Magazine article Marketing

Advertisers to Act on Quality

Magazine article Marketing

Advertisers to Act on Quality

Article excerpt

Advertisers could get more value for their media pound if they looked at programme involvement rather than just audience size, claims a new study from The Media Partnership, which puts audience appreciation data back on the media agenda.

According to the "Quality of Viewing Study" by TMP partners Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, BMP DDB Needham, Ogilvy & Mather and JWT, there is a correlation between how involved a viewer is in a programme, and how many of the ads they can remember from the commercial break.

"It doesn't matter to advertisers how big an audience a programme attracts if few are paying attention during the commercial break," says Doug Read, head of media research at JWT.

Audience appreciation has been a hot potato for years. While an industry measurement of audience appreciation has long been available to the broadcasters selling the TV airtime, the buyers and advertisers have been kept in the dark.

At the 1993 TV conference in Monte Carlo, a presentation from Zenith suggested that audience appreciation was a red herring. Other agencies, including TMP partners, believe that an appreciation measurement can give them and their clients an edge in media negotiations.

The TMP study questioned 2086 viewers in the Meridian TV area and asked respondents to score programmes against an empathy scale of one to ten.

As Sheila Byfield, media researcher at Ogilvy & Mather, points out, it's no use asking people if they enjoyed a harrowing documentary, so questions were adapted according to specific programme genres.

The results were not surprising -- Prime Suspect and Inspector Morse scored highly on the involvement scale, Baywatch did badly. But for advertisers the question is how all of this affects advertising recall.

To test the impact on advertising, TMP placed the same ads in six peak time programmes. Around 300 respondents who had previously indicated a high involvement in the particular programmes, and 300 who had recorded low involvement levels were recontacted within 45 minutes after the programme.

Of those who had claimed an involvement in the programmes, 52% demonstrated that they had paid attention to the ads, compared with only 35% of those who had not been so engaged in the programme.

And when it came to correct brand recall, 45% of involved viewers remembered the ads, but only 38% of the less engaged did so. The results can then be overlaid onto TGI product usage data, to find out which programmes are most compulsive to baked bean purchasers, for instance. …

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