How to save media money in advertising

Date of publication: June 15, 1992

Author: Bruce E. Smith


This is a practical paper which draws extensively from the experience gained over many years of continuously tracking TV advertising campaigns. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate firstly how a new research-based approach can provide new insights into how TV advertising works, and secondly how it can provide new directions for making the advertising mix work better. By tracking consumer response continuously every day and every week, and by overlaying media inputs, one can now blow away some of the myths that have historically shrouded evaluations of advertising and media performance. The main problem has always been to know which 50% of advertising is being wasted. The solution is provided by an approach that fuses continuous consumer response to advertising with continuous media activity. This has produced new insights into how advertising works by separating ad performance from media performance. This has further led to the development of empirically-based models of media efficiency and ad performance. The paper draws on case study evidence to demonstrate how the new approach works and how it has been used to address key media user questions such as my ad working? is my media working? how much do I need to spend on a TV campaign? how long should a TV campaign run for? what is an optimum media flighting pattern? By addressing these key questions, this new approach is making a valuable contribution to improving the quality of advertising decision making, the performance of ads and the performance of media campaigns.

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