Nielsen's commercial-ratings data hasn't been released yet -- advertisers and networks alike will have to hold their breath until May -- but marketers want to be sure their needs are going to be met as the industry makes the shift from program ratings (how many viewers watched a show) to measuring how many viewers stayed put for the ads.
Outlining their wishes
In a spring 2006 survey of Association of National Advertiser members, 86% of respondents were "very interested" in having commercial ratings readily available, while 13% said they were "somewhat interested." When asked if members would like to see commercial ratings become the currency by which TV time is bought and sold, 44% were very interested and 40% were somewhat interested. Given members keen interest in getting commercial ratings up and running, the ANA Television Advertising Committee released a position paper today outlining its wishes for commercial ratings.
"The ANA strongly encourages the U.S. industry -- advertisers, the media, agencies, and research companies -- to work collaboratively to make brand-specific commercial ratings a reality," Bob Liodice, ANA president-CEO, said in a statement. "Brand-specific commercial ratings will not only help marketers make better decisions, they are an invaluable tool for overall campaign management and accountability."
Current measurement for the ratings is based on how many people watch a program -- rather than commercial viewings -- but among marketers there is a notable demand for more targeted data to determine actual viewing for individual spots. The ANA is pushing for brand-specific commercial ratings, rather than backing a plan on the table to provide average commercial ratings.
Nielsen has proposed providing one commercial rating per program, which would only give an indication of the number of people who watched all the commercials during a show, rather than letting marketers know how many viewers watched each individual spot.
At the ANA TV Forum in New York next Tuesday, Andrew Jung, senior director-advertising and media services at Kellogg Co., will present the committee's recommendation for brand-specific data in TV advertising that accurately reflects how many viewers see the ads that marketers spend $70 billion annually to put on the air.
The committee listed a number of benefits that brand-specific commercial ratings will create. The group said these ratings will enable advertisers to identify the stronger and weaker spots in a commercial pod, function as an indicator for commercial wear-out and help marketers understand how the use of digital video recorders affects ad watching.
The ANA survey also found that 59% of its members would like to have streaming access to two streams of Nielsen data: live (those viewers who watch a show at the time it is aired) and live plus same day, which includes those viewers that use a DVR to watch a show the same day it airs.