As if you didn't already realize, we're certainly no expert on all things Nielsen but we do know when reading a MediaPost article about Nielsen ratings declining after DVR viewership is added to live and Nielsen blather such as this is uttered, "With time shifted data, there have been occurrences when demographic projections (in units) for 'live plus same day' are lower than for 'live' projections (units). This difference can be attributed to the imputed VCR record activity which is calculated from household tuning activity that includes VCR record and household tuning that excludes VCR record. The VCR adjustment factor is applied to each building block demographic at the quarter-hour level for both programs and time periods," and we feel like a first grader listening to a college physics lecture, something is very wrong.
Does anyone else feel like Nielsen is going to implode upon itself finally giving way to more effective and realistic metrics?
When we wrote last summer about the test launch of The PreTesting Company's MediaCheck, a passive, digital television commercial viewership measurement service, we knew a new world of television viewership was upon us. Following a test launch in 2,500 Omaha homes, MediaCheck plans to have its measurement service in 35,000 homes in up to seven cities. The company is also in talks with cable operators to embed the system within set top boxes. Bye, bye archaic program ratings measurement systems. Bye, bye Nielsen. Hello commercial viewership metrics that will allow buyers to properly price television buys.
Responding to Strawberry Frog's Scott Goodson who said metrics such as MediaCheck could "rob commercials of edgy creative," AdJab's Chris Thilk took the words right out of our mouths writing, "You're [Goodson] the problem. Advertising is about selling, not entertaining. If you want to entertain go to Hollywood."
Northeastern University Department of Communication Assistant Professor Walter Carl and BzzAgent have released a study entitled To Tell or Not to Tell which explored how disclosure and transparency, two hot buttons in the word of mouth segment, effected campaigns. Initially, it was thought disclosing one's involvement in a word of mouth campaign would have negative effects. Carl's study proves that notion wrong and finds disclosure actually can increase the effectiveness of a word of mouth campaign.
The study found 75 percent of those targeted by a word of mouth participant were not bothered by speaking with someone affiliated with a campaign and that honesty and respect for the person's best interests was very important. Of note, the study found honest disclosure actually increased pass-along or the number of people the person told once they had spoken with a word of mouth marketing agent. Word of mouth was also found to increase the believability of other sources of brand claims made in other media when a person heard similar information from a word of mouth marketing agent. The study did reveal, five percent of participants were negatively affected if they were not told they were being marketed to.
We can hear the yelps of glee all the way up here in the Northeast as this study is presented today to attendees at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association conference in Orlando.
Online consumer conversation measurement companies BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek, along with its BlogPulse blog prtal, have combined to form one mega-metrics analysis company called Nielsen BuzzMetrics. BuzzMetrics parent company VNU has been on a buying spree lately scooping up linguistics analysis company Trendum, BuzzMetrics and now Intelliseek. With the acquisition, VNU hopes to create "the new global standard for measuring and understanding word-of-mouth behavior and influence."
For those who don't know what these companies do or why you should care, the press release puts it quite succinctly explaining the companies "mine publicly archived online sources including blogs and discussion forums to collect and transform large volumes of unaided conversations into actionable consumer insights." In other words, they find out what people are saying about your brand and they package it up with a nice bow on top for your review.
According to American Demographics Founder Peter Francese, Americans out pace the rest of the world, by far, in weekly spending on the consumption of goods. He says Americans, each week, spend more than the gross domestic product of Finland. Francese wonders just how necessary it is for many Americans to "need two homes, three vehicles and four TVs" but he's not complaining acknowledging that world-beating consumption keeps the ad industry afloat. In fact, if consumer spending, over the past ten years, rose at a rate equal to the increase of households (14 percent) rather than 23 percent, people would have spent $640 billion less altering the current American economy orders of considerable magnitude.
Mobile entertainment firm Moderati has released its year-end wrap-up of ringtones including an analysis of regional preferences. Without surprise, hip-hop dominated top spots on the list again this year, with 60 percent of the songs from hip-hop artists.
Video game themes (Super Mario Brothers) and evergreen movie themes (Halloween) ranked high as well, with five top finishes. Cracking the top 20, a bit out of left field, was "Scotty Doesn't Know" by Lustra, a song from the 2004 movie Eurotrip.
The wafting odor of the elder generation is diffusing online at an increasing rate according to a report from BURST! Media featured on eMarketer. The report says online users over the age of 54 are spending more time on the Internet and less time with offline media sources. While the over 54 crowd are still big consumers of offline media such as newspapers, many are finding valuable information online they can't find in traditional offline media. eMarketer has all the smelly details.
Reactions to market research studies are always far more fascinating than the results themselves as most studies simply confirm the obvious. So, out comes a study from the University of Connecticut's Center for Health Communications and Health Marketing that claimed alcohol advertising increased alcohol consumption. Hooray. Advertising works. Next. But wait, not so fast. Advertising, when it comes to alcohol and the AAAA - that fine ad agency cheerleading organization - doesn't really work.
Referring to the study, AAAA Executive VP told Ad Age, "We've seen over the last several decades that as alcohol advertising spending increased, underage drinking substantially decreased." To be fair, he's referring to underage drinking and not all drinking but it is a bit humorous when it comes to alcohol, fast food and "less noble" advertising in that, without fail, when these issues come up, advertising only works when it's promoting something "good." Otherwise, it can't possibly have anything to do with promoting something "bad."
Financial services company has launched a truly interesting site, called Your Point of View, that intends to become a clearing house for world opinion and a celebration f differences in a world of sameness. Oops, that sounded like a press release. Sorry, but that's really what it's all about. The site lets you voice your opinion and drill down into the opinions of different cultures on the same topic. From cloning, to haute couture to wind farms to tattoos and modern art, the site present metrics for each category. While it's all tied to HBSC, it's nicely detached from any obvious product promotion except, of course, for its brilliant method of collecting varying cultural insight for use in defining the company's country-specific marketing.
A recent Cadillac campaign placed Cadillac DTS ads on thousands of GPS-enabled golf carts at 105 high end golf courses for three months beginning in September was deemed successful by AdverTickets, the company that worked with Cadillac agency Starcom on the effort. A follow-up survey conducted by Edison Media Research found 42 percent noticed an advertisement on the GPS system, 70 percent of the respondents that noticed an advertisement recalled specifically seeing an advertisement for Cadillac DTS, 54 percent of which recalled the advertisement unaided. Younger golfers, under age 24, had a recall of nearly 90 percent.