Is Everything Old New Again?
In Metrics Insider, Performance Insider, and other digital marketing media, I'm reading a lot about the measurement debate: people talk about attribution, engagement, impressions, even ancient concepts like OTS, CPM, even GRP.
More than a few years ago (1994) Giep Franzen wrote a book called Advertising Effectiveness. His analyses of TV commercials and print ads led me to wonder whether there’s a parallel between his last-millennium media research and the issues facing digital advertisers today. (And yes, you can try these at home!)
Franzen analyzed full-page, full-color ads appearing in women’s magazines. He combined the results of several research methods: eye-tracking, surveys, and “through-the-book” tests like Starch. Are you sitting comfortably, magazine in hand? Counting down from 100%:
- 10% of readers don't open the page that the ad is on.
- Another 10% don’t consciously remember seeing the page that the ad is on, although they did physically see it, according to eye-tracking.
- Fully 25% don’t recognize there was any ad at all on the page -- the eye saw, and some content was recalled, but the advertising on the page didn’t register. Exposure time was very likely less than 1 second.
- Another 9% see the ad but get the category wrong (we’re falling below half of all readers at this point ...)
- Another 7% get the brand wrong.
- Another 8% get the brand right but the specific product wrong – e.g., the right brand of mayo, but not light mayo. (Now we’re down to less than one-third of readers ...)
Now put the magazine down and give your neurons a workout:
- Only 6% who read the magazine can spontaneously recall the ad (unaided basis). These folks could be spending 10 seconds looking at the page.
- This rises to 15% who can recall prompted elements of the ad (aided basis).
- Total aided ad recall is 25% of all readers.
Franzen also looked at average scores for 30-second TV commercials, using ASI data and people meters. Again counting down from 100%:
- 35% of viewers don’t watch commercial breaks; they take a bio break, surf other channels, etc.
- 24% don’t consciously recall the commercial shortly after exposure (we’re falling below half of all viewers at this point ...)
- 18% see the commercial but get the brand wrong.
This leaves 23% of TV viewers who can remember seeing the spot and who can also name the correct brand.
We still haven’t measured persuasion, liking, loyalty, or whatever objective the advertising is intended to achieve; these metrics are likely lower than 23% to 25% maximum correct recall. (Before your slings and arrows start flying, I have to emphasize these are results of single-exposure tests in each medium. A full campaign, in multiple media, should yield better numbers.)
Returning to the present day: Have any analyses of digital advertising combined time on page/screen, eye movement, unaided and aided brand linkage and content recall? Might old media experience be a guide to understanding new media effectiveness?