Sep 28, 2010 at 05:44 PM
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ESPN Study Says Cross-Platform Advertisers Have Higher Authenticity

ESPN XP, the network's cross-platform research project which is described in more detail here, released its findings at the ARF’s 360 Media and Marketing Super Council yesterday. The study utilized data from 15 research suppliers to measure media usage and advertiser effects across all media platforms - TV, Radio, Internet, Mobile and Print. World Cup content was used to study how consumers use multiple media platforms and how advertisers can best use those platforms to convey their message.

“Our mission for ESPN XP is to move cross-platform measurement from custom project to standard practice. The quality and depth of data from this World Cup project has exceeded my expectations and is a major step towards this goal,” said Artie Bulgrin, senior vice president of ESPN Research+Analytics.

Not surprisingly, the World Cup project revealed that a coordinated multiplatform campaign produces better results on key performance metrics such as recall, brand attitude, purchase intent and brand affinity.

“A majority of our clients advertise across multiple ESPN screens, which was especially true of the World Cup,” said Barbara Singer, ESPN vice president of advertiser insights and strategy. “The findings from this research project will help us bring smart platform packages to advertisers because now we know what combinations work better towards specific goals.”

The research explored what a sponsor must do to be effective in this era when media are being consumed in “New Markets of Time”, e.g., on a mobile device in line at the grocery store or on the sidelines of a child’s soccer game. The ESPN XP analysis demonstrated that advertisers must have presence across all platforms to ensure not only exposure but also authenticity of sponsorship. Advertisers who put together the most cohesive story saw the greatest impact, the study revealed.

Some of the overall insights from the advertising portion of ESPN XP included:

Brand Recall increased progressively with platform exposure

In one case study, persons who were exposed to an advertiser on all five platforms had over three times the sponsor association as persons who were exposed only on TV. These data show progressively higher effectiveness with exposure on more platforms.

Mobile emerged as a critical component in multi-platform campaigns

On certain key performance indicators, advertising on mobile alone performed as well as advertising on TV alone. Mobile in combination with TV drove the highest branded word-of-mouth conversations for advertisers. One case study showed that in a media mix, mobile combined with magazines worked as a powerful pair to drive interest in a new product.

Multiplatform Insights:

During the World Cup, ESPN Research+Analytics calculated that out-of-home TV viewing and usage of non-TV platforms (Radio, Internet, Mobile, Print) added 1.5 million viewers per minute (46%) to the World Cup TV average audience. They also identified a group of fans (7.2 million per day) who consumed the World Cup on TV and some other platform. These multiplatform users represented 26% of ESPN's daily World Cup reach, but did nearly half of all daily World Cup consumption.

The multi-platform user is a multi-location user.

Backing up the “Best Available Screen” principle, ESPN Research+Analytics found that a users’ location largely determined the mix of media used.

  • An individual who only consumed World Cup content at home was much more likely to only watch TV.
  • Persons with only out-of-home consumption were almost four times as likely to use non-TV platforms only.
  • The multi-location user (both in-home and out-of-home) was most likely to be a multi-platform user.