Articles & Videos

The Implementation of Brand Purpose

Brands that were built with a cause at the center of their mission do not face the same challenges as brands seeking to incorporate one in order to become more relevant and drive profits.

The Importance of Brand Purpose

Brands are adopting causes left and right. Reasonably so, as our research shows that 81% of consumers believe that a company should have a purpose beyond making a profit.

The Trouble with Rivalries

Let’s face it – humans are no strangers to rivalries, and are happy to pick a brand, become a fan, and continue the argument. As brands have learned, this can drive up loyalty through a feeling of belonging and can be very hard to unseat.

Congruence Counts in Advertising’s New World Order

In days of yore, advertisers interrupted the regular scheduled program with a brief message. But those days are over. Viewers can watch what they want, when they want, and how they want. And no one wants their viewing experience interrupted.

Price and the Advertising Premium

Peter Drucker, the original management guru, once taught, “If you can’t charge a premium price for your product, then you don’t have a brand.” So how do brands get to charge that premium?

Interview with the President of Ameritest, Abby Hollister

In this episode we talk with an industry expert about marketing and the role of data…how it's evolving, and how to make it valuable again. Listen in as our co-hosts interview the President of Ameritest, Abby Hollister, as...

Marketing: The Memory-Making Business

Marketing: The Memory-Making Business As marketers, we have come to find it pretty natural to think about emotion when it comes to brands. How do people feel about our brand, our experiences, our…anything? Even going as far as thinking that simply measuring emotion at...

The Art and Science of the Customer Conversation

It’s easy to forget that it actually has not been that long that we’ve used the word ‘conversation’ to describe what happens between a brand and a customer. Conversations were not the norm as brands pushed out ads that were once unskippable and contacting the brand...

An International “Tour de Conference”

As we walked out of IIeX North America last June, I declared to my colleague, “I’m going to speak in the New Speaker Track at IIeX next year!” Naturally his response was, “That’s great… but what are you going to talk about?” I didn’t know for sure, but thought that...

Who’s In Control Of Your Brand Story?

  ARF Webcast "Who's in Control of Your Brand Story?" Presented by: Ameritest If you're an ARF member and would like to view the presentation and access key take-aways from this event, visit: https://thearf.org/event/webcast-whos... Visit...

Deep-seated and long-lasting

Memory has been and remains a favorite topic of Holly wood, for good reason. It can act as a powerful and dramatic plot device, setting up sever obstacles in films such as The Bourne Identity and Memento. And it functions simultaneously as a character study. It...

Create a lasting impression

"The human brain....just think about this problem for a second. Here is a lump of flesh, about three pounds, which you can hold in the palm of your hand. but it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space." -Villayanur Ramachandran, neuroscientist You don't...

Video: Are Consumers Eating Their Feelings

To build memories, marketers tap into the brain’s three major memory systems: episodic, procedural, and semantic. You can think of these systems as the head, heart, and hand that work together to drive brand choice. The head searches for and embraces attribute,...

What You Want and What You Get: The Ask

As we wrote in our last blog introducing this series, we are publishing trends from our research this summer interviewing those who work with and directly buy research. It is an important part of how we, as a consultancy, can better learn about those we value most,...

What We Did This Summer

While we definitely had our share of road trips, BBQ’s and ice cream, we also did some work. Some serious work. We were very focused on a project that was close to our hearts: talking to clients about their experience working with research providers and how it can be...

Advertising Trends from the 2018 “Millennial Superbowl”

In case you missed, forgot, or haven’t seen MTV since Jersey Shore first aired over 10 years ago (am I aging myself?), the VMAs were August 20th. And while you might be wondering, “What does Jennifer Lopez have to do with anything?” Sadly, not much, because what...

“Got Milk?” Got Updated

The California Milk Processor Board recently rolled out a new ad in which three children commiserate about the challenges of adolescence over cold glasses of milk. The spot marks a strategic shift away from the instantly-recognizable and universally lauded “Got Milk?”...

Ameritest Announces Appointment of Abigail Hollister to President

Ameritest, a global leader in advertising and brand communication research, is delighted to announce that Abigail Hollister has been appointed president. Abigail is a fourteen-year veteran of Ameritest, consulting with brands to understand and solve their...

IHOP to IHob to IHOP

How can a company built on a foundation of pancakes, up and decide to change that foundation to hamburgers? The casual dining sector is filled with restaurants that consumers have come to rely on. However, when one of these restaurants decides to challenge that...

What 2018 Trends Mean for Advertisers

Last week, we talked about some of the emerging trends we’re seeing in advertising this year. While it’s great to know what’s changing, you probably want to know what this means for you. How does all this translate into how your company approaches advertising? What...

Advertising Trends in 2018

Many of the conversations we have with our clients focus on trends we are seeing in the industry.  Below we share what we are seeing this year. Video The standard conception of advertising tends to revolve around TV commercials, and while those are still dominating ad...

What Comics Can Teach Us About Storytelling in Advertising

What can comics teach us about storytelling? If you’re reading this, you likely focus on storytelling in the context of brand communications. And like me, you might ask yourself, “Are there even similarities between comics and advertising?” I can tell you, after...

How Well-Crafted Research Will Leave You Shouting, “Dilly Dilly!”

I recently found myself in conversation with colleagues about the recent article by Tom Denari in which he describes copy-testing as a “usually blunt instrument that beats out the sometimes unexplainable magic of an ad or campaign.” Sticking with the “Dilly Dilly”...

Aesthetic Emotion and Long-Term Ad Effects

There is a fundamental distinction between the kinds of emotion we all experience in our day-to-day lives and the kinds of emotion produced by a work of art. If advertising is an art, like music and poetry, painting and photography, novels and film, a discussion of...

Collaboration as a Model for Brand Growth

The ARF’s Creative Council’s mandate is to help the advertising community define or evolve collaboration models that can guide an improved process for researchers and creatives. While there is not one model out there for how research and creative teams can collaborate...

Two Days in Brooklyn: The Quirks Event

Last week, a couple of us traveled to Brooklyn for a few days to attend The Quirk’s Event. With more than 70 sessions to peruse and 90 exhibitors to visit the key take-aways are many. When asked what most stood out to me, I scratched my head, because my System 2...

Deep-seated and long-lasting

Memory has been and remains a favorite topic of Holly wood, for good reason. It can act as a powerful and dramatic plot device, setting up sever obstacles in films such as The Bourne Identity and Memento. And it functions simultaneously as a character...

The Lure of Free

Let’s say you had the option between a luxurious Lindt truffle and humble Hershey Kiss. We’ll go ahead and price the Lindt truffle at fifteen cents and the Hershey Kiss at one cent. Based on perceived value I imagine the majority of us would choose the more luxurious...

Who were the 2018 Super Bowl Winners and Losers?

So, the game is over, the ads are played, and the money is spent. How did the advertisers fare in this year’s big game? Pepsi: Failed to Fulfill their Pre-Game Promise One of the risks for the brand was playing it too safe with their game day ad. Not only did Pepsi...

Are Pepsi and Cindy Crawford Up for the 2018 Super Bowl Challenge?

Earlier this year Pepsi announced it would recreate Cindy Crawford’s iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot for this year’s game. Twenty-six years later and Cindy is facing a new generation, a shifting social environment, and a Super Bowl that has become nearly equal parts...

Seeing What Others Don’t in 2018

It’s usually about this time in January where I start feeling guilty, either for not having set any New Year’s Resolutions, out of belief they would not last or feeling guilty for not keeping the Resolution I so optimistically set just three weeks ago. Each year I...

Connecting The Dots: How Brands Can Play In The Political Arena

When a brand tries to play in the political space, it needs to follow the rules of the game. When done right, the messaging can be powerful and make consumers feel better about the brand. However, when done wrong, it can become controversial and devastating for the...

Season’s Greetings from Ameritest

All data leads to one conclusion: The Holidays are here…and we couldn’t be happier to take this opportunity to pause and wish you the most important gifts of the season: the love of friendship, great health and abundance! We also hope you will join us in our...

Advertising Trends from the 2018 “Millennial Superbowl”

In case you missed, forgot, or haven’t seen MTV since Jersey Shore first aired over 10 years ago (am I aging myself?), the VMAs were August 20th. And while you might be wondering, “What does Jennifer Lopez have to do with anything?” Sadly, not much, because what...

