliability and predictive power of Attention measures, targeting diverse audiences, privacy’s effect on advertising and the impact of advertising in new formats. Keynotes were presented by Tim Hwang, author of Subprime Attention Crisis, Robert L. Santos of the U.S. Census Bureau, Brian Wieser of Madison and Wall, LLC and Andrea Zapata of Warner Bros. Discovery.

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Is Ad Wear-Out a Myth?

A UK researcher has presented research that challenges ad wear-out assumptions. He argues his data “busts the wear-out myth”.

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Advertising During Times of Economic Stress

Throughout 2022, ARF members asked the Knowledge Center most frequently about advertising and marketing best practices in periods of recession and/or inflation. New insights on this topic come from the “Brands 2020” project by the ARF.

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Why Ad Expenditures Impact Perceived Quality in Some Cases But Not Others


There is a ton of research on the signaling effects of ad spending. But new work tackles lingering questions: Why do advertising expenditures have a stronger impact on perceived quality for some brands and in some product categories but not as much for others? And how do increases in expenditures across different media channels affect quality perceptions?

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