Archive

Archive for the ‘Brand Plannning’ Category

Why won’t TV advertising just die already?

September 9th, 2016 Comments off

The answer…  Synergy – the compelling reason why television advertising is as relevant as ever.

For the last two decades it has been fashionable to prognosticate the death of television advertising whether delivered by broadcast, cable, satellite, or stream.  The general storyline has been that emerging digital channels will displace television advertising through a combination of lower costs per exposure and better ability to target specific audiences both demographically and by exhibited category interest.  But while digital advertising has seen explosive growth it has not yet toppled television from the top of the media spend hill.  Television still maintains a one percent edge over digital with 2016 U.S. ad spending for traditional, non-digital television projected to be $70.6 billion versus combined digital at $68.8 billion.

 

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-001

Source: www.emarketer.com

Given the above cited advantages of digital how can this be?  Part of the answer lies in the richness of the television exposure.  Television provides a ‘lean back’ experience that combines smooth full motion video with high quality sound.  The typical digital display ‘lean forward’ experience with smaller screens and less dynamic speakers doesn’t provide the same level of emergence.  Another part is the interruptive nature of television advertising which occurs in stream with the programming and seamlessly takes over the whole experience.  In many digital forms the advertising exposure occurs simultaneously with the content, effectively having to compete for attention with that content.  And digital also has a significant viewability problem with served ads appearing off-screen, being blocked, or viewed by non-human bots.  According to the latest comScore benchmark study in the U.S., only 48% of desktop display and 41% of desktop video are non-fraud, viewable impressions.  And this is not confined to the U.S.; according to comScore similar rates are occurring worldwide as shown in their infographic.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-002

In aggregate this means that television still typically delivers the highest sales return on a per reach basis.  A recent single-source meta-analysis by Nielsen Catalina Solutions dramatically illustrates this point.  Spanning fourteen hundred campaigns conducted by four hundred fifty CPG brands over eleven years, the analysis calculated incremental sales per household reached.  Compared to three common digital formats, television campaigns returned approximately 40% more incremental sales per reached household.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-003

However, when looked at on a per-cost basis the results are much closer.  Essentially the lower cost for digital (except for digital video) and its ability to better target brings it into parity with television on average.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-004

But this should not be interpreted to mean that spend can be moved from one channel to another without implications.  One thing we know for certain is that media channels are not an “either this or that” proposition.  In fact, confining advertising to just one channel can have a substantial, negative impact on advertising returns.   A new quantification of this synergy was included in the How Advertising Works study sponsored by the Advertising Research Foundation.  A meta-analysis of 3,200 campaigns whose sales impact was modeled by Analytic Partners showed a substantial increase in incremental return-on-investment for campaigns using more than one platform.  The additional lift over the single platform ROI ranged from +19% for campaigns using two up to +35% for campaigns using five.  Especially synergistic was the combination of TV and digital.  When digital was layered with TV the average increase in ROI was +60%!

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-005

But this just begs the questions: From where does this synergy arise? and Why is TV advertising so synergistic with other forms of advertising?  Surprisingly, four distinct sources of synergy have been identified and all are in play for television advertising.

Advertising Wearout and Refreshment

As media spend is placed behind an ad its ability to generate sales diminishes.  This wearout has been proven to occur at an individual execution level.  Within a single media channel this is typically managed by identifying the strongest ad from the available pool (via pretesting) and then refreshing it with new versions after it has worn out.  In this way media dollars are not wasted by being placed behind ineffective ads.  The below example shows how this refreshment approach can be successfully used to drive share higher and higher within one channel, in this case television.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-006

Source: www.emarketer.com

This effect is inherently built into cross-media campaigns.  Because different platforms typically use a different ad format there is a natural tendency for this diversity to minimize wearout.  There are, however, two caveats to this.  First is that television and online video need to be managed collectively if the same executions are used.  The second, less obvious issue is that highly targeted campaigns can increase wearout by concentrating spend on a smaller number of consumers.  For example, a brand which heavy ups on digital may find itself over saturating a specific target at the expense of reach among a broader audience.  As cited in a recent Wall Street Journal article, the Procter and Gamble company recently faced this issue and will now “move away from ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, concluding that the practice has limited effectiveness.”  As explained by P&G CMO Marc Pritchard: “We targeted too much, and we went too narrow, and now we’re looking at: What is the best way to get the most reach but also the right precision?”  This reportedly includes ramping up spending on multiple digital sites and traditional media channels.

