Author Archive

MSW Research, Wins Best Practitioner Paper 2021 by the JAR Editorial Board

June 30th, 2021 Comments off

Today, the Advertising Research Foundation announced that the paper “Effectiveness and Efficiency of TV’s Brand-Building Power: A Historical Review — Why the Persuasion Rating Point (PRP) Is a More Accurate Metric than the GRP” has been voted Best Practitioner Paper 2021 by the JAR Editorial Board.  Along with co-authors Frank Findley of MASB, David Stewart of Loyola Marymount University and Kelly Johnson of Disney, we at MSW Research were very honored to have our work recognized with this prestigious award.

The paper was published in the December 2020 issue of the Journal of Advertising Research.  It addresses the questions of whether television advertising is as effective as in the past and if so, how it compares with other media-platform alternatives.

The major conclusions of the study include the following:

  • On a single, quality exposure basis the television ad format is as effective now as it was in the 1980s (based on copy-testing for 30-second television ads collected within the United States for typical categories with brands advertising throughout the years 1980 to 2014 using a consistent methodology, MSW Research’s CCPersuasionTM measure).

  • The rate of delivery of an ad’s selling power per GRP has slowed, requiring approximately 25% more GRPs to deliver the same brand-building power in market as it did in the 1980s.  This implies that television-channel proliferation, time-shifting technology, and simultaneous digital-media consumption (multi-screen behavior) are having an impact on the advertising viewing experience.


  • This decline is mitigated, however, by a 45 percent increase in the number of households in the United States over the same time period.  Each rating point now represents many more households. So even though fewer households are now effectively reached by a given spending level on a percentage basis, this is not true on an absolute number of households basis.


  • Despite a potential increase in distracted viewing, television advertising still maintains an effective frequency profile that is comparable to other media channels including digital.  All examined media types – including television – can be effective within the range of average frequencies typically deployed for them.


Every media platform has its own strengths and challenges. Although the interruptive nature of television advertising may make it more susceptible to divided attention with other media, it also provides television with one of the most immersive visual and audio experiences.

Television remains an effective media platform, and television advertising should continue to be used to maintain and grow market share. By focusing attention on the development stage, brands can improve advertisement quality to such a degree as to more than compensate for the decline in the rate of ad selling power delivery per gross rating point.

Trafficking gross rating points behind advertisements on the basis of their persuasive strength allows for the diminishing returns dictated by wearout to be managed while maximizing sales power delivered in market.  This means actively managing both quantity and quality of the advertising media plan, which can be achieved through focusing on Persuasion Rating Points (GRPs weighted by a measure of persuasion), rather than GRPs alone.

Contact us for a full reprint of the article.

Categories: Ad Pre-Testing, MASB, Uncategorized Tags:

Delivering Predictive Brand Growth in an Age of Continuous Disruption

March 26th, 2021 Comments off


There once was a day when the equity and health of brands were stable.  Brand teams could expect that the fundamental performance of the category and the competitive set changed little on a short-term basis.  Category reviews and brand tracking research reinforced this perspective as the numbers typically saw limited, significant change on even an annual basis.

Those days are gone.  The so-called ‘new normal’ is an environment of continuous disruption.

Global pandemics, elimination of cookies for performance measurement, massive fragmentation of media, rapid growth in DTC brands, wide-spread product access with corresponding expansion of consumer choices, and real-time content generation are among just a few of the many factors now disrupting market categories and creating continuous uncertainty for brands.

This growth in uncertainty means brand growth is at risk.  MSW exists to address this need.


Basic Research

MSW has found that brand metrics must be more sensitive than ever and be collected more reliably than ever to capture the insights into market changes.  But the need does not stop there.  Brand metrics must have a tight enough validity to actual brand performance as time becomes an opportunity cost that brand teams cannot afford.  No time for examining ‘ghost’ findings. No time to scrap marketing plans for complete do-overs.  Any marketing research must support a fast turnaround and exploration of many potential ideas with a rigorous understanding of market context.

Working with hundreds of brands across many categories, we have found that all brands share one thing in common.  Branding requires continuous, meticulous attention across the entire go-to-market process.  MSW clients have worked with us as partners to establish an approach to deliver to this need within the ‘new normal’, disruptive environment.


MSW’s Predictive Brand Growth Framework™

MSW’s Predictive Brand Growth Framework™ is a process of connected, proven and sales-validated metrics and in-depth diagnostic measures that delivers a balanced approach to insights and aligns with each stage of your brand development cycle.

Utilizing MSW’s Patented, independently certified, sales-validated measures of CCPreference™, CCPersuasion™ and Customer Acquisition Forecast™, it is the most accurate, proven and independently validated approach to identifying short-term sales and long-term equity for your brand.

STEP 1 – Foundation & Purpose

The first step in MSW’s Predictive Brand Growth Framework™ is Foundation & Purpose, which establishes the building blocks for brand growth; a complete understanding of the customer, category, brand, how they interact and strategic direction that will yield the highest brand growth. Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 2 – Targeting & Positioning

We support targeting and positioning with a process for classifying customers by their behavior, needs, wants, and desires and narrowing in on the those that represent the highest brand growth potential.  Then we identify actionable, brand messaging elements to achieve that potential. Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 3 – Screening & Development

Our approach to screening and development is The ONLY advertising development system that predicts the likelihood and magnitude of ad impact on future sales volume and market share.  We evaluate advertising from early-stage concept to fully finished executions of ALL touch points. Our methodology captures the “lifts” in brand preference from exposure to advertising or other brand communication.  This patented methodology has been validated to actual business results more than any other advertising measurement in the industry.  Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 4 – Modeling & Forecasting

To make all this actionable, we have built more than 50 years of experience into our patented Outlook®; an agile platform that enables scenario based learning and iterative what-if analysis to determine optimum customer acquisition, ad flighting, channel selection and media allocation. Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 5 – Tracking & Feedback

Once in-market, a suite of customizable tracking capabilities enables brands to measure advertising performance through brand equity tracking, made unique by our use of MSW’s Brand Preference as the one primary aggregate measure that is proven and validated to match in-market brand share.  Other KPI’s collected triangulate to this single trusted measure and lend to the reliability and insights.  These techniques capture advertising and environmental impact on brand preference and other KPIs while also identifying drivers of and barriers to preference changes across the competitive set.   And our unique and proven “TRIGGER ANALYTICS” technique powers an early warning system and separates true shifts from random noise.  Learn more about this solution set.

Contact us today to discuss it with one our senior executives.

Or visit our website to learn more.

MSW Published in The Journal of Advertising Research

June 23rd, 2020 Comments off

The Journal of Advertising Research just published a terrific paper that MSW was proud to participate in, titled…

Effectiveness and Efficiency of TV’s Brand-Building Power: A Historical Review – Why the Persuasion Rating Point (PRP) Is a More Accurate Metric than the GRP
Frank Findley, Kelly Johnson, Douglas Crang, David W. Stewart
DOI: 10.2501/JAR-2020-011 Published 1 June 2020

This article examines the effectiveness of television advertising and changes in television-audience response in the United States since the 1980s. It concludes that television remains one of the most effective platforms for advertising, despite the rise of digital media and new technological developments. On a single, quality exposure basis, television advertising continues to be highly effective, although the rate of delivery of advertising selling power per gross rating point (GRP) has declined, but the decline is mitigated by the increasing number of households in the United States. Television advertising remains effective despite the potential increase in distracted viewing, but advertisers need to manage the quality of their messages and the media weight of their advertising more carefully than in the past. The persuasion rating point (PRP) offers an accurate measure of that effectiveness.

Contact us for a full reprint of the article.

Categories: Special Feature Tags: