It’s been long understood that better ads yield better results, but two new studies by Nielsen prove that better programs have a significant impact on ad performance—and sales.
A recent study of more than 70,000 TV ads (and more than three million ad placements) found a strong relationship between the intensity of a viewer’s engagement with program content and their next-day ability to also remember the content of ads aired during the program. The study found that for every 2 percentage point improvement in a viewer’s program engagement—how well people remember what happened in a TV show they watched the prior evening—advertisers can (on average) expect a 1 percentage point improvement in sustained ad memorability.
Further connecting the dots between program engagement, ad performance and sales, a recent study of consumer packaged goods (CPG) ads from more than 25 different product categories found that the percentage of consumers with sustained/next day memory of an ad is a strong lead-indicator of the ad’s in-market sales impact, as measured by marketing mix modeling. Not surprisingly, when other factors are taken out of the equation, more memorable ads drive more incremental volume.
“For publishers, the clear connection of program engagement and ad memorability reinforces the idea that some content deserves a higher price tag. And, for advertisers and agencies, they should be thinking beyond creative execution to placement,” said Joe Stagaman, Executive Vice President, Ad Effectiveness Analytics, Nielsen. “Since sustained ad memorability is directly tied to sales results, the impact on return on investment is very real.”
The research on program engagement is consistent with Nielsen TV Brand Effect studies over the past 11 years. Program engagement is just one of many factors that affect an ad’s ability to break through the clutter and drive consumer reaction.
The study also found that: