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TNS launches new method of ad evaluation

First time behavioural economics theory applied to measure long-term impact

SYDNEY: 11 June 2014

Global research consultancy TNS, today announced the launch of a novel approach to research that applies the latest principles of behavioural economics – the science of decision-making – to advertising measurement. This marks the first time such principles will be applied to measuring campaign efficacy, relevancy and long-term traction with new and existing customers.

Advertisers have always intuitively understood the power of emotional appeals to connect with their audience, yet until now advertising measurement has been notoriously poor at evaluating consumer response along this emotive dimension.

“Current methods of advertising evaluation can be one of the worst cases of a tail wagging the dog, with too much time spent trying to figure out how to get emotive campaign ideas passed rational measures of success which do not influence long-term consumer behaviour,” said Ryan France, National Director for Brand & Communications Insights at TNS Australia. “By applying behavioural economics theory to measurement practices, we are able to determine with far greater accuracy which advertising messages are working hardest to create or reinforce brand memories and drive long term loyalty.”

For some time, behavioural economists have examined the way people use the two parts of their brain, System 1 and System 2. A large portion of decision making rests with System 1, the fast thinking unconscious part of the brain that handles day-to-day tasks without deep deliberation. System 2 is reserved for slow, resource-heavy rational thought.

Using this framework, TNS focuses on the relationship between System 1 and System 2, with particular interest in System 1 as this is the part of the brain that advertising needs to penetrate in order to create brand memories that influence behaviour long term.

Measuring against the three dimensions below, TNS provides a more well-rounded perspective on the impact of an ad creative and more nuanced advice on how to maximise that impact.

  1. Novelty gets attention. Stimulus that falls outside expectations signals to System 1 that there is something new to be learned that it does not already know from past experience.
  2. Emotional appeals work. Stimulus around people is absorbed by System 1 and this part of the brain chooses to direct conscious attention to those things that it deeply cares about.
  3. Messages need to be relevant. Context has a powerful role to play in influencing what the brain will notice and act upon.

France added: “Behavioural economics provides us the science behind the art of persuasion. By applying these lessons to TNS’s research instruments, we can deliver insights that will help guide meaningful marketing spend. Introducing our new approach to help overcome advertisers’ frustrations is an industry first of which we’re extremely proud.”

“The impact every marketer wants, particularly in the digital age, is going to come from unlocking the brain’s inner workings to create campaigns geared to achieve novelty, affect and relevancy,” said Anne Rayner, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, TNS. “This knowledge has for far too long been ignored by the industry and we’re fiercely proud to be spearheading this new direction in advertising evaluation.”

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About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

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About Kantar

Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.

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Vanessa Hamilton - Consultant - TNS Australia

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