A problem with ad awareness norms to assess advertising quality

It is now common for market research agencies to promise their clients norms against which they can compare their advertising campaign.  For example, they might report…

“The new campaign for Fabulo achieved 37% ad awareness, this compares well to the average of 31% for new campaigns after 3 weeks”.

This sounds like good practice, but the norm is meaningless.

Better yet the research agency might compare against campaigns in a particular product category, or adjust for a particular GRP/TARP weight.  But this still isn’t good enough, GRPs (Gross Rating Points) tell us nothing about the reach and frequency of the campaign.

Worse still the metric confounds both media strategy effects and advertisement quality effects.  What is really needed is measurement immediately after the ad goes into the market, just of those consumers who had a potential exposure (OTS).  This can measure the ability of the advertisement to cut through and impact on memory structures, i.e. assess the quality of the advertisement live in-market.  Only then, when you know if the ad itself is working well or not, can you later use ad awareness metrics to evaluate the media strategy.



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