August 11, 2008

MEDIAWEEK

CNN Orders Out-of-Home Study on TV Viewership

With spending on out-of-home media poised to all but double by 2011, networks are eager to get a better handle on the relative effectiveness of television advertising when it's viewed outside the confines of the family room.

CNN has commissioned Integrated Media Measurement Inc. to analyze out-of-home ad exposure for 10 clients of media agencies OMD and PHD with an eye toward ensuring greater accountability for viewership in bars, dorm rooms, gyms and other venues.According to Greg D'Alba, executive vp and COO of CNN Ad Sales, IMMI will begin measuring the news network's out-of-home exposure in fourth quarter. Once data is processed in early 2009, D'Alba will share the results with the agencies and their participating clients to better contextualize media planning.'By getting the clients more involved in the research, we can give them a clearer picture of just how effective their ads are in out-of-home environments,' D'Alba said. 'This dimensional study further justifies the investment they're placing in our networks.

'To track out-of-home exposure, IMMI panelists are equipped with mobile phones that pick up and relay a series of audio signatures back to a central server. The company has established local panels in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver.Per Nielsen Media Research, about 8 percent of all TV viewing takes place outside the home. While a final roster for the IMMI study has yet to be set, the list of participating clients is expected to skew more heavily toward the OMD side of the Omnicom business.Chris Geraci, OMD's managing director of national broadcast investment, said he anticipates that some invaluable insights will be brought to light after IMMI crunches the numbers.

'This data will allow us to provide our clients with measurable results and a deeper analysis,' Geraci said.Harry Keeshan, executive vp, national broadcast at PHD, characterized the CNN initiative as an opportunity to provide his clients with a better understanding of how a TV spot can reach its target demo, even in the context of a nontraditional media environment. 'People are adopting more and more innovative ways to get their message out there, and out-of-home is making a significant impact,' Keeshan said. 'With everybody looking for better engagement and ROI, this is a home run.'

Industry projections bear out the enthusiasm. U.S. out-of-home spending is expected to reach $2.25 billion in 2011, up 79 percent versus '07, per eMarketer analysis.