Audience Measurement 2015

“Ad-Receptivity: A New Metric for Improving Engagement” and “How Annoyance Impacts Ad Performance”

“Ad-Receptivity: A New Metric for Improving Engagement” – Leflein Associates / Hulu

Technology is reshaping how audiences watch entertainment. Hulu commissioned research to measure the pervasiveness of ad-avoidance, what drives it, as well as to identify opportunities to maximize engagement for advertisers. Among the issues addressed:

How many viewers are avoiding ads at all costs?

What methods are being used to avoid ads?

Which viewers are more receptive to ads and why.

What drives ad-receptivity?

What types of ad experiences resonate with viewers across the ad-receptivity spectrum?


“How Annoyance Impacts Ad Performance” – Icosystem / Light Reaction

The authors put forward a hypothesis that, in order to elicit a reaction, an ad, even when it’s viewable, must cross several stages of Perceptual Pathway: first, we must notice it; then we must pay attention to it; next, we have a “gut” emotional reaction. Any ad that fails to cross any of these stages results in a lost opportunity.

Among the questions that will be explored are:

Are there observable differences in the subject’s behavior?

Do the subjects report being annoyed by the ads?

Do the subjects recall the ads shown?

How Social Word of Mouth Drive TV Viewing

Ed Keller, CEO of The Keller Fay Group, Mitch Lovett, Associate Professor of Marketing at The University of Rochester, Renana Peres, Associate Professor of Marketing at The Jerusalem School of Business Administration and Beth Rockwood, SVP, Market Resources & Advertising Sales Research at Discovery Communications presented findings of the latest study from The CRE, which is a group of senior research professionals interested in bettering methodological research. They formed a Social Media Committee to ask, “How does social media and other forms of communication influence the choice to a particular program?”

  • To what extent do people engage with social media when deciding what primetime television show to watch? What is the impact of social media compared to word of mouth, promotions, PR, and the “dark social” mix of texting, IMing and emailing?
  • For its study, CRE looked at 78,310 journal entries from 1,665 respondents to gain insight into the consumer contact points that best drive viewership, including Twitter and Facebook.
  • Among their findings: Twitter has a bigger impact when people Tweet while watching the show. By contrast, offline word-of-mouth and Facebook exert stronger influences to watch the next episode when people are not watching the program.

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Revitalizing a Legend through Science and Strategy – Big Heart Pet Brands and Deep Relevance

Courtney Moore, VP, Consumer & Customer Strategy Insights at Big Heart Pet Brands and Bob Woodard, Founding Partner at Deep Relevance Partners started this session mentioning some of Milk-Bone dog treats challenges such as category commoditization and stagnant growth.  Milk Bone had a 100 year history of leadership, trust and was #1 in the category, and needed to recapture that leadership.  There was a need for a differentiated and emotionally compelling narrative to allow these treats to re-assert category leadership and ignite new growth.

Specific research techniques including, ZMET Mindmap and IAE were selected to understand the dog owners’ feelings associated with dog treats and the role treats play in their lives with their dogs.  Research aided in the development of new brand positioning, and served as the basis for a planned innovative extension.

Approach by Deep Relevance:

  • Development of advantageous and inspiring connection.
  • Translate into creative campaign strategies.
  • Precise communication assessment and optimization.

The research enabled the brand to be successfully revitalized, and the first line extension to be successfully launched.

Key learnings:

  • Separate development of 15 seconds; do not cut down from 30 seconds.
  • Test early creative.
  • Brand positioning important.


  • The base Milk-Bone brand gained +3.4% in sales vs. the prior year exclusively from TV advertising.
  • The brand extension, Milk-Bone Brushing Chews, had an extremely successful launch, driven by effective advertising, a strong retail presence, and excellent performance of the product.

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The Next Frontier: Content Analytics


Bill Harvey, Co-Founder & Chairman of ScreenSavants opened this session stating that about 65% of ROI comes from the creative and 35% from the media. Research to date has focused on optimizing media planning and helping decision-makers make go/no go decisions, but rarely has the research been designed specifically for diagnosing how to improve the content for greater chances of success. Bill presented a new method of pretesting content and helping to maintain series on the air based on a combination of online panel, set top box data, second by second voluntary nuanced response, and an empirically validated set of 270 keywords called DriverTagsTM. These Tags were tested with previous successful and cancelled programs and validated with Nielsen ratings using correlation analysis.

Key benefits of this method are:

  • Explains the “why” of a program’s rating.
  • Answers the question “how can we make it better.”
  • Speaks better the “language of creative.”
  • Helps optimizing ad placement based on the ad “fit” with the DriverTagsTM correlated with the programs.


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Silence is Golden: Brands Win Supporting Roles

Dan Aversano, SVP, Client & Consumer Insights at Turner Broadcasting and Chad R. Maxwell, SVP, Research at Starcom MediaVest Group developed a partnership to increase the effectiveness of IPPs (In-Program Placements).

Insights included:

  • Authenticity and relatability are vital if the brand is to communicate effectively. Both content and context are important to effectiveness.
  • Subtler executions of IPPS can be more effective.
  • Adjacencies with traditional ads can be maximized. When and where rules for adjacencies are important.  But whether the companion ad for the IPP should be placed before or after the IPP depends on the situation, and should be tested.

Effective IPPs can be created if the following contextual components are considered:

  • Viewers have different relationships with different product categories.
  • Consistency is important.
  • There are issues around “crossing the line.”
  • Iconic brands are held to different standards.

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Measuring Cross-Channel Shoppers Across Platforms

Gian Fulgoni, Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus at comScore began by noting that, while technology has had a tremendous impact, a negative consequence is that it is being used by people who can’t interpret relevant/usable data. Specifically, he cited the following problem with survey panel data: the cost to run panels has dropped and, as a result, panels are being used in negative ways with major repercussions.

He cited several examples where data has been misinterpreted:

  • A recent National Retail Federation survey that showed that Thanksgiving sales dropped 11% and that 42% of all buying had occurred online. As a result of this data, retailers’ stock prices dropped. Meanwhile data from the U.S. Department of commerce revealed that only 14% of Thanksgiving commerce was occurring online.
  • Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trend Report found that, in 2014, people spent 5.0 hours per day online more time than the 4.3 hours they spend watching TV. Meanwhile comScore data reveals that online time is 70% of TV time.
  • Online surveys actually overstate time spent online by 35% and understate TV by 20%.

According to Gian, there are two main reasons as to why these types of discrepancies occur:

  • Online survey panelists are heavier-than-average Internet users.
  • Consumers are poor at recall.

Key takeaways

  • Be careful when using a survey to ask people to remember what they bought: “If you want to know how much money and time people spend online, don’t ask them”.
  • It’s good to include passive behavioral panels that don’t require consumer recall and integrate findings with census level data.

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How Data Inspires Creativity

Lynn Power, President, J. Walter Thompson, New York and Eric Weisberg, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson, New York opened this session with what CMOs are being overwhelmed by: Complexity; Pressure; Reactive; Unprepared; Stretched.

The 1960’s creative process is gone, and the competition between the creative and account functions have been replaced by creative, account, analytics and strategy personnel working together.

Since the definition of creativity has changed; having different points of view in the room becomes even more valuable.  Freeks and Geeks have melded to work together, which leads to better results and more fun. (If you are not doing this at your job, you need to leave.)  There is a need for “dot connections” in the agencies.

Four J. Walter Thompson case studies served to illustrate the speakers’ point that data inspires creativity:

  • Zyrtec allergy app with real time info on mobile devices tells consumer what they are allergic to and gives consumers information on treatment. Interactive app has been used for 15 minutes a month, with a 19% lift in purchase and evidence that consumers have changed brands to use Zyrtec.
  • KitKat meets technology-KitKat Android was the result. The partnership between KitKat and Android required new a creative process. The new product was successful for both KitKat and Android.  The simple iconic image, a chocolate Android, launched with tweets and achieved 4.96 billion impressions. This campaign positioned KitKat as “new age.”
  • Berocca, which is a mental sharpness product, leveraged data by using the fact that attendees at South by Southwest used the hashtag incorrectly. The idea was to associate the corrected hashtag #SXSW with Berocca.  The brand achieved 7 million impressions for $5,000.
  • Healthy Day App was created to help consumers escape colds and flus. Making the professional medical data usable by consumers helps people find out what is trending.


