Nielsen to integrate Ad-ID codes into watermarking system


A major step in making marketing more accountable: Bob Liodice, President and CEO of ANA announced at the 2/10 TV and Everything Video Forum that Nielsen will integrate the ANA and 4As Ad-ID codes into its digital watermarking system. Seven hundred advertisers are currently using the code. The end result, Liodice said, is that the Nielsen endorsement would lead to the ability to track TV ratings on a commercial-by-commercial basis, or basically brand-specific ratings. He expects the technology for coding will be available later this year, and spots will be able tracked from the beginning to the end of their lives. The news came a year after ANA announced at the 2010 conference it would join with Nielsen in a test of brand-specific ratings. Nielsen’s watermark technology will cost less than $50 per commercial, according to Liodice. Nielsen said as far as how the data is used for currency, it said it will support what the industry decides.

Nielsen moved from show ratings to include average commercial minutes back in 2007, but some of the complaint from advertisers and agencies is that some of the spots were not measured fully due to the system’s cut-off times. With this move, advertisers will eventually get ratings data for individual spots, so they can see what eyeballs are viewing the inventory they bought.

Nielsen spokesperson Gary Holmes tells us that Nielsen has long recognized advertisers’ pursuit of TV commercial ratings in conjunction with the industry-wide focus on increased accountability. “As is our longstanding practice, we have and will support what the industry decides to use as a basis for the buying and selling of TV advertising.  Coordinating Nielsen’s watermarking technology as part of this research and development phase for Ad-ID could prove an important step in enabling an industry standard to emerge.  We believe this ongoing work with clients, who will set any timetable for their use of commercial ratings, will provide significant future benefits.”

We also spoke with 4As President/CEO Nancy Hill: “This increased accountability will provide a sound foundation for better decision making in media analysis. Our partnership with ANA on Ad-ID is part of our overall mission to help our members make more strategic advertising decisions.”

Harold Geller, Managing Director, Ad-ID LLC and SVP Cross-Industry Workflow/4A’s, tells RBR-TVBR that the increased accountability in media placement will specifically give advertisers the ability to feed the analytics into their media mix models, which will in turn drive a model that is more-results focused.”

Nielsen adds to existing industry endorsements of Ad-ID, which include the IAB, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers and the Advanced Media Workflow Association, (includes Discovery Communications, Turner Broadcasting and IBM).

Liodice also gave more details on an ongoing JV that tests the effectiveness of interactive TV commercials with Canoe Ventures. The test studies includes asking consumers what they like and don’t about interactive TV ads—remote-clickable coupons and additional info about the products in the spots being viewed. The “CEE MEE” project is made up of 1,000 to 2,000 and involves ANA members Fidelity Investments, GlaxoSmithKline, Honda, Kimberley Clark and State Farm.

The ANA, IAB, and the 4A’s have also formed a task force to evaluate measurement approaches. Liodice said measurement must move beyond page views, time spent on page, and click-through rates. The code is used mostly in TV advertising, but there will be a push to expand adoption to online video ads and display advertising.