Nielsen's In-Home Commercial Ratings Pilot Test

November 28, 2007


The ANA released a white paper in March 2007 calling for brand-specific commercial ratings - Nielsen is working on a number of initiatives that could help lead to brand-specific commercial ratings, including a project they are calling "In-home commercial ratings."

In-home commercial ratings

The objective of this initiative is to utilize existing program ratings technology to produce brand-specific commercial ratings. More specifically, that existing technology would be the A/P (Active/Passive) meter. The A/P meter has two core competencies: (1) tuning - who is watching and (2) program verification - what program is airing. All national programs are currently encoded in both video and audio. In this test, the A/P meter would be enhanced to pick up encoded commercials to produce brand-specific commercial ratings (10 sec, 15 sec, and 30 sec).

This solution would provide data on an advertiser's exact creative execution (including the exact demographics of those persons watching the commercial), due to the encoding, without the possible human error from Monitor-Plus (where a Nielsen employee actually identifies a commercial and gives it a name). This initiative would take longer to broadly roll-out than other options since software needs to be developed and downloaded to the A/P meter to pick up the commercials.

Note that this option needs to be tested via a pilot (80 test homes) rather than the current live sample due to MRC (Media Rating Council) requirements.

The potential learning for this test includes: can Nielsen pick up a commercial?; can that commercial be properly identified?; can Nielsen repeat it?; does the process work?

Again, success is dependent on advertiser support to encode commercials. According to Nielsen, many dub houses have encoding capabilities (dub houses should be told to use the SpotTrac encoder) and the incremental cost is nominal - about $50-80 per execution. Only new creative should be encoded.

A list of dub house who encode is provided on the next page.

The cooperation of ANA members in encoding new commercials, of course, is voluntary - but potentially would be for the greater good of the industry.

Please advise both ANA (Linda Narbey - and Nielsen (Jeanine Palazzo - after you have encoded any of your new commercials.

Nielsen In-Home Pilot Test for Sub-Minute Ratings Data

List Of Dub Houses That Encode Commercials (per Nielsen)

Advanced Digital Services (ADS)
948 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038
Brad Weyl
323.468.2200 / brad.weyl@adv

DG (former Point 360 Chicago)
430 West Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60610
John Lorek
312-280-8949 /

DG Fastchannel Chicago
200 W Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60606
Bill Mitchell
312-454-5450 /

DG Fastchannel LA
3330 W.Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Nate Frink
323-603-5220 /

Laser Video
401 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
Ken O'Neil
610-825-2500 /

North Country Media
721 2nd Street South, Great Falls MT 59504
Lenise Bennet
406-761-7877 /

USA Studios
29 West 38th Street, 4th Fl., New York, NY 10018
John Gammon
212-398-6400 /

Vyvx LA
2323 North Valley Street, Burbank, CA 91505
Armando Merlos
818-729-2924 /

Vyvx NY
619 West 54th St., New York, NY 10019
Gary Berger
212-708-0500 /



"Nielsen's In-Home Commercial Ratings Pilot Test." ANA TV Advertising Committee, 11/12/07.