The USA Today Admeter has long been the benchmark for brand marketers to measure the success of Super Bowl ads. But in 2012, the world of brand measurement world has changed, thanks to social and big data.
Focus groups, clip-boards and M&Ms
Like many old-school measures of brand success, the AdMeter relied on an in-person panel (focus group) to measure success. Panels, surveys and polls have long been the “insight vehicle of choice” for brand marketers due to the difficulty in scaling brand measurement across a market. As appealing as it seems, it’s always been unattainable for marketers to peer into the living rooms of television viewers and see if they are laughing, crying (or for that matter, watching at all), just as it’s been a stretch to get visibility into the universe of coffee shop and water cooler conversations the day after the big game. And now that standalone Super Bowl ads have evolved into week-long, multichannel, pre-game campaigns, the measurement challenge has deepened.
The Promise of Social Measurement
2012 represents a watershed moment for brand marketing. Specifically, the last few months have seen the rise of social media as the most promising channel for brand marketing activities and the dominant vehicle for measurement of brand marketing success.Social has two characteristics not seen in other channels. First, social is now at scale. While this year’s Super Bowl broke viewership records to become the most-watch television show in US history (for the third straight year) with more than 111 million viewers, social represents a brand marketing vehicle that can potentially reach Super Bowl sized audiences the other 364 days of the year.
Second, while massive in audience size, social data also offers the ability for incredibly deep analysis of customer interactions. This direct quantitative analysis of brand interactions cuts out the survey and poll-based methodologies of the past (and their associated cognitive biases).
Ranking the Social Bowl
Recognizing this shift, Dachis Group took a deep dive into the social analytics behind the Super Bowl ads and published two reports this week (leveraging our in-house infographic gurus).
The first report, published on Monday, ranks the social performance of the 45 Super Bowl ads against the brand marketing business outcomes they were aiming to achieve: brand awareness, brand love, and mindshare.
The second report, published today (inline below), compares the new world of social measurement against the historical panel approach of the USA Today Admeter. This year, the USA Today AdMeter recognized the potential power of social as well by combining Facebook voting, but were unable to let go of the historical bias to measure with in-person polls. We hope you enjoy the infographic — a side-by-side analysis of the AdMeter results to the Dachis Group approach.
Update: GigaOm has provided a deep dive into the role of Big Data and brand performance monitoring. Read it here: How Social is Making Polling Obsolete