The advertising industry has experienced monumental change over the last few years. To offer members the crucial insights they need to stay ahead in these unparalleled times, the ARF conducts original research that tackles our industry’s most pressing questions. Look at our exciting agenda below.
THE RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION OF MEDIA VS CREATIVE
WHAT IS PREMIUM?
CROSS-PLATFORM DEDUPLICATION METHODS
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND ADVERTISING RESEARCH
AN EMPIRICAL ARF MEDIA MODEL
ATTENTION MEASUREMENT VALIDATION INITIATIVE
THE EFFECT OF TIME OF DURATION AND ATTENTION ON ADVERTISING EFFECTIVENESS
DAVID OGILVY AWARDS DATABASE
THE STATE OF THE RESEARCH AND ANALYTICS DISCIPLINES (ORGANIZATIONAL BENCHMARK SURVEY)
WHAT BRANDS DID IN 2020
One of our most anticipated studies both for membership and the press, data for our sixth annual report is now being analyzed. Some vigtnettes from the report were unveiled at an event in July. As with our fifth annual report (see last year’s report here), it contains the perennial questions regarding mobile and PC usage, willingness to share digital data, trust and how well privacy terms are understood. Last year’s version (as with this year) also looked at what changes in information the public is willing to share and in what circumstances they are willing to share it in. One significant finding from 2022 is a six percent drop in the number of Americans concerned about online privacy, as compared to last year (48% to 42%).
Format and Schedule: The study is conducted every spring. We unveiled some early results of the sixth annual study at an Insights Studio event in July called, Advertising Effectiveness: Performance Measurement in the New World of Privacy and Tools. The full report will be released in September. The 5th Annual Privacy Survey is now available on our website and through PowerSearch.
The Relative Contribution of Media vs. Creative vs. Targeting
What is the contribution of media, ad creative and targeting when it comes to the success of an ad? A 2015 NCS study suggested it was 50% creative and 50% everything else, while a recent MMA survey among CMOs concluded there are three equal contributors: media, creative and brand. But CMOs tend to be brand focused. Another important question is the contribution of targeting and where it belongs in the framework. The ARF has partnered with MediaScience to conduct an experiment that will look at the relative contribution of these four factors controlling for things such as brand size.
Format and Schedule: The preliminary phase of gathering appropriate advertising to test is now complete. A formal report will be presented in a live venue near the end of 2023.
What Is Premium?
The test of the impact of media vs. creative will be extended to cover the differences in impact between professionally developed content and user-generated content (UGC). The study will include familiar and unfamiliar brands, targeted and untargeted brands and large and small brands. Tested media include audio, linear TV, digital display, digital video, social and outdoor. The results of these tests will be published later this year on the ARF website.
Format and Schedule: Through the RLC, ARF researchers are currently gathering ad creative known to be successful and unsuccessful. The project began late last summer, with results to be published by the end of 2023.
Cross-Platform Deduplication Methods
Cross-platform deduplication is the act of combining TV data with digital data for direct analysis of individual viewing habits across linear TV and digital. This allows for a clearer understanding of different target audiences and frequency across platforms and ad models. The ARF is conducting a study to evaluate the methods of the eight major cross-platform providers operating in the industry. Each uses a different duplication methodology. The study, the first of its kind, will produce a report that will offer an in-depth understanding of the data inputs in each method and how various methods lead to different conclusions.
Format and Schedule: The ARF RLC is currently putting the finishing touches on the evaluation process. They plan to release their report on the ARF website near the end of 2023.
Artificial Intelligence and Advertising Research
Significant developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology have occurred in the last couple of years. AI is now being used in the industry to help produce advertising, analyze advertising placements, improve SEO, optimize CRM copy to avoid spam filters, or ensure ad copy is in compliance with effectiveness frameworks. The ARF finds itself uniquely positioned to opine on the uses (and misuses) of AI in advertising research, so it is doing just that. ARF researchers are now experimenting with ChatGPT 4.0, Bard and Microsoft’s Azure and putting them through their paces on all things advertising research and plans to publish a handbook on its findings.
Format and Schedule: ARF researchers are using top AI programs to evaluate their capabilities in report writing, survey writing and fraud detection. The final product will be a handbook of best practices which will be out in Q4 of 2023.
An Empirical ARF Media Model
The ARF’s first “Media Model” was produced in 1961 in a report called, Toward Better Media Decisions. Due to the complexity that occurred in the industry between that time and the new millennium, the model was updated in 2003. Yet again, in 2023, a new version is required and being supplied by the ARF. The 2023 Media Model has been altered significantly. For instance, rather than eight levels of media performance, this version has seven, as sales and advertising response have been combined.
