Sullivan Higdon & Sink VP Creative Director and one half of the American Copywriter podcast team John January has weighed in on the recent Project Wannamaker study by The PreTesting Company which found creative effectiveness burns out after two to three weeks on the air.
In response to a blog post by Business Week's David Kiley which, in part, predicted a trend towards increasing offshore commercial production, January wrote, "Outsourcing production to India? Come on, kids. We can figure this out. Can't we? All it takes is open minds. Open-minded creatives, open-minded producers, open-minded production partners. So simple in pixels. So not simple in real life. But we'd better get our collective heads around this."
Kiley also mentions one agency is exploring how MTV produces so many high quality promotions and videos at low cost and how media shops, with their number crunching efficiencies are about to take on the bloated world of advertising production. Forget weblogs. That shift, if it sees light of day, is something to seriously ponder.
Perhaps forcing Nielsen to more quickly move its plans to measure commercial rather than programming, The PreTesting Company has is currently conducting a 2,500 Omaha home test of its MediaCheck Project Wannamaker (nice reference to the 50/50 statement), which measures ad viewership rather than program viewership, found most people tire of a campaign's commercials after just two weeks indicating overexposure and poor creative hurt TV campaigns the most. The study also found that DVR-equipped homes did not skip commercials any more than non-DVR (by changing channel, etc.) homes.
The company has plans to roll out a national, 50,000 home study and is is talks with cable operators to incorporate the measurement technology in set top boxes. Hello? Nielsen? Hello?
We are so glad we work in the advertising industry which, gleefully, keeps us out almost all survey databases and out of Arbitron and Nielsen survey pools. Especially since Nielsen will now be interrupting Nielsen people meter users every 42 minutes, reminding them to register their viewing. Previously, interruptions would occur only when the channel was changed. Isn't advertising a wonderful thing?
A recent study by ABC and OMD of 18-49 viewers of ABC's American Music Awards in November found a 34 percent lift in brand awareness among viewers who were exposed to both traditional ads and branded integration. ABC Senior Manager of Primary Research claims the tow forms advertising work together yielding increased results saying, "This project was demonstrative of the effectiveness of the effectiveness of branding content coupled with traditional TV advertising. The most important thing in terms of integration is that it's seamless and organized in nature, both with the program and the brand identity. Viewers are savvy and the more intrusive, the less effective."
A recent poll by MediaLife found media buyers believe only half of all media reps have a clue and know anything about what they are selling. The biggest area of media buyer complaints centered on sales reps' wasting precious time with too many sales calls, unpreparedness and overselling. Granted, there are certainly a lot of clueless sales reps out there but we quite sure we'd bet sales reps would say there's some pretty clueless media buyers out there too.
Wharton marketing professor Barbara E. Kahn and Elizabeth G. Miller, a marketing professor at Boston College recently conducted a study which found marketers that name products with ambiguous or surprising descriptions for flavors or colors are likely to see increased sales over conventionally described products. With studies involving the selection of jellybeans and sweaters, the study found showing an example of a strangely named sweater color actually decreased the satisfaction upon respondents seeing the actual sweater.
The study findings elaborate on this further. "We find that the revelation of the color shade (through a picture of the color) prior to viewing the name decreases preference for ambiguous color names, but increases preference for unexpected descriptive color names," the paper states. "These results support the notion that when consumers encounter a surprising name (because it violates beliefs about informativeness), they engage in additional elaboration about the name to try to understand why it was provided. The type of elaboration will depend on how the name violates expectations: If the name is uninformative in a literal sense, consumers will engage in a Gricean process to determine the meaning of the communication; if the name is uninformative because it is atypical, consumers will search for the reason the particular adjective was selected as described by incongruency theory. The result of this additional elaboration is increased satisfaction with the product."
The study reveals online merchants may see better sales for products with uncommonly named colors if a sample of the color is not shown.
In yet another confirmation of the obvious, BIGresearch, in its upcoming Simultaneous Media Survey, found
that multitasking causes people to pay more or less attention to the individual multitasked activities depending upon which activity is receiving primary attention. In English, that means a person watching TV while on the Internet will pay less attention to both those media if they decide to make a phone call. Or, when the TV commands primary attention, the email being typed to a friend will pause mid-stream. You get the point. Most people can only do one thing at a time effectively. This whole multitasking thing is really a myth. It should really be called Multi-fragmentation. Afterall, that's what's happening. Attention is being further fragmented among multiple points of concentration.
Where Can I Find That?
It seems the "Spicy Paris" commercial, featuring Paris Hilton, was a big hit both in generating site traffic for Carl's Jr. as well as, perhaps, influencing hamburger sales for the chain.
According to competitive intelligence service Hitwise, searches for the term "paris hilton" grew 102 percent and queries for "carls jr" grew an astounding 802 percent between the weeks ending May 21, 2005 and May 28, 2005. Comparatively, brand searches for Burger King - in the midst of its co-promotion of Star Wars: Sith Sense - increased just 52 percent during the same time period.
Hitwise Clickstream data reveal that, for the week ending May 28, 2005, a full 58.4 percent of those visiting carlsjr.com continued on to spicyparis.com, where the controversial advertisement was available for download. Perhaps more important for actual hamburger sales, 7.4 percent of visitors to www.carlsjr.com continued directly on to a Carl's Jr. store locator Web site. While Carl's hasn't released detailed sales figures for this period, indicators do point "Spicy Paris" having influence.
"By examining both search volume and clickstream data for this campaign, it is clear that the Spicy Paris campaign had two positive results for Carl's Jr.", said Hitwise VP of Research Bill Tancer. "First it raised awareness for the brand, but also prompted an immediate increase in consumer searches for local Carl's Jr. Restaurants."
Who said sex doesn't sell.
Causing all to utter a collective "no shit," an Edison Media Research study done for Clear Channel found 47 percent of people would listen to a lot more radio if there were fewer ads. Gee, that's stunning. But, we all know most people won't simply take Clear Channel's word that their "less is more" approach to radio ad sales is working. So, money has to be paid to a company to confirm the obvious. Perhaps more insightful and beneficial to radio is the study's finding that very few (73 percent "rarely" or "never") change the station when a commercial airs. The figure for TV is dramatically different with 19 percent claiming they "rarely" or "never" change station when a commercial airs.
Ad Age has released its annual Agency Report indicating U.S. agency revenue grew 8.6 percent to $17.59 billion. Fifty Seven percent of that figure was generated by the four agency holding companies; Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis.