Sunday, April 08, 2007

About Ads and L3 Technology – Part 2

But what about measurement? The Nielsen ratings method, as I mentioned in Part 1 is “rust-belt” technology. We know it is inaccurate at best (I have been a participant in Nielsen one season) and it doesn’t reflect the real behavior of people watching TV. For example, how does channel surfing reflect in the ratings? Yet, I will guarantee you have done it, and possibly do it on a regular basis - especially if/when you watch TV alone.

So what are you as an advertiser really paying for? You are paying for a best-effort guess of the number of people who may watch your ad in a specific program, assuming that the program is as interesting/entertaining as the previous episodes of that program or worse of programs like it. If Nielsen, using its flawed technology says more people watched it than expected, you celebrate, otherwise you weep. And you put up with this?

No, you ask for L3 technology. :-) Of course. Where the number of times an Ad is played is reported to you by the minute. Where you get reports that let you drill down to an individual (although privacy laws may prevent that level of disclosure). Where you control your budget in advance and your budget could be $1 or $1 billion. Where you can change what you are willing to pay for your ad on the fly. There is a lot more, but you get the idea?

Oh, one more thin mint. When I say, “you can change what you are willing to pay”, I meant you could change it to anything. Chew on that for a second. Suppose you were paying $30CPM for an ad. Let us say it is a really funny ad, your ad itself becomes really popular and people want to watch just the ad. You could change the CPM to say -$10. In other words you are not paying anymore, you want to charge people to watch it. So now you could actually earn money whenever anyone watched it.

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