Newspapers Leapfrog TV, Offer 'Ad Ratings'

Advertisers still may not have ratings for their ads on television and other media, but now they have them for newspapers. Nashville-based Coda Ventures this morning announced a deal with newspaper audience researcher Nielsen Scarborough to report newspaper “ad ratings” as part of a syndicated newspaper ad effectiveness service it markets.

The company said the new newspaper ad ratings “will quantify the audience delivery of print campaigns appearing in the country’s leading newspapers, reporting the number of readers recalling issue-specific ads, as well as those who took action as a result of exposure -- including purchase consideration, product recommendations, brand favorability, online searches, store visits and social media interaction.”

While the audience measurement methodology may not be on par compared to electronic media like television, it is nonetheless a breakthrough in terms of explicitly measuring the delivery of the audiences of ads in the print medium.

Big national advertisers have been lobbying TV researcher Nielsen to provide ratings for their TV commercials for years, and the Association of National Advertisers says it is its goal to get them, but so far Nielsen only provides average commercial minute ratings.



2 comments about "Newspapers Leapfrog TV, Offer 'Ad Ratings'".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, September 21, 2015 at 9:50 a.m.

    Joe, the problems Nielsen has with reporting specific ratings for individual TV commercials are mainly logistical. Since you can have commercials of varying lengths, even if Nielsen could correlate the data correctly, how would it report the figures on a per-program, per-telecast basis? If one show had a different mix of commercial lengths than another or more spots and/or breaks, the "average" commercial figures would not be directly comparable. In any event, as Nielsen is not actually measuring commercial viewing, but, in reality, the number of sets tuned in while ads appear, the differences between one commercial and another would be very small. In lmost  cases, upwards of 92% of the "audience" would be counted as "viewing" the ad.

    The decision by the newspaper folks to go with an updated version of the old Starch ad recall studies, is very interesting----especially its focus on how readers acted after exposure. If past research is any guide, the average newspaper ad recall findings should be quite a bit lower than their TV counterparts, but the actions taken---or response indices--- will probably be considerably higher. Hopfully, the plan is to measure a fair sample of TV commercials in the same manner, so comparisons can be made.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 21, 2015 at 4:41 p.m.

    I should add that Nielsen offers its Brand Effect service ( formerly IAG ), which measures TV ad recall and other response/impact metrics, via online interviews with TV show viewers. This is pretty close to what the newspaper people will be offering.

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