Advertising and Marketing

Fox Makes Multiplatform Case

Biometric study: Broadcast ads make Web work better 5/09/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Television is much more emotionally engaging than online advertising.
But combining the two provides maximum brand equity, especially if the
Web content is related to the TV experience, according
to a new study that is part of Fox Broadcasting’s
upfront presentation.

As video and other forms of rich media proliferate on
the Web, the Internet has been growing as an advertising
vehicle. Some Web companies hold presentations in
May, looking to collect upfront dollars. With marketers
looking to advertise on multiple platforms, television has
been pushed to demonstrate the role it plays in persuading
consumers to buy products.

“This helps to give evidence that the best way to go
about it is to be in both places,” says Toby Byrne, president
of ad sales at Fox Broadcasting. “And
neither one is as strong independently. TV is
strong independently. Online is not as strong
independently, but overall they are enhanced
when they work off each other with similar
content. This is interesting to us, because our
content is now available in several places.”

Byrne adds that most of the partnerships Fox
does with advertisers include an online execution.

The new study was conducted by Innerscope,
which does biometric research to see how people
react to different forms of advertising.

“Innerscope strongly believes that unconscious
emotional responses direct attention, enhance learning and memory, and ultimately drive
behaviors that our clients care about,” says Carl D. Marci, CEO and chief science officer
at Innerscope, a research company that works with networks, agencies and clients.

In its study, Innerscope put viewers in a living room setting. A device in the TV set
tracked the movement of their eyeballs to see what they were paying attention to, while a
special belt collected data about their heartbeats, sweat levels, respiration and movement.

Innerscope used the data it collected to measure the emotional engagement of the viewers
while watching advertising on both TV and the Web. “We really define engagement
very specifically as attention to something that emotionally impacts you,” Marci says.

Innerscope also followed that up by seeing how the advertising exposure changed
viewers’ unconscious response to those brands afterwards.

The company did two tests. One simply compared
viewer reaction to ads for the same brands on both TV
and the Web. The people recruited were fans of the Fox
shows—Glee and Family Guy—that were used in the test.

The study also compared what happened when viewers
saw commercials on TV, then went on the Web and saw
ads for the same brands there. Some of the viewers saw the
ads on Fox Websites, others on general information sites.

“We were able to see that when they see [the ad]
on TV first and then online, they’re basically leaning
in more toward the content of these ads when they’re
online, their hearts are beating a little more, their sweat levels are up to show more
excitement,” says Brian Levine, president and chief innovation officer at Innerscope.

Experiencing ads on TV was 38 times more
engaging than the online ads. The engagement
with the advertising led to three times more
brand resonance after watching TV than seeing
the ads while surfing the Web, Levine says.

When the same ads were seen both on TV and
on a general information Website, engagement
was stronger—41 times the Web only—but
brand resonance was little changed. But when
the Web ads were on a site related to the show,
engagement was 48 times higher and the effect
on the brand jumped four times higher.

“We were not surprised that television was
much stronger when you do that head-tohead,”
says Marci, describing TV as an immersive,
emotional experience, where the Web
experience is more flexible with the viewer
having more control over what he pays attention
to. “The focus of this study was what
happens when you combine them, because
in many cases, they are combined. And that’s
where we saw that television enhanced the experience online and then that
carried over to this brand equity that happens after the fact.”

Fox has worked with Innerscope before, but that research was aimed at
tweaking integrated campaigns for specific clients, says Audrey Steele, senior
VP, sales research and marketing at Fox Broadcasting.

“I was really interested in this because it dovetails with the work that we’ve been
doing to support that TV is the place that creates and builds brand equity and that
we can extend it online. So we jumped into it and supported this study,” Steele says.

The new study also allowed Fox to take a scientific look at “how the brain responds
to branding messages in one medium versus the other and how they can be
best leveraged to work together,” Steele says.

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