Minute-by-Minute TV Commercials Ratings Discombobulate Nielsen

26 September 2007

NEW YORK: The new Monitor-Plus TV commercials tracking system, used by Nielsen Media Research to measure commercial ratings by the minute, is struggling to identify certain innovative new forms of 'live' TV advertising.

So complex has the situation become that the researcher now seeks cooperation from its TV network and syndication clients to solve the problem.

Its Monitor-Plus advertising intelligence service covers eighteen types of media, including TV tracking for all 210 US markets.

In its weekly newsletter to clients, NMR explains that heightened interest in commercial minutes and average commercial minute ratings has led to networks and syndicators incorporating "innovative and creative techniques" in their eagerness to hold audiences during commercial breaks.

Says NMR: "As programmers begin to change how commercials look and behave, it is more important than ever that we have an open dialogue with our clients about the commercials being sold within their programming.

"Some of the new formats do not provide the 'continuous pattern recognition' on which Monitor-Plus relies to track TV advertising.

"Because they don't look like traditional ads, some of the new approaches and formats being employed can't yet be identified by Monitor-Plus automated systems alone."

To overcome this katzenjammer, NMR has now asked clients to supply detailed commercial log data for the new types of advertising spots.

Says Nielsen: "We are asking all clients to provide us with advance information regarding any non-traditional ads they plan to carry."

Data sourced from mrweb.com; additional content by WARC staff