Recency of Exposure to Purchase Occasion

Another dimension of media plan effectiveness is recency – the time between exposure to advertising and the shopping occasion.  While numerous single-source studies have verified this effect, the classic examination of Nielsen data by Colin McDonald perhaps still best illustrates it.  In it the impact of advertising on share was shown to steadily decline as the time following potential ad exposure increased.  This includes a drop of 16% from the first day following exposure to the second day.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-007

This decline can be partially explained by a rapid decay in advertising memories.  An MSW●ARS study showed that proven ad recall after incidental advertising exposure faded by nearly fifty percent in the first three days after exposure.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-008

Since each channel exhibits a different pattern of engagement time in terms of both days and hours, the use of multiple channels can increase the probability of reaching the consumer close to a buying period.  In particular, prime-time television viewing coincides with peak online shopping times for many categories.  And even more compelling, online brand search volume has been directly linked to television exposure.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-009

In fact, in one attribution analysis conducted by MSW•ARS eighty-two percent of one brand’s online search conversions were first set in motion from a television exposure.  This is the primary reason some brands have experienced substantial, unexpected drop-offs in search ROI when television spending is reduced; their attribution models did not take into account that television advertising was driving substantial portions of their search activity.

Priming

The increased use of neuroscience techniques has driven a greater appreciation for the effect of cross-media priming.  In a recent interview Gayle Fuguitt, President of the ARF, summarized many of the learnings from the How Advertising Works initiatives.  In it she touches on the subject of priming effects:

“…if you see the same advertisement on a mobile phone and then on television it will have even more effectiveness. It resonates better.  We know brands are built in the brain.  That work was done using neuroscience.  And so it’s really unlocking consumers’ emotional connection, literal emotional connection, right?  Their heart and their pulse in their heads not just their feet, their behavior…buying behavior, to understand how advertising interactions can help build brand loyalty.”

Television advertising has been proven to be especially sensitive to these types of priming effects.  The more familiar people are with a brand, the more attentive they are to television advertising.  Even prior product use leads to greater attentiveness to, and recall of, the advertising.  Illustrating this point the below graph compares proven brand recall levels of brand users and non-brand users for ninety-seven television ads.  Across the ads, on average forty-two percent of non-brand users recalled both the ad and featured brand.  The corresponding number for brand users was fifty-one percent.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-010

Given this sensitivity to priming and its ability to reach broad audiences, television plays an especially important role in the retention of existing customers.  Laying down a consistent brand dialogue via television facilitates all other media channels in effectively contributing to this retention.

Message Ratcheting

One of the most interesting forms of synergies arises from the internalization of brand messaging across multiple advertising exposures. When consumers become exposed to the first ad of a new campaign they tend to take away specific “lower level” messages.  But as the consumer is exposed to new ad executions they tend to generalize to “higher level” messages.  As an example, the below blinded “green” campaign included three ads each focused on an environmental initiative; ‘Waste Reduction’, ‘Energy Efficiency’, and ‘Reduction in Emissions’.  Viewers of individual ads primarily took away only messaging related to the specific environmental initiative whereas those exposed to the entire campaign took away broader message of a “sustainability-focused company”.

why-wont-tv-ads-die-fig-011

This “ratcheting” of messaging can be used to great effect in conveying difficult and vague concepts or in tying the brand to aspirational sentiments.  But it requires that consumers be exposed to multiple, effective ad versions.  One of the most cost effective ways to do this is to use television’s reach to introduce the campaign and then use other, less expensive channels to activate the message synergy.

