How advertisers can minimise Ad avoidance

Companies spend a lot of money on television adverts. When someone flicks over as soon as they come on, this money goes to waste. In the United States, Kantar Media and Millward Brown are using cutting-edge technology to find out why this happens and how it can be avoided.

Which factor drives advertising avoidance or effectiveness: media placement or creative execution? While successful campaigns get both factors right, trying to separate their respective roles has been one of advertising's most enduring conundrums. Yet, in the answer lies the key to making informed decisions about what advertising works best.

A helping hand from digital devices

As consumers are more actively multi-tasking on digital devices, the challenge of evaluating advertising effectiveness has intensified. This hugely increases the likelihood of potential lost audiences and ad avoidance. But media research now has an advantage - these digital devices can "talk". They can collect usage data and send it back to us.

To put this in context: Kantar Media now collects tuning behaviour data on over 2.3 million US commercials. So we can see if anyone actually stayed with those expensive ads during last year's Super Bowl. Ironically, the U.S. TV ratings system doesn't report the key metric of audience to commercials. Program ratings don't indicate how people watch them. Staying with the Super Bowl example, a 3% loss of audience could potentially cost advertisers $80,000 in wasted media spending.

Hitting the target

Digital media advancements are giving advertisers more efficient targeting capabilities. This helps them send the right messages to the right consumer. Since digital devices communicate with the high fidelity of return path data (RPD), we have an unprecedented opportunity to "mine & combine" this usage data. This means marketers can understand the new digital media landscape and improve their advertising effectiveness.

Kantar Media and Millward Brown realised that we could further improve our clients' advertising return on investment by helping them minimise audience tune-away. We aligned Kantar Media's DIRECTView second-by-second return path audience behaviour data with Millward Brown's robust database of Link™ copy testing. Doing this allows us to isolate the various factors which drive tune-away from ads.

Our recent study was presented at the ARF 6.0 conference. We can now understand the overall trends and causes of audience tune-away and analyse the performance of individual campaigns. Ultimately, we were able to isolate relationships between creative and media placement and identify specific elements that contributed to audience behaviour.

New measurement practices for new media

Consumers will continue to evolve with digital media, actively selecting relevant video content and consuming it on their own terms. To understand audiences in this digital evolution, programmers and advertisers need additional measurement practices to provide enhanced accountability and insight.

Commercial tune-away represents a significant loss in both audience and media investment. Using the new metrics and techniques available, we can now analyse campaigns from both a creative and a media placement standpoint. That will help advertisers better manage and reduce ad avoidance.

Jeff Boehme is Chief Reearch Officer, Kantar Media Audiences,  North America. Mitzi Lorentzen is Vice President,  Client Solutions, Millward Brown. Jeff is based in New York, USA. Mitzi is based in Lisle, IL, USA. 

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