Measuring Engagement

Jan 23, 2006  •  Post A Comment

By Chuck Ross

Publisher’s Note: Beginning with this issue of TelevisionWeek, a list of current prime-time broadcast network programs that provide the most hospitable advertising environments, as measured by IAG Research, will be published periodically on the Media Planner page.

Solving the program/advertising environment riddle has been a challenge for decades. IAG Research has been measuring viewer response to programming and commercials for more than four years. Carefully crafted, episode-specific programming surveys are performed the day after the respondents see the program. The responses are used to calculate a Program Attentiveness or Engagement score. Each episode-including reruns-of, say, “CSI,” has an engagement score-which can vary by demographic as well. And each commercial within “CSI” has its own set of recall metrics.

IAG measures television programming every day and has conducted more than 70 million surveys since 2001. The data reveal a long-hidden truth: Attentiveness to a TV show and recall for ads in that show are very highly and consistently linked. IAG has concluded that programs with higher attentiveness scores (engagement) provide superior environments for commercials.

And program environments, like ratings, can be quite different. Ratings are used to help determine prices for advertising in a show. Engagement is beginning to emerge as another criterion for pricing.