Nielsen to Interupt Viewers Every 42 Minutes


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?

by Steve Hall    Jul- 8-05    
Topic: Research, Television

Study: Branded Entertainment Compliments Traditional TV Advertising

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."

by Steve Hall    Jul- 8-05    
Topic: Research

Fifty Percent of Sales Reps Useless

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.

by Steve Hall    Jul- 7-05    
Topic: Research

Ambiguously Described Products Preferred Over Un-Ambiguous

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.

by Steve Hall    Jun-17-05    
Topic: Research

Multitasking Begets Multifragmentation

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.

by Steve Hall    Jun-15-05    
Topic: Research

Paris Hilton Causes Hunt For Carl's Jr. Restaurants

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 continued on to, where the controversial advertisement was available for download. Perhaps more important for actual hamburger sales, 7.4 percent of visitors to 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.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Research

Another Study Confirms Obvious: Fewer Ads Are Better

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.

by Steve Hall    May- 5-05    
Topic: Radio, Research

Agency Revenue Up 8.6 Percent

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.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Agencies, Research

Cookie Dance: Deleted, Not Deleted, Deleted

Dueling it out recently over the how many consumers delete cookies form their computers on a regular basis, Jupiter said lots do it. Nielsen said lots do it. Atlas, an ad serving company, said, wait, not so many do. Jupiter's Nate Elliott brings to our attention that, after seeing the Atlas report "the industry sighed a relief, went to AD:TECH and had a beer" only to realize Atlas had updated their figures to agree with Jupiter's early figures which claimed a fairly high degree of cookie deletion. One Atlas metric even claimed more cookie deletion than Jupiter did. Jupiter Lead Analyst Eric Peterson has the details here. Everyone should just forget about cookies and keep an eye on this company.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-05    
Topic: Research

Demographic Segments Defined

In a session entitled "Market Segment Insights" on Monday at AD:TECH in San Francisco, three industry experts shared insights specific to the demographic, psychographic and behavioral make up of four distinct generations: Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Seniors. Leading off with Seniors was Nielsen//Netratings Senior Analyst Leslie Marable stressed the over 55 crowd should not be ignored by online marketers citing increased usage of broadband, a 25 percent increased likelihood over average household of computer purchase, 25 percent increased likelihood of music CD purchase and 15 percent increased likelihood of book purchase.

Covering Gen X and the Baby Boomer groups, Veritas Director of Research Scott Marden reminded the audience Baby Boomers are the country's biggest spenders and look for quality products that help define the generation's focus on itself. He cited the group's love of all forms of media from television to radio to billboards to the Internet and recommended marketers be sensitive to the generation's appreciation of value and sensitivity to price. Referring to Gen X, Marden told the audience this group wants value too but, at the same time, instant gratification because of the group's experience with the proliferation of choice made possible by new forms of media.

more »

by Steve Hall    Apr-26-05    
Topic: Research