The Future of TV Advertising

Tracks trends in traditional television ad sales and the impact of new technologies, new competition.

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Proven senior level executive with over 25 years of leading turnarounds and startups of software companies in media, finance, energy and business intelligence. See more at Linked In.

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Granular Approach to Audience Ad Measurement

The talk of the "up-front", the annual event where major advertisers and agencies commit to annual budgets with the broadcast and cable networks, is the Neilsen ratings change.

Neilsen has traditionally measured audiences for 1/4 hour segments and did not differentiate between the program and the ad. Independent research, and everyone's anecdotal evidence, suggests that ads ad NOT watched as often as the program itself. So Neilsen and the industry are slowly moving to a system of commercial ratings, where the audience for individual ads are rated.

Now that is a LOT of measuring points!!! Every ad in every pod on every TV station and network for every demo!! Oh! Did I mention that DVR playback within 7 days will be included as well!

The good news: It is a step in the right direction. No intelligent advertiser wants to spend money without some form of measurement. And this provides much more than ever was available before. Big advertisers and agencies have driven this, and will take full advantage, holding the networks accountable for delivering the audiences they paid for.

The bad news: I can't see how the data at a local level will be filled in to the extent that local advertisers can use ... or understand and process. There just are not enough measuring points to find out who is watching the Food network at 2 pm on Wednesday in York, PA. And an advertiser in York hasn't the wherewith all to audit that spot anyway.

The bottom line still remains: If you are a small advertiser ($1M or less in most of the country), beware. You probably don't get what you want and measurement from the media industry is likely to be obscure. Set up your own measurements .. like how many people came into the store after the ad, a phone in number on the ad, or something to tell you the ad worked.

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