ABX Advisory

Insights on Advertising Effectiveness to Boost ROI and ROAS

Is Your Ad Creative Effective? You May be Shocked.

Posted by Gary Getto on Mar 15, 2016 11:45:47 AM
Generating effective ad creative is hard and data proves we are unsuccessful more often than not.  Every advertiser risks his advertising investment with a large number of sub-optimal, poor-performing ads he doesn't know about that is reducing his ROI and causing lost opportunities. But there's hope!

Advertising Testing is Used for About 1% of all Ad Creative; No Wonder so many ads Fail.

How do we know? We have the largest normative database of benchmarked ads in the industry with more than 100,000 TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, Digital, OOH and FSI ads.  Each ad has been evaluated for 14 Key Performance Indicators, which have been shown to correlate highly with business results.  If you'd like to know more about the impact of good creative, see our resource sheet: Advertising Effectiveness Measurement.

The chart below illustrates this from a random sample of ads from a 3-day period. While we would expect to see some clustering about the mean, we see more of a random walk indicating no consistent pattern of creative effectiveness.

No matter the advertiser or industry, we see this identical pattern.  TV ads usually score best since they receive higher management attention and scrutiny and a small portion have usually been pre-tested. Ad Effectiveness Scores from 3 Days of ABX Testing show More Ads are Ineffective and Effective.

And that is exactly the problem.  While advertising copy-testing has existed for many years and is a staple of all major advertisers, the high cost of legacy systems has meant only a fraction of all ads are evaluated.  Amazingly, of the more than half a million new creatives each year across all media, less than 1% are copy tested:

Diagram showing how many ads are currently tested in TV

Is it any surprise, then, that we see such wide variation in scores for ads in different media types?  Or that so many ads are below average, meaning they are underperforming and their media investment is less likely to pay-back. 

If you know which ads are underperforming, you can adjust your spend, replace underperforming with better performing creative, or have the creative team tweak the ad to improve its performance. Simple changes like this are being done routinely with very high ROI from the effort.

Over the coming weeks, this blog series will discuss why copy testing is broken, and what can be done about it, as well as key learnings from the largest syndicated ad effectiveness study in existence. The series expands upon the ideas and data presented in our free eBook,Four Key Performance Indicators to Decrease Advertising Investment Risk and Build ROI," and will go further with creative examples and tips for all media types.

Next Installment:  "The Myth of Likeability" with data recently provided for Super Bowl advertising as featured in Forbes.  Don't miss it!

Are you satisfied with your current creative effectiveness?  Is it resonating through Awareness and Message, and having an impact on Reputation and Action?  ABX provides the largest normative database in the industry across all media types. On average you can improve your creative effectiveness by almost 20%

Free eBook - "Four Key Performance Indicators to Decrease Advertising Investment Risk & Build ROI"

Written by ABX President Gary Getto, this new eBook shares insights gained from the world’s largest database of benchmarked ads. You will learn the characteristics of powerful ads and how they can better drive results. 

Click for Free eBook 

How the ABX Testing is Done

ABX provides ad effectiveness scores from human respondents against 14 variables and in all media types. ABX Index values are a comparison of the results of an ad versus the average of all ads in the ABX database (100,000+ ads). Click for more information about definitions and methodology.


Topics: Data-Driven Keys

Join the discussion on advertising effectiveness with insights from the world's largest normative database of measured ads:

  • Analysis of creative omnichannel 
  • What works or doesn't by industry 
  • Implications for marketing, creative and media planning
  • Consumer panel results, not just opinion
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