Advertising is one of the most important and most
expensive marketing functions, but a large share of advertising dollars is wasted
every year. Seldom is the foundational strategy of the advertising optimal. Rarely
are all of the communication issues fully understood. Rarely are ads and commercials
adequately tested before they are “aired.” Because of the great strategic
potential of good advertising, Decision Analyst has devoted more than three decades
of research and experimentation to develop the following advertising services.
CopyOpt™, is a Decision Analyst proprietary advertising optimization
system, is used to help create prototype advertising concepts by determining the
optimal combinations of communication variables.
How Does CopyOpt™ Work?
The basic variables of a brand’s advertising are positioning, messages,
and images. Once the basic variables of effective advertising for a brand are
identified (based on qualitative research and/or innovation services), those variables
are used for CopyOpt™, Decision Analyst’s Advertising Optimization
system. This is achieved by presenting target-audience consumers with choice-modeling
experiments. Different positionings, messages, themes, illustrations, imagery,
music, etc., can represent thousands of possible ads. CopyOpt™ tests subsets
of all of these possibilities to predict the effectiveness of every possible combination
of elements. Each respondent usually sees five to 10 scenarios (i.e., combinations
of variables). Choice modeling is used to derive the potential selling value of
all possible combinations. CopyOpt™ permits hundreds of creative possibilities
to be evaluated efficiently. The top 10 or top 15 advertising concepts are identified
for additional testing, beginning with CopyScreen®.
An early-stage advertising research system to evaluate embryonic advertising
ideas and concepts in print-ad format in batches of 10 to 20 at a time. CopyScreen®
helps identify the most promising creative concepts.
The creative process often begins with a large number of creative concepts
(or advertising ideas). How well advertising works depends on the strength of
the creative concept—the basic underlying logic, messages, and images. Once
generated, creative concepts can be tested to narrow the choices down to only
the best ideas.
How does CopyScreen® work?
The advertising concepts or ideas are translated into rough print ads—each
with a headline, body copy, and artwork. Then a representative sample of 200 to
300 target-audience respondents review and evaluate the rough print ads online.
Each respondent sees all of the rough print ads (up to 20) twice and answers a
series of four questions about each advertising concept.
The answers to these four questions are fed into a mathematical model that
computes an overall score for each ad. These scores identify the advertising concepts
that are worthy of further development.
An online advertising research system to help evaluate and improve advertising
concepts, early-stage print ads, TV storyboards, and radio scripts.
Advertising tends to work on the strength of the creative concept (i.e., the
basic underlying logic, themes, and images). The creative concept can be tested
in the form of a rough execution—before the expense of final production.
How Does CopyCheck® Work?
A representative sample of 75 to 100 target-audience consumers are recruited
to view each advertising concept. The respondents see only one ad (i.e., monadic
test) and then answer a series of questions about their reactions, including both
open-ended and closed-ended questions.
CopyCheck® provides a “directional” estimate of an ad’s
probable effectiveness and provides insightful diagnostic feedback. The report
also includes verbatim consumer responses to open-ended questions. The verbatim
responses are extremely helpful to the agency’s creative staff in guiding
creative development as the advertising moves into final production. CopyCheck®
is often used in place of focus groups to help improve creative concepts.
CopyTest® (Copy Testing)
CopyTest® is a comprehensive, online advertising pretesting system to predict
the effectiveness of semifinished to finished commercials and advertisements.
Copy testing is a safeguard—to make sure you are getting your money’s
worth. Decision Analyst's CopyTest® system helps take the guesswork out of
advertising. CopyTest® gives you the diagnostic insight to improve your advertising
from year to year. Better advertising, in turn, helps build brand equity and boost
How Does CopyTest® Work?
Typically, a representative sample of category users is exposed to the advertising
under a controlled, forced exposure setting over the Internet. Respondents see
the advertising twice. Then the respondents complete a battery of 60 questions
and diagnostic ratings about the advertisement. Recommended sample size is 150
to 200. The results are input into the SellingPower™ analytical model to
calculate overall advertising effectiveness. Based on historical normative data,
internal diagnostics, and analytical models, the respondents’ results reveal
whether the advertising is likely to be effective or not, and indicates what needs
to be changed to improve the advertising.
This analytical mathematical model is the primary measure of overall advertising
effectiveness based on 20 key measurements. The major variables in the SellingPower™
- Persuasion (brand purchase intent)
- Brand reinforcement
- Possible increase in frequency of usage
- Attention value
- Brand registration
- Brand remembrance
- Pass-along potential
- SellingPower™ Model. CopyTest® relies on a predictive
mathematical model, including emotional and rational variables, to determine overall
- Diagnostic Robustness. CopyTest® seeks to explain why
a commercial is effective or not.
- Global Reach. CopyTest® can be executed online in any
country and in up to 30 different languages.
- Normative Database. A normative database of thousands of
advertising tests provide benchmarks. Decision Analyst also recommends the use
of competitive tests to help set target scores or action standards for a brand’s
- Worldwide Online Panels. Decision Analyst’s proprietary
online panels, containing over 8 million consumers, provide sampling flexibility
and a consistent, precise data collection platform across countries.
- Validity. Major measurements in CopyTest® are validated
for new and established products.
CopyRecall™ (Advertising Recall)
A comprehensive, online, day-after, recall system to measure visibility and
memorability of finished commercials through a real-world, on-air test.
Respondents answer questions including the following topics:
- Unaided recall of brands advertised
- Aided recall of commercials
- Brand linkage to commercial
- Advertising message recall
- Advertising evaluation ratings
CopyRecall™ is a sound method of determining if a commercial is intrusive
enough to be noticed and remembered.
CopyTrack® (Advertising Tracking)
A system composed of standard modules for measuring an advertisement's awareness,
message recall, trial, usage, brand image, etc., in real-world environments over
a period of time.
CopyTrack®—our industry-leading, online advertising tracking system,
can help you monitor the effectiveness of your advertising over time—compared
to major competitors. It can tell you when a campaign begins to wear out. It can
identify which commercials and ads are doing the best job.
No one knows for sure how an advertising campaign will play out over time in
the real world. Even if the advertising is tested before airing, its virtually
impossible to predict its long-term effects. As soon as a campaign goes on air,
five types of distortion begin to occur. They include the following:
- Competitive Activity. Competitive advertising campaigns can
confuse consumers and blur the messages they actually receive.
- Perception Bias. Consumers tend to notice certain parts of
commercials more than other parts.
- Memory Bias. Consumers tend to remember some messages and
images from the advertising better than other messages and images.
- Threshold Effects. Your advertising campaign (or parts of
it) might not achieve threshold levels sufficient to break through the clutter
- Contamination. Other marketing variables (sales contests,
trade promotions, consumer promotions, distribution levels, publicity, etc.) can
interact with media advertising.
The data are collected via continuous, or pulsed, online interviews. CopyTrack®
is tailored to the product category and the client’s objectives. CopyTrack®
is designed to accurately measure an advertising campaign’s long-term effects,
- Brand awareness
- Advertising awareness
- Advertising message recall
- Advertising recognition
- Brand image
- Media usage
What Types of Advertising Can Be Tested?
- Television advertisements
- Television storyboards
- Television animatics and photomatics
- Television commercials
- Radio advertisements
- Radio scripts
- Radio commercials
- Print advertising
- Newspaper and magazine advertising concepts
- Newspaper and magazine advertisements
- Online advertisements
- Banner advertisements
- Rich media advertisements
- Online videos and commercials
- Outdoor advertisements
Nowhere is qualitative research (focus groups, depth interviews, ethnography)
more valuable than in the realm of advertising exploration and development. Good
qualitative research can help marketing staffs, advertising agencies, and creatives
better understand the fundamental issues and help them develop more effective
advertising. Qualitative research is especially valuable at the very beginning,
before any advertising concepts have been created. At this stage, creatives are
still open to ideas. The second great opportunity to use qualitative research
is to tweak and fine-tune ads and commercials toward the end of the development
Once basic consumer motivations are understood and some of the basic elements
of strategy are defined, consumers can then be used to help in the advertising
development process. Not just any consumers will do. Highly creative individuals
are the key. They can help create “starter” ideas for breakthrough
advertising. Decision Analyst maintains a panel of over 2,000 highly creative
people (called Imaginators®), who work in small groups, online or offline,
to generate hundreds of advertising ideas for a brand. Naturally, these starter
ideas must be developed into final ads by agencies and should go through standard
Advertising Testing Services
Decision Analyst is a leading global marketing research and analytical consulting
firm and a recognized leader in advertising testing. Our staff has copy tested
thousands of different commercials and ads for foods, beverages, restaurants,
packaged goods, retailers, and other categories over the three decades. Decision
Analyst is a leader in the development of analytical techniques to enhance the
learning from advertising research. If you would like more information on Advertising
Research, please contact Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org),
or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.