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MSW Research, Wins Best Practitioner Paper 2021 by the JAR Editorial Board

Today, the Advertising Research Foundation announced that the paper “Effectiveness and Efficiency of TV’s Brand-Building Power: A Historical Review — Why the Persuasion Rating Point (PRP) Is a More Accurate Metric than the GRP” has been voted Best Practitioner Paper 2021 by the JAR Editorial Board.  Along with co-authors Frank Findley of MASB, David Stewart of Loyola Marymount University and Kelly Johnson of Disney, we at MSW Research were very honored to have our work recognized with this prestigious award.

The paper was published in the December 2020 issue of the Journal of Advertising Research.  It addresses the questions of whether television advertising is as effective as in the past and if so, how it compares with other media-platform alternatives.

The major conclusions of the study include the following:

  1. On a single, quality exposure basis the television ad format is as effective now as it was in the 1980s (based on copy-testing for 30-second television ads collected within the United States for typical categories with brands advertising throughout the years 1980 to 2014 using a consistent methodology, MSW Research’s CCPersuasionTM measure).

  1. The rate of delivery of an ad’s selling power per GRP has slowed, requiring approximately 25% more GRPs to deliver the same brand-building power in market as it did in the 1980s.  This implies that television-channel proliferation, time-shifting technology, and simultaneous digital-media consumption (multi-screen behavior) are having an impact on the advertising viewing experience.

  1. This decline is mitigated, however, by a 45 percent increase in the number of households in the United States over the same time period.  Each rating point now represents many more households. So even though fewer households are now effectively reached by a given spending level on a percentage basis, this is not true on an absolute number of households basis.

  1. Despite a potential increase in distracted viewing, television advertising still maintains an effective frequency profile that is comparable to other media channels including digital.  All examined media types – including television – can be effective within the range of average frequencies typically deployed for them.

Every media platform has its own strengths and challenges. Although the interruptive nature of television advertising may make it more susceptible to divided attention with other media, it also provides television with one of the most immersive visual and audio experiences.

Television remains an effective media platform, and television advertising should continue to be used to maintain and grow market share. By focusing attention on the development stage, brands can improve advertisement quality to such a degree as to more than compensate for the decline in the rate of ad selling power delivery per gross rating point.

Trafficking gross rating points behind advertisements on the basis of their persuasive strength allows for the diminishing returns dictated by wearout to be managed while maximizing sales power delivered in market.  This means actively managing both quantity and quality of the advertising media plan, which can be achieved through focusing on Persuasion Rating Points (GRPs weighted by a measure of persuasion), rather than GRPs alone.

Contact us for a full reprint of the article.

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