economic inflation

Navigating the Evolving Media Landscape

  • OTT 2023

The media landscape continues to evolve, arguably at a faster rate than ever. Leading media and measurement experts presented research-based insights on how viewers use different forms of TV/video on various platforms. Attendees joined us at the Warner Bros. Discovery Studios in California and via livestream to understand the latest data and discussions of the data’s implications.

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How Do You Stimulate Great Creative and Measure It?


At our second annual Creative Effectiveness event, industry visionaries discussed the perspectives, theories, and resources they employ to develop and measure great creative. Attendees joined us in New York City or via livestream to hear fresh insights on the advertising landscape: from using AI as a stimulus for creative to extracting behavioral data and using that to try and inspire creative. Immediately after, we honored the teams behind insights-driven advertising with the ARF David Ogilvy Awards ceremony and dinner. The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners were announced, as well as the reveal of this year’s prestigious Grand Ogilvy Award recipient.

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Consumer Trends 2023-24

As we approach the fourth quarter of 2023, researchers have explored the trends that will impact consumers for the remainder of the year and into 2024. Here are two different perspectives. 

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Here’s What we Know About Retailing in Times of Inflation

Consumers and retailers both face challenges in times of economic inflation. Whereas the Covid pandemic has plunged us into unprecedented times, previous research suggests that when prices rise, consumers tend to expect inflation to be high and persistent. They also tend to overestimate sellers’ profits and underestimate the effect inflation has on the seller. Some companies are equipped to weather such price increases. However, the long-term impact of the perception of “greedflation” is yet to be quantified.

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Audience Trends for Products With Supply Constraints

IRI’s Michael Tscherwinski addressed the challenges marketers are facing due to supply-constraints and provided a best-practices playbook for unlocking opportunities. IRI’s 2022 outlook on product availability predicts continued challenges. Inflation, supply chain issues, as well as the war in the Ukraine, impact the operations of CPG companies. Category out-of-stock conditions are widespread, and many CPGs are pausing media. However, Procter & Gamble, one of the largest advertisers in the world, stated that it would continue to invest in marketing.

Evidence-Based Research for Effective Marketing

On November 9, 2022, industry leaders joined us to share highlights from EffWorks Global 2022 — a week-long celebration of the best new thinking and evidence-based decision-making research for marketing effectiveness. Topics of discussion included: marketing in the post-Covid economy, effective advertising in unprecedented times, the value of Share of Voice/Share of Attention/Share of Search in terms of effectiveness and commercial decision making, and more.

What Brands Did in 2020

In this presentation, Paul Donato, CRO of the ARF, covered findings from the seminal year of the “What Brands Did in 2020” (Brands 2020) project. This project will go on for at least the next two years or until the effects of 2020 are no longer felt. ARF researchers in the Brands 2020 study used IRI and NCS data, Kantar Ad Insights, NCS sales and Nielsen Ad Intel data, between 2017 and 2021. The IRI data was a very deep dive but across three categories: salty snacks, pasta sauce and personal care products. The NCS data was shallower but across 10 broad categories. Using all these data, ARF researchers looked at share of media, media spend and share of market before and after March 2020 (Covid) and before and after March of 2021 (start of inflation).

CTV: The Big Shift

Tony Marlow at LG Ad Solutions unveiled findings from The Big Shift Study, an online survey conducted in September 2022 of 733 adults from the general U.S. population. CTV in the living room is near saturation, with 93% having access to a CTV there. One-third of streaming content discovery also takes place there. But not all streaming remains ubiquitous. In the last twelve months, one-third of respondents removed a subscription from their CTV service and a quarter have added an AVOD or FAST service. The study found a similar trend taking place over the next twelve months. Fears of economic inflation and a looming recession are pushing people to opt for free, ad-supported streaming services.

Crisis and Opportunity – The Future of Media for Research and Measurement

Brian Wieser’s keynote address covered four trends that are affecting the media and advertising industries: industry consolidation, the rise of ad-free TV, the emergence of new e-commerce marketers and procurement. After his presentation, Scott McDonald probed him further about his observations about the state of the media and advertising marketplace in 2023. His key points on these four trends and highlights of Brian’s conversation with Scott appear below.

Does “Going Dark” Always Hurt the Brand?

Researchers have consistently found that decreasing advertising during a recession can hurt sales after the period of economic contraction, and that “going dark” is likely to cause long-term damage to a brand. The first analyses of the “What Brands Did in 2020” research project indicate more nuanced effects.

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