Whither the Click? Comscore Brand Metrix Norms Prove “View-Thru” Value of Online Advertising

Cost Per Click Based Advertising Models Fail to Monetize the Full Impact of Online Ad Exposures for Publishers

RESTON, VA, November 17, 2008 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced the availability of its Comscore Brand Metrix norms database, compiled from nearly 200 brand impact studies conducted across a range of industries and online ad campaigns. Comscore Brand Metrix is a breakthrough service for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns in meeting branding objectives such as heightened brand awareness, improved attitudes toward the brand, increased purchase intent -- and ultimately incremental purchasing.

“In an environment where proving the effectiveness of every advertising dollar is essential, Comscore Brand Metrix gives marketers and publishers the ammunition to demonstrate the true value of their online advertising efforts,” said Evan Neufeld, Comscore vice president of advertising solutions. “With online display ads yielding click-thru rates of less than 0.1 percent, advertisers can no longer rely on click-thrus to gauge online ad performance. Doing so fails to capture the impact of advertising impressions – or view-thru – on attitude and future behavior, which are essential metrics in assessing the complete return on an investment in online advertising.”

Comscore Brand Metrix relies on the Comscore panel to parse differences in behavior and attitudes among those consumers exposed to an online ad campaign compared to those who are not exposed. It is the first product in the industry to measure the true impact of online ad exposures because it overcomes the deleterious impact of cookie deletion that other services ignore, and which can lead to an understatement of the actual view-thru impact of online ads by a factor of 20 percent or more.

Norms Database Shows Substantial Lift in Sales, Advertiser Trademark Search and Site Visitation

The Comscore Brand Metrix norms database contains the results of studies that have been conducted across ten vertical industries and includes the following metrics: top-of mind unaided awareness, total unaided awareness, aided awareness, total advertising awareness, online ad recall, favorability, likelihood to recommend, and likelihood to purchase. For a subset of the studies, the norms database also includes the important behavioral metrics of advertiser trademark searches, site visitation and purchasing – both online and at retail stores.

“Online advertising offers a very compelling value proposition because it gives marketers a bigger bang for their buck,” added Neufeld. “Not only does online marketing have the benefits of more attractive advertising rates and a faster growing retail channel, but it’s clear from the results of our studies that Internet marketing also generates incremental sales in retail stores.”

The Comscore norms data provide compelling empirical support for the belief that there is a quantifiable view-thru impact of online ad exposures on brand value and sales. For the studies in which both retailers’ online and offline sales were analyzed, for periods ranging from two weeks to three months after the initial exposure to an online display ad, the incremental online sales lift was 27 percent and offline sales lift was 17 percent.

Lift in Retailers’ Online and Offline Sales among Internet Users Exposed to Display Ads
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Brand Metrix, Norms Database
  Monthly Sales ($) per Thousand Exposed Consumers
Control Test Lift
Online Sales $994 $1,263 27%
Offline Sales $9,905 $11,550 17%

Online ad exposures also yield a lift in various important online behaviors, such as brand site visitation and trademark searches. For example, a substantial lift in visitation to the advertiser’s Web sites can be observed in the weeks following an exposure to a display ad, even though click rates are less than 0.1 percent. Specifically, there was a 65 percent increase in lift in the week following the first ad exposure and a 46-percent increase over the four weeks following the first exposure, underscoring the latent branding effect.

Lift in Advertiser Site Visitation Among Internet Users Exposed to Display Ads
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Brand Metrix, Norms Database
  Advertiser Site Reach
Control Test Lift
Week Following First Ad Exposure 2.1% 3.5% 65%
Weeks 1-2 After First Exposure 3.1% 4.8% 54%
Weeks 1-3 After First Exposure 3.9% 5.8% 49%
Weeks 1-4 After First Exposure 4.5% 6.6% 46%

The Comscore norms data also show that online display ads can cause an increase in search queries that involve the advertiser’s trademark brand name. Specifically, the average lift in branded trademark searches for the online advertisers studied was 52 percent in the week following the first ad exposure. The norms data also show a substantial continued impact, with a 38-percent lift in trademark searches in the four weeks following the first ad exposure.

Lift in Branded Trademark Search Among Internet Users Exposed to Display Ads
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Brand Metrix, Norms Database
  Percentage Making a Trademark Search
Control Test Lift
Week Following First Ad Exposure 0.2% 0.3% 52%
Weeks 1-2 After First Exposure 0.4% 0.5% 46%
Weeks 1-3 After First Exposure 0.5% 0.7% 40%
Weeks 1-4 After First Exposure 0.6% 0.9% 38%

“We switched to Comscore Brand Metrix because their method of recruiting test and control groups is more accurate and produces less bias than other methods of recruitment we have seen,” said Christine Peterson, VP, Digital Media Director, Carat. “We know we can expect unique and actionable insights from each study.”

“Comscore has helped us bring our clients a new level of campaign measurement utilizing both cross-media methodologies and behavioral data analysis,” said Kelli Robertson, Group Planning Director, AKQA.

Comscore Chairman to Present Norms Data at Wharton Conference

Comscore executive chairman Gian Fulgoni will discuss the implications of the norms data in his presentation, “How Online Advertising Works: Whither the Click?” at the Empirical Generalization in Advertising Conference at the SEI Center at Wharton Business School in Philadelphia on December 5, 2008. To receive your complimentary copy, contact us online at www.comscore.com/request/whither-the-click.asp

For more information on Comscore Brand Metrix, please visit http://www.comscore.com/contact

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

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications