NASHVILLE -- I'm the first to admit that I've been one of the biggest critics of the accelerated shift to alternative TV currencies, but that's because I was mainly looking at the downsides: the erosion of a common denominator, a lack of industry standards, marketplace obfuscation and confusion, and much more vendor grading of their own homework. Today I saw a wonderful upside that I'd like to share with you.
It took place during MediaPost's TV & Video Insider Summit here and it was presented by Caroline Proto, director of global media at eyeglasses marketing giant Luxottica, who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at how putting two different sources of data together can create something much bigger than a four.
The sources were location-data platform Cuebiq and TV and CTV audience measurement platform VideoAmp, which Proto's team began working with two years ago to develop a real-time system for tracking and analyzing the "cost-per-store-visit" yield buys on various TV networks and CTV platforms delivered.
"We got them in a room and we said, ‘We need you guys to play nice in the sandbox," Proto told the summit attendees, adding: "We need to find a solution for you to take your foot traffic data from Cuebiq and ingest it into the VideoAmp dashboard and layer it with your TV data,’ so we could start seeing what was the actual effect on our TV investments into our actual foot traffic in stores."
You can watch Proto's presentation in its entirety as soon as our event take makes the video link live, but I'm giving you the gist of it, because it's a remarkably ingenious way of combining retail-store traffic data with TV audience estimates to form an entirely new metric for planning, buying and evaluating the return on advertising investments.
Notice I didn't say "performance," because as much as getting people into Luxottica's Sunglass Hut retail locations and making their cash registers ring is important to Proto and her team, Luxottica still is very much a brand marketer that buys the upfront and still believes in the branding power of linear network TV -- as well as CTV.
While she didn't divulge specific results, Proto said the data helped inform plans and buys based on the ability of specific networks to yield foot traffic, as well as what the optimum frequency of spots should be before they plateaued.
She said Luxottica's team is still working with Cuebiq and VideoAmp to test and refine the data, but that a test with an unnamed but "very efficient cost-per-store-visit" network shows some very promising results.
"We did see our foot traffic increase," she said, adding "It was a rather large number" increase from 2022 to 2023 -- and that moving forward, Luxottica plans to allocate its TV/CTV advertising investments using the data in future buys during 2024 and upcoming upfronts.
“Progress, not perfection" was how Proto characterized the innovation, adding: "It was at least something more than what we’ve had in the past.”
She added that the work of the U.S. joint industry committee (JIC) and the conditional certifications it has granted to VideoAmp, as well as iSpot and Comscore, are encouraging signs for the future.
She sold me.
For the record, that's me grinning ridiculously in a pair of Costco glasses -- not Luxottica's -- which explains why I look so bad, but the well-dressed industry pros behind me were from a panel I moderated on "TV Measurement in Today's Continually Changing, Fragmented, Data-Challenged Landscape."
Since it's difficult for me to simultaneously moderate and report on panels I'm involved in, I'll also link to that video here as soon as MediaPost's event team makes it live so you can watch it for yourself.
But the bottom line is they (from left-to-right: Havas Media's Diana Bernstein Medtronic's Michael Gumbert, and Walter Isaacson's Albert Thompson) also took the emergence of new, alternative TV and CTV currencies as a positive move, but they generally were more focused on higher order forms of measuring the medium, especially whether it actually delivers on their clients' business objectives.