International Delight CoffeeHouse Inspirations Skinny

Named after advertising legend David Ogilvy, The ARF David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research annually celebrate his spirited advocacy of research in making good advertising better, recognizing the role of consumer research in creating successful advertising. The ARF David Ogilvy Awards were inspired in 1993 when Coca-Cola sought the ARF's assistance in integrating research into their advertising development process. So successful were the process and results, that even the creative agencies embraced it.

The Awards honor extraordinary and/or creative uses of research in the advertising development processes of research firms, advertising agencies, and advertisers. The winning campaigns provide a keen understanding of how research can be used to create powerful, profitable campaigns.


Client: International Delight, makers of flavored non-dairy liquid creamers
Agency: Horizon Media
Campaign Dates: May 3 – June 30, 2010

Business Objective

To create awareness and trial for new International Delight CoffeeHouse Inspirations Skinny

Marketing Strategy and Big Idea

Marketing Strategy: Extend brand reach across multiple platforms (TV, Print, Digital) to build awareness among the target audience of health-conscious females interested in lifestyle topics (entertainment, fashion, food)

Big Idea: Measure and optimize the brand impact and brand-building effectiveness of the digital campaign to maximize user awareness and effective media spend

Research Story

What if brand advertisers could boost the return on their advertising investment by hundreds of thousands of dollars by making in-market adjustments to their digital advertising campaigns? Horizon Media and International Delight did just that, leveraging real-time Brand Lift metrics provided by Vizu Corporation to measure and optimize the brand impact of their digital awareness campaign.

Brand Lift is defined as the percentage increase in the primary marketing objective of a brand advertising campaign. Brand Lift can take several forms in practice, and is most often used by brand marketers to measure the extent to which their advertising has shifted consumer perception against one of the key purchase funnel metrics. For example, advertisers use Brand Lift metrics to measure the effectiveness of their advertising in driving consumer Awareness, Attitudes, Favorability, Purchase Intent, and Preference. While metrics such as click-through rates are appropriate for measuring the effectiveness of direct response advertising campaigns, this metric is irrelevant to brand advertising and quite often misleading. While various measurements of "engagement" provide interesting progress metrics, the performance metrics advertisers are looking for are those related to Brand Lift – an attitudinal metric that cannot simply be observed through behavior.

Horizon Media and International Delight turned to Vizu Corporation for the real-time data needed to optimize Brand Lift for the campaign. Vizu's Brand Advertising Effectiveness Platform allows advertisers and their partners in the digital media ecosystem to collaborate around optimizing Brand Lift metrics, moving their target audience through the purchase funnel, from building awareness to creating intent and preference. Vizu's technology employs a survey-based, concurrent test and control methodology. Vizu's ad tags, which are appended to the creative for the campaign, track which consumers have been exposed to the advertising, in addition to the number of times they've been exposed, where they've been exposed, and to which creative executions they have been exposed. Consumers are randomly assigned to a control or exposed group, and then randomly sampled to receive a survey intercept that poses a question focused on the primary marketing objective of the campaign. In this case, consumers in the footprint of the campaign were asked, "Which of the following products have you seen advertised online in the last 30 days?" The difference in awareness between the control and exposed group indicated the lift in the primary brand objective, awareness, driven by the advertising campaign. Horizon Media and International Delights were able to view the increased awareness driven by the campaign, as well as the performance of the creatives, placements, and frequency levels driving that lift – in real-time via Vizu's web-based analytics dashboard.

The campaign launched to a strong start – after three weeks in the marketplace, the International Delight campaign was driving 23.3% Brand Lift against the awareness objective. That said, Horizon Media and International Delight wanted to ensure they generated the maximum return from their advertising spend, and using the Vizu analytics dashboard identified opportunities to further boost that return.

Research Contribution to Campaign Development and Execution

Horizon Media and International Delight used Vizu's platform to answer three key questions related to the campaign – what ads to run, where to run them, and how often to run them. Using Vizu's online analytics dashboard, they were able to analyze:

Frequency: Is the campaign more effective at driving Brand Lift, and meeting its objective of driving consumer awareness, at certain frequency levels (2 exposures vs. 10+ exposures)?

Site and Targeting Performance: Do some sites and/or targeting segments drive more Brand Lift than others, indicating that the campaign is resonating more with one audience than another?

Creative Performance: Is the target audience responding more favorably to certain creative executions over others, or in other words, are certain creative units more effective at driving awareness than others?

After comparing Brand Lift performance across all exposure frequencies, creative units, targeting segments, and site placements, Horizon Media identified some creative units and targeting segments that were driving less Brand Lift than others. After identifying the lowest performing creative units and targeting segments, Horizon Media and International Delight reallocated those impressions to the best performing creative units and targeting segments. Specifically, Horizon Media reallocated the following:

Results – Marketplace Effectiveness

By making these changes, Horizon Media and International Delight were able to increase Brand Lift from 23.3% to 31.1% as a result of the optimization.

Research Contribution to Marketplace Effectiveness

Optimization efforts had the following effects:


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