Testing television advertising using interactive television.

The effectiveness of political advertisements

Joshua D. Clinton
Stanford University
John S. Lapinski
Yale University


This paper introduces several new methods that explicitly measure the effectiveness of television ads – where an ad's effectiveness is measured by its ability to produce or facilitate the desired behavioral outcome in its viewers. The importance of determining the effectiveness of an ad is perhaps best expressed in David Ogilvy's '18 Miracles of Research' which warns its readers that 'Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals' (Ogilvy 1985, 158). It is only through well thought out, scientific research that we can assess the true effectiveness of an ad, and consequently, determine which ads should be used.

Given the amount of money spent on advertising, combined with increasing competitive market pressures, it is more important than ever for executives to ensure that money spent on advertising is spent on effective advertising. Nearly $50.5 billion was spent in 1999 on broadcast and cable television advertising in the United States alone.1 Add the advertising dollars spent in other mediums, and it is clear that the effective testing of ads is critical both financially and to increase brand share.