Unlocking Reach in Premium Content

Mike LevinProduct Management, NBCU

Emily KwokSenior Director, Ad Experience Measurement, NBCU

NBCU’s Mike Levin and Emily Kwok tested brand safety in premium video content from a viewer perspective in their research using NBCU’s proprietary AI tech for automating brand safety and suitability decision making. The study’s three objectives asked whether increasingly violent episodes influence viewers’ experiences, if they then assign blame to marketers for knowingly advertising in explicit or violent content, and if there are specific instances where adjacency affects viewer sentiment towards an ad. Measuring unconscious response to nine episodes across two seasons tagged with three levels of risk, facial coding and eye gaze technology, complemented by traditional surveys, captured the impact on a nationally representative sample of 1,800 respondents. Finding that violent episodes maintained stable levels of attention, the study also determined that traces of negative emotion were scarcer in the more violent episodes.

Key Takeaways

  • From the mildest episodes to the most violent, viewer attention remained stable. Attention to high risk episodes measured in at 51.5%, with attention to low-risk episodes at 51.4%.
  • Viewers don’t attribute blame to advertisers. “There’s more reward than risk,” according to Emily. Viewers tend to enjoy brands that are sponsoring the content they love, controversial or not—8 in 10 agree that they don’t distrust brands that advertise in graphic TV shows.
  • Several rare cases where gratuitous violence immediately preceding an ad break did carry negative sentiment into the first seconds of the ad.

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Unlocking the Value of Alternative Linear TV Currencies with Universal Forecasting

Spencer LambertDirector, Product & Partnership Success, datafuelX

Matt WeinmanSenior Director of Product Management, Advanced Advertising Product, TelevisaUnivision

Matt Weinman (TelevisaUnivision) and Spencer Lambert (datafuelX) shared the methodology and results from testing TelevisaUnivision’s initiative that, with datafuelX’s technology, enabled their advertising partners to choose their preferred currency in forecasting both long- and short-term audiences for their programming. Implementation involved adjusting the business flow for multi-measurement sources but with each source ingested, validated and normalized to the tech standard separately. Forecasting incorporated a programming schedule imputation process which was then fed into a mixed model estimation (MME), and then optimized with linear granular data. Their model revealed gaps that they addressed with a variety of tactics including a ratings adjustment approach that updated network viewership trends, a proportional weight method for advanced audiences, recency weighting to avoid stale rate cards and relying less on forecasting viewers rather than scheduled content. The MME drove strong predictive forecasts and increased the use of long-tail inventory.

Key Takeaways

  • Forecasting should always be done based on content.
  • In reviewing the accuracy of predicting exact programming, the forecast to actuals had a 71% program match. In predicting programming type, there was 94% accuracy.
  • Results for the long-term audience forecasts had 42% MAPE (mean absolute percentage error) improvements overall using big data sources.

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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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Context Matters

Heather CoghillVP, Audience, Warner Bros. Discovery

Daniel BulgrinDirector, Research Operations & Insights, MediaScience

Heather Coghill (WBD) and Daniel Bulgrin (MediaScience) shared methodologies and results from two in-lab studies that sought to understand how impactful category priming can be without brand mention and if viewers associate brands with adjacent unsuitable content. Their presentation focused on two types of contextual effects within program context—“excitation transfer” and “brand priming”. To see if these effects carried over to ad content through excitement or brand recognition in the content, the research team utilized distraction-free viewing stations that enabled neurometrics and facial coding followed by post-exposure surveys. Impact on brand perception was measured with lifts in brand attitude, attention and memory. Results showed brand priming did change how viewers experienced the ad by lifting brand recognition, with stronger effects in heavier ad loads. The research also concluded that although brands are not harmed by adjacency to perceived unsuitable content, context effects still need to be considered.

Key Takeaways

  • Even moderate category primes can push through effects, despite modest impact, in both linear and CTV. Category priming in streaming with limited ads impacted middle and lower funnel metrics, with 31% of viewers noticing a connection between the ad and the program.
  • Although viewers agreed that low intensity “unsuitable” content was most acceptable for advertisers, there were no adverse effects as intensity levels increased—all levels were deemed suitable for advertisers, with no significant differences in brand recall or purchase intent.
  • More research is required to understand what is unsuitable for brands. The current guidelines are based on what is thought to be unsuitable—not social science.

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Super Bowl Research Insights

While the various polls looking at the “Best Super Bowl Commercials” tend to vary widely in their results, advertising experts show a lot of agreement on what makes Super Bowl ads successful.

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Attribution & Analytics Accelerator 2022

The boldest and brightest minds joined us November 14 - 17 for Attribution & Analytics Accelerator 2022—the only event focused exclusively on attribution, marketing mix models, in-market testing and the science of marketing performance measurement. Experts led discussions to answer some of the industry’s most pressing questions and shared new innovations that can bring growth to your organization.

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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.

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