The net of this discussion is that while television advertising is effective on its own, its synergies with other media channels make it a sine qua non – an essential tool for brand building.  For this reason the future of television looks as bright as ever.

Please contact your MSW●ARS representative to learn more about how our cross-media suite of tools can help your brand grow.

Effective Ethnic Advertising Results From Understanding the Cultural Impact on Your Brand

April 21st, 2015 Comments off

Effective Ethnic Advertising Results From Understanding the Cultural Impact on Your Brand

With a purchasing power estimated to reach 1.5 trillion this year, the U.S. Hispanic segment has become a key target for many advertisers. With our studies proving that Hispanics tend to be more responsive to advertising than their non-Hispanic counterparts in terms of recall (54% higher Related Recall)…

 fig-01

  …and persuasion (50% more persuasive results)…

 fig-02

  …this creates a very attractive scenario for brands poised to grow.

However, even with an understanding behind the Hispanic diversity, brands find that advertising to the Hispanic population is challenging. Assumptions may be made around the brand’s equity and positioning performing similarly across the different demographic segments.  Avoiding these assumptions becomes a key element for success, particularly if the company plans to adopt a Total Market strategy.

Know Where You – and Your Competitors – Stand in the Category

Advertising tactics should vary depending of the brand’s position in the market; so understanding where your brand preference falls within the category across the different target segments becomes a priority when formulating a brand’s communication plan. The example below, an example using MSW•ARS’ Brand Preference data for the US Toilet Tissue category among Females, illustrates how inclination among the top five brands changes when comparing the Non-acculturated, Semi-acculturated and General Market Female segments. While Charmin is the consistent leader across all three groups, Scotts’ secondary position is eroded among Semi-Acculturated Hispanic Females by Angel Soft.  Similarly, preference for the Quilted North brand falls back among Semi-acculturated Hispanic Females, as this group claims preference of value-based store brands like Costco’s Kirkland, and Walmart’s White Cloud.

fig-03

Understand What You – and Your Competitors – Stand For in Hispanic’s Minds

Great caution should be exercised in understanding the relative type and strength of equity a brand – or a particular RTB included in the selling proposition – holds in the countries from where Non-acculturated Hispanics originate when developing a communication strategy.  This is due to the fact that Hispanics may lack, or have a different understanding of, what the brand represents based on the communication in their – or their parent’s – country of origin.  Advertising may make assumptions about similar brand equity across the different cultural groups, when education about the brand’s characteristics is needed instead.

For example, there is limited understanding of the damage caused to the hair when coloring using ammonia-based colorants in Mexico.  This results in advertising highlighting a “reduced damage” component tending to be less persuasive among the Non-Acculturated Hispanic Women when compared to other segments, than advertising communicating other functional benefits like tint duration.

Another example that illustrates this dynamic is evidenced by an ad quantitatively tested by MSW•ARS Research using the TouchPoint solution for the Tecate beer brand among the Hispanic market. In the ad, the one man in a bar who remains stoic after several attractive women pass by him is rewarded by a Mexican-type fiesta complete with some stereotypical characters, like a luchador.  While the Hispanic Males who participated in the study found the creative to be funny and engaging, the behavioral, non-cognitive results showed the ad failed to generate any change in brand preference among men towards Tecate.

Revision of cognitive data indicated men focused their attention on the fiesta element, the attractive/sensuous girls, and the “luchador” characters; all of these effectively tying back the ad to a Mexican beer.  As a result, Mexican beers showed the strongest shift in preference (CCPersuasion) when compared to beers from other countries as identified below:

 

fig-05

Unfortunately for Tecate, other Mexican brands of beer – such as Corona and Modelo – had stronger brand preference among Hispanic men. Therefore, while linking the advertising to Mexican cultural elements was effective to switch beer purchasers over to “Mexican brands,” it was not effective enough to drive consumers to one particular brand among those imported from Mexico. Mexican beers with the highest preference, such as Corona and Modelo, were the ones that capitalized from the ad, while the advertised brand Tecate saw flat results.

 fig-06

Stronger understanding of the Hispanic male beer consideration set, including brand preference, would have given further insight that advertising for Tecate needed not only to cue the Mexican element, but incorporate strong branding elements to Tecate in order to avoid potential misattribution.

