NEW YORK: "This is high definition for market research," whooped Arbitron evp for People Meter product development, Linda Dupree. Her joy marks completion of the year-long Project Apollo trial, a hi-tech multimillion dollar joint research venture with The Nielsen Company.

According to Dupree the trial, which used Arbitron's Portable People Meters, established that consumers exposed to several months of advertising for thirteen medium-to-large brands collectively spent 5%-8% more on those brands after the campaign than before it.

More significantly, those consumers within the brands' target demographic increased their purchases by between eight and twelve percent.

The trial also used PPM data to analyze the effectiveness of a cable-TV campaign in reaching an unidentified painkiller's target audience in the 25-54 age group.

After monitoring the media outlets to which that target audience was exposed, Apollo concluded that the painkiller could reach 16% more of its target audience by revamping its media schedules.

The painkiller data were based on specific findings about participants' shopping and TV viewing habits - spotlighting which ads on which cable networks and at what times of day reached more of the brand's buyers.

Apollo, now a limited liability company jointly owned by the two researchers, was last year hailed by the World Federation of Advertisers as "a new level of media planning effectiveness and a substantial leap in media spending productivity" [WARC News: 09-Oct-06].

It is also backed by such marketing titans as Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Pfizer, SC Johnson, Pepsi-Cola, Unilever and Wal-Mart, which between them spend an aggregated $6.8 billion (€5.17bn; £3.46bn) annually in measured media.

Apollo LLC plans to release more data over the next few months via research papers presented at various marketing and media conferences.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff