Behind the Numbers – Q&A with Lesle Litton, comScore Vice President

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You may have already seen we made a rather large announcement today that we are quite excited about. The announcement shares the findings of a major study we conducted in collaboration with comScore and six major advertising partners – check out the full results here.

To put it into a little more context, we sat down with Lesle Litton, comScore vice president, to discuss its significance and what the findings mean for you.

VE: The Ad Effectiveness Study is the first and largest of its kind ComScore has conducted. Why?

Litton: This was a controlled experimental design. It allowed us to isolate the impact of the ad unit vs. site type – essentially, whether environment played a role in the ad’s effectiveness. Most of our research deals with live campaigns. We have various types of measures. The difference is: Because it’s live, we can’t control for all variables to really understand what the driving factor of the shift is. In the case of this controlled study, we were able to examine all brand measures.

VE: What do the results mean for media buyers? What about brand managers?

Litton: For media buyers, while there’s value in placing an ad on large brand sites, we also found more creative ad units, including video units, can significantly raise brand lift regardless of context. It’s a matter of where you’re looking to spend dollars. Ad format is something they should put more weight on in their decision.

For brand managers, it’s a matter of engagement. We saw considerable lift with those who engaged with the actual ad. Engagement is 6x more effective driving ad recall. When you’re creating an ad experience, think of how you want consumers to engage with your brand. It’s about shifting that mindset and creating compelling experiences.

VE: What can we learn about measurement with this? Is measurement changing?

Litton: Put simply, the “click” isn’t the best indicator of brand engagement. We’re going to a place of brand ROI (sales) – measurement is becoming more of a holistic view of what worked well in the campaign, examining that through various filters and turning that knowledge into best practices over time.

VE: What’s the biggest takeaway for the industry?

Litton: I have two. Ad format matters. Engagement is a big one in my mind.