The 2023 model is also three-dimensional, including time, space and platform, rather than just two-dimensional as previous versions were. Also, the new model accounts for recursive and amplifying effects, such as shares and likes, as well as the effect of ad stock.
Format and Schedule: The model’s visualization differs by platform. Currently, ARF researchers are adding formulas at vertices in each section of each version of the model, for granular exactitude and greater usability for the practitioner. A report uncovering each version of the 2023 Media Model will be made available late in 2023.
Attention Measurement Validation Initiative
ARF CEO and President Scott McDonald announced the launch of this project at the Attention 2022 event, with the goal of better understanding the different attention metric tools that exist, their validity, reproducibility and rightful application, whether analyzing advertising creative or the media environment. This is important, as attention metrics are beginning to be moved from the lab to the marketplace. The study aims to parse out differing definitions of attention and emotion and their relationship to direct measures of neurometric response. It will also evaluate synthetic measures of attention, based on AI and machine learning approaches.
Format & Schedule: The ARF formed a Brand Steering Committee which includes senior researchers at Coca-Cola, LinkedIn/Microsoft, MARS and McDonald’s, among others. Preliminary mapping of the attention measurement market has begun, the results of which were presented at the Attention 2023 event held on June 7. The first phase included surveying companies in the attention measurement space, which was followed up with one-to-one interviews. A detailed literature review was also conducted. Scott shared high-level views of the attention measurement companies thus far.
The study’s output will be an Attention Atlas whose aim is to add transparency to vendors’ positioning, methods and deliverables. Phases two and three of the study will focus on creative attention and media attention solutions. The Atlas will include best practice recommendations, proposed standards for adoption by auditing organizations, such as the MRC, and key questions that buyers of these services should ask when evaluating prospective vendors. The atlas is expected to be completed in early fall 2023.
To learn more, email Paul Donato-ARF CRO at: email@example.com.
Or read the article: The ARF Attention Measurement Validation Initiative: The How & Why.
See the Literature Review for this study (note: this is for members only).
Also, members are invited to participate. Learn about submitting your advertising creative for analysis.
The Effect of Time of Duration and Attention on Advertising Effectiveness
The objective of this study was to discover the link between ad exposure and ad attention. When it comes to time duration, is a fifteen-second video ad twice as valuable as a seven-second one? The ARF’s neuro and biometric research found that the relationship between time of exposure and impact is curvilinear, typically flattening out between eight and 12 seconds.
Format & Schedule: The ARF covered the results in an online event with Meta and T-Vision in March 2022 entitled What is the Value of Time in Advertising? (Part I: How Value is Created). Part II covered the implications for the research industry. The content is being written up as a report to be published in late 2023.
The David Ogilvy Database
What is the relationship between brand and sales advertising? To find out, the ARF is creating a database to enable research on the subject. The annual project’s debut will include over 120 Ogilvy applicants.
The ARF has harmonized this effort with a similar project conducted by IPA in the UK. Each entry will include brand and product category, age, share, consideration, pricing position, growth, sales cycle, campaign objective, primary target, media plan, competitive strategy, outcomes, research used and brand equity.
Format & Schedule: The database has been compiled and is available now in a CSV format. Contact your Member Manager or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to access the data and for a codebook. Each spring, additional applications will be added to the database. It is currently available in a CSV format.
The State of the Research and Analytics Disciplines (Organizational Benchmark Survey)
This project’s aim is to understand the state of the advertising research and analytics departments and how they change over time. In 2019, when the project began, research departments were overwhelmed with big data and unique questions started cropping up. Using a Qualtrics platform, the Organizational Benchmark Survey sought to understand these vast changes, including what these departments were calling themselves, how they were being structured, where investment was being allocated, how staffing was being undertaken, what kind of collaboration was being made and how the research was being evaluated.
Format & Schedule: The first survey was conducted in 2019 on a Qualtrics platform and produced five separate reports: Advertiser, Agency, Media & Entertainment, Consultancy and Research Company. The 2nd survey was conducted 2020-2021. This is a unique report, as the timing of the data overlaps with the COVID-19 pandemic. The next survey will be conducted in 2023 to be released by the end of the year.
What Brands Did In 2020
Les Binet’s original telecast posited that the strength of share of search is a leading indicator of market share with a six-month lag. Is it true and does it hold up in today’s digital landscape? The ARF is evaluating search behavior from 2015 through 2022 and beyond, to see how the pandemic and supply chain dependencies may have impacted this relationship. Normally, the relationship varies by category with hard goods showing a stronger relationship than CPG. Did that change when major CPG brands were no longer available?