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What is the Value of an Interaction?

John Gibs, VP, Data Science and Analytics at Huge discussed “What is the value of an interaction rather than an impression?” “There is a need to move products from a digital space to real world.” People who feel close to brand feel they have a relationship, but it is the people who are not close to the brand who want the immersive experience (82%). Campaigns are about impressions, which is different from experience, which is about interactions. Brands need to be “user-centric.”  User Value Exchange is the value of an interaction as opposed to impressions, which are passive and defined by platform.

John provided examples of cases when brands have moved away from impressions to experiences:

  • Video on design and development of an interactive store. Not just a visual experience for the consumer.
  • Wearable technology allows consumers to interact with the retail space. Wearables allow marketers to collect info (ie: Nike Fuel). Fuel Points and Fuel Box respond to a different and deeper relationship between brand and consumers.

How to measure campaigns considering the above insights? The value of a campaign is now in terms of interactions not impressions.  However, interactions don’t scale well.

In order to achieve the goal of bringing impressions and interaction closer together, there is a need to move to the next stage, which is “anticipatory marketing.” Anticipatory marketing allows brands to interact with consumers.

Brands need to help users overcome:

  • Cognitive overload
  • Paradox of choice
  • Always on
  • Tech anxiety
  • Needy technology
  • FOMO (fear of missing out)

3 solutions:

  • Need to simplify interaction
  • Choice editing
  • Eliminating need for consumer to make a decision

The purchase funnel is not valid; it is not the way the users want to interact.  Brands will begin to anticipate what consumers want (and the consumers will be happy with this arrangement). “The journey is the experience, not a funnel.”

John’s advice for the future:

  • Need new ROI measures that focus on interactions.
  • Measurement not dependent on the purchase funnel; need a broader ecosystem.
  • We all need to become data systems literate-it is how we interact with consumers.
  • Make something you love.

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 From Surviving to Thriving: Redefining success and innovating the architecture of our lives

Arianna Huffington, President and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Media Group, opened her session saying: “It is an amazing time to try and bring together this explosion of data. 90% of data has been created in the last two years.” And yet, there’s still a need for wisdom, intuition, and strength. Arianna spoke about burnout and how we’re losing connection to ourselves. In the second year of Huffington Post’s development, she described her wake-up call. She collapsed in her kitchen from exhaustion and broke her cheekbone: “When I came to in a pool of blood, I had to ask, ‘Is this what success looks like?’” She noted that when people are operating on empty, they’re not going to get their best work done.

Key takeaways:

  • Leadership is about seeing opportunities that others don’t see. When people are burned out, opportunities are harder to see.
  • When we are more connected with ourselves, we have our best ideas.
  • We need to be willing to fail; if you are determined to get it right the first time, it’s unlikely that you’re going to invent original things.
  • Great research is about always finding the nugget that is significant.

Her advice for the C-Suite: No one lives in the zone all the time. It takes small microscopic steps to get there. When you’re recharged, you’re going to be better at knowing where you need to go. The reason that all our best ideas come to us in the shower is because “Nobody has developed a waterproof cell phone. The minute the Apple watch is waterproof, it’s all over.” We are hyperconnected to our devices and losing some connection to ourselves. Right now we take better care of our smartphones than we do of ourselves.

At Huffington Post, they made the decision “to also put the spotlight on the good things happening—what works, solutions. By putting the spotlight on solutions we can create copycat solutions instead of copycat crimes.” And now other brands are following. “Every brand wants to be about wellness content.”

How did Huffington Post move from becoming necessary to indispensable? People have longing to live the lives they want, to reduce stress in their lives and find greater fulfillment. “We’ve launched 26 sections devoted to that. We even have a section called, ‘What’s Working.’ “We are missing out what is working in the world.”

When asked about how she handled research, she answered, “Great research is about finding the nugget. What are the nuggets that are really significant?” People are looking for engagement, authenticity, sense of humor. The kind of content that people like to share tends to be what inspires them, what works, good news.

Today Huffington Post has 100,000 bloggers. “We’re now going to be investing in technology to bring you millions of bloggers.” The challenge is to find what is actually actionable and what is relevant.


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