In this appendix I address the ways that ad awareness questions can be asked and clarify some of the confusion that abounds as to exactly what is being measured. It provides an understanding of how different ways of asking the question may result in different figures. It also explains why that occurs and which way/s of asking it are best for your purpose.
Since the second edition of this book, broadband penetration has enabled web interviewing to become mainstream. It is now feasible to play the complete ad on the web and measure recognition by asking respondents if they have seen it before. Yet, time and other interview constraints mean it is usually impractical to assess all the opposition commercials in the product category in the same way. For this reason, there is usually still value in asking respondents to say what commercials they can remember seeing within the product category. This means that there are still a number of alternative forms of asking about ad awareness that use different cues. It is important to understand the differences between these different cues.
Every ad awareness question has a prompt or what is more technically called a cue. Sometimes people mistakenly use the term unprompted ad awareness. There is no such thing! There always has to be some kind of prompt in a question in order to tell people what it is you want them to try to remember. It would be absurd to simply ask people do they 'remember'? Remember what?