Life without television?

A new way of forecasting media effects may sometimes favour a magazine option

Alan Copage

For both planners and clients, the crock of gold has always been to find some objective way to compare their media options - eg colour pages versus 30-second TV spots, or a combination. Reach and frequency say nothing about the relative impact and memorability of different campaigns and different media. Most decisions arise from judgement, conjecture and prejudice, with TV often the gainer. Using hypothetical examples, this paper outlines a method that uses back data to create valid comparisons (and forecast likely performance variance) in terms of memorability. As a 'black box' whose inner workings aren't specified, much plainly depends on the quality of the input assumptions ('beta values'), and how these are derived. However, it opens up intriguing new thoughts about the relative potency of magazines, and how multi- media schedules may best be laid down.