Ad Measurement

Mobile Products
Case Study: Is This Billboard Campaign Working?
The Challenge

Measure the impact of an out-of-home advertising campaign targeting Millennials in three markets.

The Solution

Leverage MFour’s research technology to map the campaign’s billboards, then use GeoIntercepts of natural, Millennial-generation passers-by from its million-member active panel, generating data and insights about awareness and lift.

The Results

The client learned the campaign had driven substantial increases in awareness of the billboards and their content.

Case Study Stats
Sample Size : 100
Duration: 1 month, minimum 5 entries
Responses: 573 shopping entries
The Challenge

A global information and entertainment channel wanted to test a proposed outdoor advertising campaign for a new content-streaming app targeted primarily at Millennials. The client sought to assess the campaign’s efficacy in three U.S. cities before deciding a future course. Were passers-by aware of the billboards? Did they remember which brand and product they featured? Did the client need to adjust the messaging and imagery? Was lift strong enough to expand the campaign to a nationwide scale? Or did the concept fail to connect, dictating a different approach?

The Solution

MFour deployed its GeoValidation® technology extensively and repeatedly to meet this study’s objective. First, it electronically “mapped” more than 130 billboards in three major U.S. cities on which the ads would be displayed. Then it surveyed four separate groups of panelists ages 18 to 34. Three were control samples who did not see the billboard advertising. Panelists in each city where the advertisement ran received push notifications on their smartphones when they came within 80 meters of a billboard displaying the client’s app campaign.

Step 1: Fielding Control Surveys to Establish Baselines

To get a valid measure of advertising lift, it was necessary to establish three control groups of respondents who were not exposed to the billboard advertising for the entertainment app.

1A The first group consisted of 100 Millennial respondents who were GeoLocated in three large cities where the billboard campaign was not being mounted. They were interviewed about the entertainment-streaming app, including questions about their awareness, usage and rating of the app, and of five competing apps. This data created a baseline to compare awareness generated by the out-of-home advertising campaign with awareness where there was no campaign.

1B The second control group consisted of 100 Millennial respondents in each of the three cities involved in the test campaign. But these panelists were surveyed before the campaign had begun. Their responses about the entertainment app and its competitors formed the baseline for measuring lift achieved by the billboard campaign.

1C The third control group consisted of 100 Millennial respondents in non-billboard cities who were surveyed concurrently with the campaign in the three test cities where billboards for the streaming app appeared.

Step 2: Fielding the Test Survey

MFour used GeoValidation® to identify natural Millennial members of its all-mobile Surveys on the Go® panel when they came within 80 meters of a billboard for the entertainment app. Panel members who had been part of a control group were excluded to avoid biasing the data. The test study could have been conducted within a single day, given MFour’s capabilities, but in this case it called for deliberately stretching out responses over time: the client wanted to know whether awareness was increasing over the course of the five-week campaign. Instead of 100 immediate completes, the study collected 20 completes per week in each city over the five weeks.

The Results

The client learned that its out-of-home campaign was having its intended effect: awareness that the brand was being advertised was approximately 20% higher in the three test cities than in the three control cities. The before- and after- comparison within the three test cities also showed a nearly 20% increase of awareness that the brand was being advertised. Awareness of the entertainment streaming app itself rose by more than 5% during the out-of-home campaign.

The Outcome

The client was now armed with needed insights into how its billboard advertising was registering with the Millennials it wanted to use its streaming app. It also gathered data about respondents’ intention to use the app, and how the client’s app compared to several competing ones. The knowledge and insights from the study could now inform the client’s marketing strategy for the app in particular, and its brand as a whole.


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