Comscore ARS Research for Canadian Market Shows Strong Correlation Between Creative Strategy and Performance

Study Shows Creative Quality Drives More Than Half of the Sales Changes for Brands Analyzed

RESTON, VA, January 27, 2011 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released findings from Comscore ARS indicating the importance of a strong upfront strategy and creative execution in driving campaign effectiveness for TV and digital advertising campaigns in Canada. Extensive research conducted by Comscore ARS also shows that creative quality drives more than half of the sales changes for brands analyzed, four times higher than the impact of the specific media plan involved, highlighting the importance of optimizing creative in ad campaigns.

Marketing Variables Influencing Changes in Brand Sales
Total Worldwide
Source: Comscore ARS Global Validation Summary
 Variables Contribution to Sales Changes*
Ad Quality** 52%
Media Plan*** 13%
Other (Price, Promotion, Distribution, etc.) 35%

* Numbers represent the percent change in market share shifts explained
by the corresponding factors.
**Ad Quality represents the quality of creative based on the ARS Consumer
Choice Score, which measures changes in consumer preference through
a simulated purchase exercise with and without exposure to the creative.
***Media Plan includes variables such as GRPs, wearout and
continuity/flighting of airing. 

“In the digital media industry in Canada, we tend to spend a great deal of effort on optimizing the media plan – and rightfully so, because it is extremely important,” said Brent Bernie, president of Comscore Canada. “When one considers, however, the fact that the quality of the creative used in the ad can have such a significant impact on sales outcomes, we can begin to see why it is also essential to optimize creative strategy and messaging on the front end of the planning process. While front-end testing may not be second nature to digital advertisers just yet, we ignore its importance at our own peril.”

Creative Strategy an Important Driver of Strong Creative Execution

Additional Comscore ARS research demonstrates the importance of getting the creative strategy (i.e. value proposition, sales message, etc.) right at the outset of a campaign. For a series of 26 campaigns conducted in Canada, Comscore ARS scored the campaign’s creative strategy, using the ARS Consumer Choice Score (See definition of ARS Consumer Choice Score at bottom). The research categorized the results for each campaign into below-average, average and above-average relative to the Comscore ARS Fair Share Benchmark, which provides the expected score for an average campaign taking into account marketplace factors associated with the advertised brand and category. (See definition of Comscore ARS Fair Share Benchmark at bottom.) The actual creative execution was then scored, using the ARS Consumer Choice Score, again categorizing each campaign into below-average, average and above-average relative rankings.

The relationship between the creative strategy’s score and the resulting execution’s score helps to shed light on the value of a strong, upfront creative strategy. Study findings showed that of the six campaigns with an above-average creative strategy, five resulted in an above-average execution (83 percent). Similarly, among the three campaigns with a below-average creative strategy, each of them resulted in a below average execution. Additionally, none of the campaigns with a below-average creative strategy score performed above-average on creative execution.

Performance of Creative Execution by Creative Strategy
Total Canada (n=26)
Source: Comscore ARS
  Creative Execution Score Relative to Fair Share Benchmark
Creative Strategy Score Relative to Fair Share Benchmark Below Average Average Above Average
Below Average (n=3) 100% 0% 0%
Average (n=17) 24% 65% 12%
Above Average (n=6) 0% 17% 83%

“While it is easy to overlook, getting the creative strategy correct at the outset of a campaign is fundamental to creating campaigns that actually work,” added Mr. Bernie. “There are several phases to a campaign that must go right, while getting any one of those phases wrong significantly increases the likelihood that the campaign will not perform well in market.”

For more information about Comscore ARS creative strategy and copy-testing, please visit www.comscore.com/ars.

IAB Mixx Canada Spring 2011

Comscore Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Gian Fulgoni will address the important role of creative in digital advertising during a keynote presentation at the upcoming IAB Mixx Canada Spring 2011 conference. His presentation, entitled Getting Beyond the Click and Into Branding, will take place on Thursday, March 10 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Carlu Theatre in Toronto.

Comscore ARS Consumer Choice Score Definition

The ARS Consumer Choice Score (formerly the ARS Persuasion Score), is the industry’s most well- documented and independently validated measure of advertising effectiveness. It quantifies changes in consumer preference through a simulated purchase exercise with and without exposure to the creative. It measures the ability of an ad to influence brand preference, and it has been shown to be predictive of advertising-induced sales with a correlation of 0.90 between ARS Consumer Choice Scores and in-market actual sales performance

Comscore ARS Fair Share Benchmark Definition

The selling/value propositions and executions in the Fair Share Benchmark database are determined to be “below average,” “average,” or “above-average” based on their relationship to the Fair Share Degree-of-Difficulty norm (at the 90 percent confidence level). This benchmark takes into account category/brand loyalty, the number of brands competing in the category, and the advertised brand’s market share to determine the score expected, on average, given the current category and brand environment.

About Comscore
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com