Learn why

Developing effective advertising for Hispanics, or in which Hispanic are included as an important segment, requires expertise and constant monitoring throughout the different stages of the creative process.  Our Brand Building Portfolio offers a consistent analytic philosophy to drive a clear incremental improvement in each step with an end-to-end perspective.

Please contact your MSW●ARS representative to find out how our products and research can help you develop effective advertising for the Hispanic market.

The Secret to Successful Culturally Targeted and Inclusive Advertising

July 15th, 2014 Comments off

Not since the advent of the television ad in 1941 has the potential for new ad formats been so great. The emergence of digital platforms is enabling marketers to experiment with a number of new ad formats, each of which could revolutionize marketing as we know it. Throughout 2014 we are highlighting the most effective of the techniques being broadly adopted.

Part IV: Culturally Targeted and Inclusive Advertising

coke-hilltopIn many ways culture is the lifeblood of advertising. By drawing upon cultural cues advertisers can more easily convey emotional and informational content to consumers. And with the rapidly evolving demographics within the United States, making advertising campaigns inclusive has become a high priority. But there is also a potential danger in using culturally charged content. If a cultural reference within mass media does not resonate at least somewhat broadly, the advertising will fall flat or, in extreme cases, may even alienate members of the general audience and lead to social media backlash.

So how can an advertiser reap the reward of either culturally targeted or inclusive advertising without the risk? The secret is a little talked about psychological principle called cultural congruence. Simply put, people are generally most comfortable in receiving and most receptive to messages within the context of their own culture. This has major ramifications for the choices in executional techniques, selling propositions, and casting within the advertising.

To help advertisers navigate around obstacles to these types of campaigns, MSW-ARS Research has released a white paper on the topic, Cultural Congruence and Advertising Effectiveness. Below are two example best practices from the paper.

1.  Do not assume that advertising will perform similarly across cultural groups.

For many years it was suggested that advertising effectiveness did not vary much among cultural groups. This was based on lack of statistical significance in the mean values between subgroups exposed to the same advertising. But averages can be deceiving. The table below shows the average response by African American and Caucasian consumers to over two thousand of the same pieces of advertising. While the mean scores are not substantially different, the variation in scores between the groups is significant at the 99% confidence level. In other words, there are differences in which ads performed well and performed poorly among these groups.

inclusive-blog-fig-1

2. When attempting to transfer ads between cultural groups, adaptations should be made to ensure the selling proposition resonates with the new group.

Cultural congruence can play a powerful role in the motivating power of a selling proposition. If the insight underlying the selling proposition relies on a cultural association, it will not easily transfer to another group. Or even if the insight is relevant to multiple groups, it may be more difficult to deploy for some groups versus others. This can have a substantial impact on sales effectiveness.

For example, a meta-analysis of thirty-eight US Hispanic targeted ads representing twenty product categories shows how advertising effectiveness varies based on the customization of the selling proposition. Ads were segmented by whether they were specifically created for the Hispanic market (thus drawing upon market specific insights), general market advertising adapted to the Hispanic market (changing elements to make insights more relevant to the Hispanic market), or general market advertising simply dubbed into Spanish. It was found that ads created specifically for the Hispanic market were forty percent more persuasive than those simply adapted for this market and three times as effective as ads dubbed into Spanish.

inclusive-blog-fig-2

This same principle holds true for inclusive ads but instead of adapting the selling proposition to each group, a universal need or desire is drawn upon to create a selling proposition that transcends groups. As an example this ad from Chevrolet draws upon the universal desire for safety for one’s family.

 

 

Additional learnings, best practices, and case studies are included in the full white paper.

To receive a complimentary copy of our full Cultural Congruence White Paper, please contact your MSW●ARS representative.