Validation of copy: Testing measures based on in-market performance

Author: David W. Olson


This paper will describe a project recently undertaken in the United States to attempt to validate some commonly used copy testing measures. New Product commercials were chosen for study for two reasons: 1. in their own right, they represent a special class of commercials of interest to many marketers; and 2. they are considerably easier to validate than ads for established brands, for a number of reasons described in the paper. The key in-market validation measure used was the level of consumer trial generated by the commercial (after correcting for differences between brands based on ad spending, promotion and price). The paper describes the validation procedure in detail, including its limitations, and then shows the results for two major copy-testing procedures: day-after-recall (e.g., Burke tests), and the Viewer Response Profile (as developed by Schlinger).

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