The Power of the Montage

Scott McCloud, author of “Making Comics” and “Understanding Comics” says, “When part of a sequence, even a sequence of only two, the art of the image is turned into something more.” In the world of advertising, this ‘something more’ is a story. In storytelling, the...

The Brief in a Creative Brief

A rich man creates an amusement park featuring dinosaurs his team has hatched, as visiting scientists deal with the deadly consequences of interfering with nature.  Three scientists with an interest in the paranormal are fired and decide to start their own business to...

In Making a Story

When I began my career in communications and brand research, I thought of my previous careers as trunks to be stored away in the mind’s attic—perhaps pulled out in a far-distant future when I had time for reflection, meandering beach walks and writing all those...

What’s The Reality Of Your Perception?

Years ago, Rolling Stone was struggling to make its numbers. Readership wasn’t the problem. The issue was media buyers’ perceptions of the magazine. And their perceptions were ruling their decision to not buy the Stone’s advertising space, which was critical to...

Need a snapshot of your banner ad performance? Take a BannerSnap!

Ameritest is proud to introduce BannerSnap, a fully automated banner ad pre-test designed to meet the fast timelines and strict budgets of most digital campaigns. BannerSnap measures ad performance in a controlled environment that mimics the actual consumer...

What Advertisers Learned From A Little Monkey

Imagine, if you will, a thick hamburger patty being pulled off a sizzling grill and laid on a freshly toasted bun. Cheese slowly melts on the patty while it’s topped with lettuce, tomato and secret sauce drips as the top bun is perfectly placed. Now imagine two hands...

Happy Father’s Day

What happens when a brand lets the characters of an ad become the hero? A heartwarming ad that engages viewers with the brand.

Happy Mother’s Day

We’ve all felt the lasting impression powerful advertising can have on us. This Mother’s Day we wanted to share a few ads that really speak to us and harness the powerful emotions we associate with our moms. Enjoy!

Food for Thought: Talking About Taste in Advertising

According to Health World,  www.healthworldeducation.org, memories can actually affect taste. Recalling a positive memory about eating a certain food can make a present experience more enjoyable. Since advertisers build memories around their brands (what we call...

5 Common Advertising Mistakes To Avoid In 2016

Growth comes from reflecting on and analyzing both success and failure. As we flip the calendar to a new year, we thought it would be helpful to share the five most common advertising mistakes that we’ve seen in the CPG category in hopes that we can all avoid these...

The ‘Second Battleground’ To Drive Brand Growth

Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it's about deliberately choosing to be different. — Michael Porter Just about every brand marketer talks about winning the battle at shelf. But there is another battleground that is too often ignored. Many brands may be...

ChefSteps Visits Albuquerque

We were fortunate enough to have Grant Cilly of ChefSteps visit us in Albuquerque. It's worth a minute (or a few hours) to visit the ChefSteps website. They make the process of cooking and the finished product look and feel like art, but in a way that is accessible...

Breakthrough by Category: It’s Not Me, It’s You

On an old episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza perfected the phrase, "It's not you. It's me," when ending relationships. To him, it was a simple, relatively painless means of getting out of a sticky situation. The irony, of course, is when a woman with whom he is in a...

Sharing the Spotlight: Tips on Co-branding in Advertising

Co-branded advertising has a unique set of executional challenges. Advertisers must strike the right balance of attention on each brand while delivering a cohesive message. This is no easy task – yet we are seeing that more companies are using this approach. Below are...

At the Bottom of the Funnel: How Memory Contributes to Ad Effectiveness

Advertisers invest a lot of time and money trying to find creative ideas that will break through clutter and engage the attention of the consumer. In the digital age, this important attention-getting activity is frequently described as feeding the top of the “sales...

I see what you mean

Advertising targeted to Hispanic consumers, one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, will certainly increase steadily over the next few years. But it has been difficult for researchers trying to measure or predict how advertising will...

A Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures

Picture this: You’ve just been hired as the CEO of the 21st-best perceived brand in America1. You enjoy such a strong reputation, in part, because of running one of the most iconic ad campaigns of the century. Your company’s sales were over $72 billion in the last...

Animatic to Finished Film: Recreating a Successful Dress Rehearsal

In the same way that dress rehearsals for weddings or theatre performances help iron out any glitches prior to the big day, they also serve the same purpose in advertising. Pre-testing rough advertising at an early stage – such as an animatic – is an economical way to...

