Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Measuring Ad Effectiveness

One of the biggest difficulties faced by advertising agencies is how to measure the effectiveness of their ads.

How can you tell if an ad is moving someone into awareness, acknowledgement, acceptance or action?

How do you measure the levels of consciousness in the face of the tangibility of sales?

By honing in on one variable, the expectancy placed on an advertising agency is made a little easier.

These ads, for instance, are great examples of ads centred around the variable of recogntion.

1-800-GOT-JUNK - RATS.

Rethink are the masters of Talk Power. Get people talking about the ad itself and as a byproduct the name of the brand is shot to top of mind. It's effective for a new service. When you get people talking about your ad, familiarity will soon follow.

Familiarity and Talk Power are also great ways to build new business for an advertising agency.

The only problem with Talk Power is that advertisers come from a bit of a biased perspective. We all work in advertising, so we talk about ads constantly. We love ads. Truth is, we are even kind of obsessed. But how much does the average Joe talk about the stacks of money in the transit shelter or the infamous Boardroom Kiss?

I don't know. Once people are prompted to talk about advertising, they talk about ads freely, especially when they find out that someone at the table works in the industry. But it is hard to find a setting where the ad men remove themselves from the control group. But regardless, there is no doubt that SOME ads become a part of our everyday conversation, and they can become stables of our culture. However, the degree to which these ads are discussed amongst housewives and grandmothers when ad men are nowhere to be seen is questionable.

There are certain measurement tools used by academia: brand/ad recognition, recall, purchase intention, brand/ad liking or hating etc. Personally, I think that the only way to measure effectiveness is sales, making advertising one of those nearly impossible to measure variables as a part of a bigger equation.

Recognition, effective at driving sales or not, certainly can't hurt business.


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