Continuing last week’s discussion, this week we dive into the research model.

A Heuristic Model
In this heuristic model, information is arranged in a hierarchy that bridges the divide of report card systems.


At the top is what pre-testing is supposed to predict: in-market sales results. One level down are the evaluative measures that provide the report card portion of the analysis. Two levels down are the diagnostic measures that are correlated with, and therefore explain, the evaluative measures above.

The arrows highlight the relationships between the variables measured and hence, provide a road map for interpreting the data. Both report card and diagnostic systems use evaluative measures in an attempt to explain why a commercial is or isn’t working. IPSOS-ASI and what used to be ARS (bought by comScore in 2010) are examples of evaluative or report card systems while we are an example of a diagnostic system. You will recognize the report card variables as the fairly conventional ones discussed in last week’s blog post. Different systems measure these variables in somewhat different ways.

Essentially, the model says that for any commercial to be effective, it must accomplish three things:
1) It must get noticed and attract an audience. (Attention)
2) The audience must know who is sending the message. (Branding)
3) Once the commercial has the audience’s attention, it must sell them something or at   least create a positive disposition for sales in the long run. (Motivation)

Other variables are important insofar as they help explain the variables of attention, brand linkage and motivation. For example, entertainment value is not important on its own but becomes so as a predictor of attention. The same is true with liking. On the face of it, it may be possible for a commercial to not be well-liked and still be effective. Think back to Wisk’s “Ring Around the Collar” campaign as an example of this.

But, intuitively, getting into the conscious mind of the consumer and selling the brand is always the bottom line for advertising!

Stay tuned for next time when we will delve into the exciting world of visual vs. verbal diagnostics.