Program Measurement

Testing digital video vs. TV for an OTC brand

An OTC pain brand that was historically dependent upon TV advertising to drive sales was struggling to optimize reach in an increasingly fragmented media landscape without sacrificing sight, sound and motion in the messaging. With TV costs increasing and TV inventory declining, we proposed testing digital video to measure the impact and gauge efficiency and scale potential.

“Adding media that is complementary to broadcast to the plan can increase reach amongst light TV viewers. The trick is to determine the right balance and precisely where and when it will appear.”

Jennifer Smith, VP, Director Communications Planning

Can online pre-roll effectively replace some of the TV buy?

With a concrete broadcast plan in place that we knew would deliver upon the majority of the GRPs needed to drive sales, we developed a plan to test the incremental impact of online video. We needed to vet whether pre-roll video advertising could:

  1. Effectively communicate our message to the brand’s target audience at a comparable or better cost than TV
  2. Drive in-store sales beyond what the base broadcast plan was doing

We devised a 10 week test and learn plan targeting 35-64 adults, using leading video ad networks and a defined site list. We implemented third-party research to provide maximum learnings: a Marketing Mix Analysis to measure the impact across all media, a Sales Impact Study to assess whether the digital video could be attributed to incremental sales gains, and a Brand Study to evaluate the impact of this new messaging format for the brand.

Our test plan succeeded across all of the defined objectives, leading the brand to implement pre-roll video as an integral part of its new media mix. When we tallied all of the study results::

  • The Marketing Mix Analysis provided quantitative validation that the digital video ROI was on par with other media vehicles, including TV
  • The Sales Impact Study showed that households exposed to the pre-roll advertising bought about 20% more product than households that were not exposed and supported the ROI delivered by the Marketing Mix Study
  • We saw percentages exceeding normative benchmarks on 4 out of 5 key brand metrics tested in the Brand Study

Measure Twice (or more), Cut Once.

This program was not a part of the brands’ plan. We worked with the brand team to sell the potential through to leaders of the organization with strong rationale and a concrete measurement plan. In evaluating the role of pre-roll video as a part of this brand’s media mix we needed to carefully nuance all factors that could potentially skew the results: creative, placement, unit length, and research methodologies and partners. We collaborated with our client’s research teams and internal advertising team to ensure success of the learning plan.

“To truly evolve we must push beyond our comfort zone and test new ideas firsthand. We partner with our clients to develop logical test and learn programs that yield clear results and answer the organization’s challenges.”

Lauren Boyer, CEO