Some of the networks took advantage of upfront week to push for a new ratings currency that would include seven days of DVR playback versus the three days of playback included in the current ratings system (C3).
But not so fast, says Bill Duggan, group executive vice president, the Association of National Advertisers. Rather than go there, advertisers want the TV industry to finally focus on what they call the "holy grail" -- ratings detailing audiences of individual ads versus the average rating for all ads within specific shows that the current system offers.
For advertisers, C7 is just more of what they don’t want, he says -- an unclear picture of exactly who and how many viewers are watching which specific ads.
“For more than five years, ANA has been advocating for brand-specific commercial ratings as that would help answer the question: “How many people actually had the opportunity to see my spot?" Duggan wrote in his “Marketing Maestros” blog May 18.
Duggan said the last poll of its members on the subject, conducted last year, revealed that 82% of advertisers were interested in commercial-specific ratings. He calls the response "a landslide."
He also listed a handful of additional benefits that commercial-specific ads would offer, including serving as a copy-testing tool that would identify stronger and weaker executions and enable advertisers and agencies to respond accordingly. Specific ratings would also serve as indicators that viewers were tiring of seeing certain spots (commercial fatigue).
Also, specific ratings would provide greater insight on the impact of pod position, length of spot and national versus local placement, Duggan asserted. They could also zero in on the value of in-program and in-game integrations and sponsorships and determine whether ads simply worked better on one network versus another.
“Brand-specific commercial ratings would go a long way in better evaluating television’s contribution to the marketing mix, as well as in assessing the overall ROI of television advertising expenditures,” wrote Duggan.
The question of whether such ratings should be currency would be up to individual buyers and sellers, Duggan wrote. But at the very least “they should be available.”