ANA: Advertisers Need Brand-Specific Ratings, Not C7

Bill-Duggan-BSome 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.”

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3 comments about "ANA: Advertisers Need Brand-Specific Ratings, Not C7".
  1. Terese Herbig from TRA, Inc. , May 22, 2012 at 8:59 p.m.
    We agree that brand specific commercial ratings are the way to go and TRA clients have gained new insights by using them in our system already. Not only measuring audience retention by your purchaser target group (or age/sex demo if you are old school); creative diagnostic of switch away to signal wear out and understand the real-world commercial sales impact is the "uber" metric that only TRA provides today.
  2. Bruce Goerlich from Rentrak , May 23, 2012 at 6:42 p.m.
    We at Rentrak like what Bill is saying. We believe in accountability. We have over 8 million homes, and 20 million TVs providing us with second by second TV ratings. This large footprint allows us to provide our clients with Exact Commercial Ratings today, ratings that only count viewership in the seconds in which the commercial aired. Our clients can see how their schedules, campaigns, and individual pieces of copy perform, as well as how their competitors did.
  3. Jeff Boehme from Kantar Media , May 24, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.
    Commercial ratings are no longer an advertisers’ dream, but a reality due to the availability of return path data (RPD) through set top boxes and other digital devices. Not only does Kantar Media believe in commercial ratings, we pioneered the introduction of second-by-second commercial ratings measurement in 2006 , providing advanced measurement of brand-specific ads for over six years. Through our RPD services, we have the unique capability of measuring precise audiences of commercials combined with media expenditures so clients can effectively manage their TV planning and buying based on the complete TV environment. Importantly, we have also matched the audience data to actual purchase information, ultimately defining how the ad performs among the consumers who purchase the products. In addition, we are working with Millward Brown to integrate our audience metrics with their copy testing database so clients have a 360 view of how their ads perform before and after their campaigns begin.