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Accipiter, Millward Brown Offer Online Ad Branding Research

Accipiter Inc. and Millward Brown Interactive, an online brand communication research firm, are partnering to offer advanced advertising evaluation tools to Accipiter AdManager-driven Web sites.

Millward Brown Interactive's Brand Trak studies will measure the impact of advertising on a specific Web site.

Traditional media publishers have long provided simple pre-/postadvertising tests to big advertisers, but Millward Brown Interactive's Brand Trak online advertising measurement goes further in assessing the value of an online ad on a specific Web site, the company said.

By integrating Millward Brown Interactive brand measurement with Accipiter AdManager, the companies said they have completed the puzzle of how to link exposure information (such as frequency and recency) with comprehensive branding impact (such as ad awareness, brand image association, and purchase probability) in an affordable manner. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"In order to make the transition from traditional to online advertising programs, advertisers need to know whether or not their ads work," said Chris Evans, Accipiter CEO. "By inexpensively measuring major branding metrics they can now justify advertising on the Internet."

Previous Millward Brown Interactive studies such as those for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), Berkeley Systems, and HotWired have measured the impact of a wide range of formats including banners, interstitials, and sponsorships. However, most advertisers want to know about their specific advertisements on specific Web sites, the company said.

The Millward Brown Interactive Brand Trak studies build on these previous studies by enabling AdManager-driven sites to provide any advertiser with site-specific reports of online advertising impact across major branding metrics including awareness, advertising recall, brand perception, and purchase probability.

"The Millward Brown Interactive Brand Trak module is designed to be closely integrated with AdManager to rigorously measure how frequency and time since exposure variables impact the achievement of specific brand communication and marketing objectives," said Rex Briggs, vice president of San Francisco-based Millward Brown Interactive.

The reports generated by AdManager chart key branding metrics allowing media planners to determine which advertisement, what frequency, and on what sites will yield the best return-on-investment, the companies said.

"Until now, the metrics to help media planners have been severely limited to simply an impression count and clickthrough percentage," said Briggs. "Although the clickthrough is an important metric for direct marketing efforts, it isn't applicable in most advertising situations."

"Consider the case of packaged goods company selling candy bars. Why would any consumer seeing a candy bar ad click on the ad banner? Clickthrough is irrelevant in this situation. What matters is that consumers see and remember the ad and are more likely to buy the product the next opportunity they get," continued Briggs.

Millward Brown said it may work with other companies, but at present is working exclusively with Raleigh, NC-based Accipiter.

WPP Group's Millward Brown Interactive is a division of Millward Brown International, one of the 10 largest market research firms in the world.