Comscore ARS Research Highlights Importance of Advertising Creative in Building Brand Sales

Creative Up to 4 Times More Important than Media Plan

RESTON, VA, October 4, 2010 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released findings from Comscore ARS research indicating the importance of sound strategy and strong creative elements in driving effective campaign execution for TV and digital advertising campaigns. The findings, based on extensive research conducted by Comscore ARS, show 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.

Marketing Variables Influencing Changes in Brand Sales
Total U.S.
Source: Comscore ARS Global Validation Summary


Contribution to Sales Changes*

Ad Quality**


Media Plan***


Other (Price, Promotion, Distribution, etc.)


* Numbers represent the percent variance in market share shifts explained by
the corresponding factors.
**Ad Quality represents the quality of creative based on the ARS Persuasion 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.

“Through our copy-testing measurement, we are able to quantify the quality of a campaign and show a 0.90 correlation between ARS Persuasion Scores [see definition at bottom] and changes in brand sales. Based on our years of research in this space, we’ve determined that the quality of the creative is four times more important than the characteristics of the media plan in generating sales,” said Jeff Cox, executive vice president of Comscore ARS. “In fact, creative is the single most important factor and accounts for over half the changes in a brand’s sales over time. Getting the creative right is absolutely essential, and yet its importance so often gets minimized in the process of developing an ad campaign. Now is the time for advertisers using digital, as well as more traditional media, to get serious about optimizing their creative on the front end so they don’t get a rude awakening when the ads don’t work and they are left wondering what went wrong.”

Creative Strategy An Important Driver of Strong Creative Execution

Additional Comscore ARS research demonstrates just how important it is to get the creative strategy right from the start. For a variety of campaigns, Comscore ARS scored the campaign’s upfront creative strategy, using the campaign’s basic value proposition as a proxy. The research categorized the results of each campaign into below-average, average and above-average relative to the Comscore ARS Fair Share Benchmark [see definition at bottom], which averages the ARS Persuasion Score resulting from copy-tests for a variety of campaigns to provide industry norms. The actual campaign execution was then scored, using the Comscore ARS standard copy-testing methodology, again categorizing each campaign into below-average, average and above-average relative rankings.

An evaluation of the impact of the creative strategy’s score on the resulting execution helps to shed light on the value of a strong, upfront creative strategy. Study findings showed that among campaigns with an above-average creative strategy, 70 percent resulted in an above-average execution. Similarly, among campaigns with a below-average creative strategy, 65 percent resulted in a below-average creative execution. Zero campaigns with a below-average creative strategy score performed above-average on creative execution.

Performance of Creative Execution by Creative Strategy
Total U.S.
Source: Comscore ARS

Creative Execution Score Relative to Fair Share Benchmark

Creative Strategy Score Relative to Fair Share Benchmark

Below Average


Above Average

Below Average








Above Average




“Though often overlooked, getting the creative strategy right from the start is essential if an advertiser wants its creative execution to actually perform,” added Cox. “Doing so will improve the likelihood of achieving a successful campaign that will generate increased sales. A sub-par upfront strategy is a virtual guarantee that the execution is destined for failure.”

For more information about Comscore ARS creative strategy and copy-testing, please visit

Comscore ARS Persuasion Score Definition

The ARS Persuasion Score, which is a well documented and independently validated measure of advertising effectiveness, measures changes in consumer preference through a simulated purchase exercise with and without exposure to the creative. It quantifies the ability of an ad to influence brand preference, and it has been shown to be predictive of advertising-induced sales at a correlation of 0.90.

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 marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications