As Nielsen braces to report ratings for commercial minutes as the new currency for unit pricing, it is also grappling with the definition of a commercial. The issue attempts to define the difference between a national commercial and a direct response (DR) commercial.

Wake up! There is no difference. A commercial is a commercial is a commercial. The message should play no part in the definition of what it is.

My guess is that DR or “call to action” commercials perform better than your standard fare. Revealing higher ratings for these units will either cause the networks to increase pricing for Direct Response ads or jolt creative directors to introduce response mechanisms into more standard fare.

Direct Response folks always know how well their ads work --- minutes after they air. National ratings aside, DR call centers redirect response rates to buyers who make program changes to accommodate poor performance. In the internet world it’s called “Optimization”.

It is ultimately unlikely that his shift in charting how almost $60 billion will be spent will have any impact in the real world. What Nielsen’s commercial minute ratings will NOT tell you is who is paying attention. That kind of feedback is and has been handily managed for years by Direct Response Rates.

The bottom line is sales ….. not ratings.

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Askinstoo said...
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