The “Absolute Value” of Advertising Research

Itamar Simonson & Emanuel Rosen recently released the book, "Absolute Value." I picked it up because the hook was intriguing – in a world of increasing access to information, has brand equity and relative value lost its place? The sub-title of the book goes one...

Analogy in Advertising: Strengthening Your Brand Perceptions

In order to survive, humans rely upon comparing what is happening to them in the present with what happened to them in the past. Based on previous experiences and memories stored, our brain helps us live. For example, when you walk into an elevator, your brain...

P & G’s “Thank You Mom”: The Success Story of a Successful Story

This winter we witnessed an inspirational competition amongst disciplined participants who struggled years and years honing their skills and finally rising to the apex of their chosen specialties. (Oh, and we also watched the Olympics.) Of course I'm talking about...

Does Ronald McDonald work for Taco Bell?

Taco Bell sparked a media explosion with the use of numerous Ronalds McDonald to launch their new breakfast menu. The campaign, which first aired the last week in March, continues to generate media content across industry and news sites alike. The ads themselves have...

How Speed Adds Quality to Advertising Research

Increasingly, the marketer’s job is more challenging, from marketplace uncertainty, tight budgets, and less staff, to a continued shift in control from the marketer to consumers and retailers. Advertising research is needed more than ever to help win this battle, but...

Super Bowl vs. Olympic Advertising: The Results Are In!

February brought us two of the farthest reaching, live advertising events in the U.S.: the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Though their reach may be similar in stature, these events create very different viewing experiences and advertising contexts. How do advertisers...

Superbowl Sunday is Upon Us – Are You Calling the Right Play?

Football coaches put together their offensive playbooks by evaluating their teams and scouting the competition. Do they have more speed than size? Are they strong at quarterback and weak at tailback? Do they have a big offensive line and some good running backs? Or...

A Heuristic Model for Testing Commercials

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:...

Research as Teacher: A Brief History of Advertising Research

A wise old researcher once said a researcher has two jobs: First, to learn something useful that your clients didn’t know before and second, to teach them what you found out. The second job is the harder and also the more important of the two as it is the key in...

Ameritest Hires Ralph Blessing as Managing Director

Closing out a year of growth and marking the start of a strong 2014, Ameritest is proud to announce the hiring of Ralph Blessing as a Managing Director. He will head the new Chicago, based office.Ralph brings a 30-year track record of growing mature brands and...

Ameritest’s Top 5 QSR Ads of 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, we're taking a look at the Top 5 QSR (Quick Service Restaurant,  aka Fast Food) ads according to the Ameritest AdStandings. The Ameritest AdStandings syndicated advertising research product surveys all :30 ads released by the top 20 QSR...

Happy Thanksgivukkah from Ameritest

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgivukkah. It won't happen again for 70,000 years, so make the most of it and enjoy every minute.   image source: thanksgivukkahboston.com

Holiday Ads: Humor vs. Heartstrings

‘Tis the season to be jolly! And ‘tis also the season to hit the stores and swipe that credit card! With Black Friday less than two weeks away holiday advertising is in full force. In this sea of promotions and sales, two types of ads buoy to the top: the humorous and...

Predicting Sales from Ad Testing: A McDonald’s Case History

Our most recent white paper explores the challenges that advertising researchers face when attempting to validate in-market sales performance based on pretesting results. Focusing on the McDonald’s brand, and drawing upon 180,000 interviews collected over several...

How Advertising Influences Perceived Number of Calories in Food

When it comes to eating, we have two brains: Our Big Brain – 100 billion neurons deciding how appealing the food is via smell, taste, and texture. This decision is combined with the emotional factors of how we feel, who we are eating with, where we are eating and past...

Advertising Research: Connecting the Heart with the Head

Douglas Van Praet (EVP at Deutsch LA) recently said in an article on co.create that his agency's successful ad, "The Force," would not have passed via traditional copy testing measures and may not have ever made it to air. While we respect Van Praet, we have to...

Completing the Picture Conclusion – Looking Forward

Currently, using online cameras for eye tracking and for measuring emotions through facial response coding are two of the hottest areas of innovation. It is easy to imagine how either of these two techniques might be refined by combining them with information from...

See What Others Don’t

To start the conversation with Ameritest today