What do you make of this NYTimes article about ad research? It begins with this: "the research industry is...looking at issues like trying to determine the return on investment for advertising spending, improving the measurement of audiences...[and] helping agencies identify the most efficient media outlets." That's all so true! Wanna learn more? Too bad, because all you'll find is some quotes from a guy who measures heart rates of people while they view TV commercials. But that's a creative quality issue, not ROI. In fact, nothing in the article pays off audience or media measurement and that's a shame because those are the areas that hold the most promise for advertisers. It's why Procter & Gamble funnels its monster media budgets to media planners with shiny, new research tools and it even played a role in the 2004 presidential election where Bush-Cheney '04 was a research machine.
It's not a bad article, just one that fails to deliver on its opening lines. Writer Stuart Elliott interviews only two ad people -- then again, maybe it's a sign of progress that neither of them is Paul Cappelli.