IPSOS MORI URGES ADVERTISERS TO EXTEND TESTING TO BILLBOARD CREATIVE
Ipsos MORI’s specialist advertising research division, Ipsos-ASI, launches its innovative online testing technique
Ipsos MORI's advertising research division, Ipsos-ASI, is challenging more advertisers to include outdoor creative in pre-testing to maximise costly spend in this area, with the launch of a new product, Next*Outdoor. The initiative marks Ipsos-ASI’s continued commitment to innovation in this area.
Next*Outdoor uses online technology to take each viewer on a virtual journey, emulating the environment in which ads would actually be noticed by positioning them in a series of still street scenes.
The new tool is part of a suite designed to help advertisers and their clients ascertain the impact of planned ads and their likely effect on the brand before they commit to costly outdoor expenditure.
To recreate the bustle of every day life, the outdoor scenes include images of traffic, shops and people. Seventy five per cent feature a billboard or poster, replicating the average spread of outdoor sites in the UK. The test ad is slotted in to one of the ad spaces shown and can be tested in any size, from six sheets to 96 sheets.
The test is completed entirely online, with each participant recruited from Ipsos MORI’s online panel. Participants are not aware of the nature of the test in advance to get as close to reality as possible. As a result, each individual can only be approached once to participate.
Re-creating the dynamic setting of outdoor ads, the new online technology allows participants to zoom in on details as they move from one scene to another, enabling advertisers to track which parts of their ad catch viewers’ eyes. After moving through the street scenes, participants are asked questions about their journey and what they remember seeing. Unprompted at first, respondents are then shown and asked questions on unbranded and then branded versions of the ad. Control tests allow ASI to accurately measure real (as opposed to claimed) changes in brand awareness, equity and interest as a result of seeing the ad(s).
James Mundell, MD of Ipsos MORI’s ASI division, commented:
"We all know TV advertising tends to get the lion’s share of ad testing budgets but it’s a risky strategy to defer testing other branded communications as a result. Outdoor advertising can be an extremely effective medium but it’s expensive, and companies run the risk of missing out on maximising the effectiveness of their ad spend, by not pre-testing their non-TV creative ideas”.
Next*Outdoor promises to help advertisers gauge their target audience’s emotional and rational responses using Ipsos MORI’s new Emoti*scape methodology. Emoti*scape, a pictorial landscape prepared by professional artists, presents participants with a range of caricatures of displayed emotions and universally understood word descriptions. They are asked to choose those that best encapsulate the feelings they experience while seeing the ad and those they have about the brand as a result.
Another element of the test asks consumers to click on the area of the ad that most attracts their attention, the area where their eye moves next, and so on. This ‘Hot Spots’ tool can then help creatives understand where consumer interest lies.
“The challenge for research agencies is to ensure that any ad test gets under the skin of the concept and what its real impact will be. To achieve genuine results, test scenarios must be set in as close to a realistic setting as possible, and we are confident Next*Outdoor has taken a significant step towards achieving this often elusive goal”.