Execs Favor Brand-Specific Ratings, But C3 Remains
The Association of National Advertisers’ commercial ratings “summit” meeting last week drew nearly 100 industry executives to discuss the feasibility and
benefits of brand-specific ratings.
Brand-specific ratings measure the audiences tuned to individual TV ads. The current C3 system that Nielsen uses to generate commercial ratings measures the average audience to commercials within a given TV show.
Bill Duggan, group executive vice president for the ANA, stressed that while most ANA members have indicated that they would like to see brand-specific ratings made available, the association is not advocating that they replace the current C3 system as the “currency” for buying and selling ads.
That’s a separate marketplace issue, Duggan said, noting that some ANA members don’t really care about brand ratings.
With the currency issue off the table, it’s probably easier for ad sellers to recognize the value of brand-specific ratings. According to Duggan, reps from two networks at the meeting -- ESPN and NBC -- spoke in favor of the approach, noting that they could help marketers and others better understand how audiences engage with and react to ads.
In a recap of the meeting that he posted today on his ANA blog, Duggan noted that many marketers and other experts agree that brand ratings would “provide more granular data to better inform the decision-making process.” They would also help raise the bar on accountability, providing more precise audience levels to ads for specific brands versus average audiences covering ads for an array of products.
Brand ratings could also help advertisers test ad copy in real-time and quickly switch out ads that aren’t working or that are showing signs of “wear-out,” Duggan noted. Most ANA members "have unequivocally spoken, demanding brand-specific commercial ratings.” The association “will continue to advocate on this issue.”
A number of vendors at the meeting spoke about ways they could bring brand ratings to the marketplace, mostly via set-top-box data. The presenting companies included Rentrak, TRA, Simulmedia, Precision Demand, Invidi Technologies and Nielsen.