Dummy vehicle advertising is pretesting method of measuring advertisement effectiveness. Pretesting:
Pre-tests include both concept ads and finished ads that have not yet been deployed or been evaluated and measured. In the concept test, the ad has not yet been created or is in an intermediary state of completion. It might be in storyboard form, live-action rough form, or exist as an animatic. The consumer might be able to offer some suggestions and reactions about the message and execution, but often is constrained by his or her inability to visualize the ad in the final version. The consumer might like some elements of the preliminary ad, and then apply a halo effect to the rest of the unfinished ad in which positive elements are generalized to the entire ad and the negative aspects are overlooked. Concept of dummy vehicle advertising:
In dummy advertising vehicle ads are placed in” dummy” magazines developed b agency or research firm. Dummy advertisement is way of testing so that the reader’s natural environment is used is to produce a dummy or pretend magazine that can be consumed at home, work or wherever readers normally read magazines. Dummy magazines contain regular editorial matter with test advertisements inserted next to control advertisements. These pretend magazines are distributed to a random sample of households, who are asked to consume the magazine in their normal way. Readers are encouraged to observe the editorial and at a later date they are asked questions about both the editorial and the advertisements. Why dummy advertising test is used?
Magazine ads are pre-tested to a lesser extent than television commercials. It is desirable that the proportion of magazine ads that are pre-tested should increase. The methods used for pre-testing TV commercials are not necessarily appropriate for magazine advertisements. Face to face interviews are generally the most fruitful means of contact with respondents, since the essence of pre-testing is to show consumers the test material. These can follow qualitative or quantitative approaches, or both. Otherwise the main factors to be agreed in choosing a pre-testing method for magazines are: – The type of stimuli to use
– How the stimuli are exposed
– The criteria of effectiveness which are adopted.
How dummy advertising field test is done?
Face to face interviews are generally the most fruitful means of contact with respondents, since the essence of pre-testing is to show consumers the test material. These can follow qualitative or quantitative approaches, or both. Otherwise the main variations concern the way magazine ads are prepared as stimuli, how informants are exposed to them, and the measures used to assess their effect.
Preparing the stimuli
In what ways can the test advertisements be prepared for exposing to the sample of respondents? These are the main classes of option:
1. Real issues of magazines can be used, containing the test ads printed in the normal way as part of the full print run. This is the ideal stimulus but obviously can only be used for existing ads, not new ones that have not yet run ‘ live’.
2. ‘ Tipping in’ specially printed ads, pasting them into real issues of magazines. Informants are not likely to notice that this is an extra page inserted into the copy. This is the best quality stimulus for new executions that have not yet run in a live campaign.
3. Mocked-up folders representing a magazine, containing editorial pages as well as the test ads. Each page can be held within a transparent plastic pocket. While this no longer looks like a real magazine, it offers a means of exposing the test ads in the context of editorial and other ads, thus disguising to some extent the interest in the test ads. This is much less expensive than the ‘ tipping in’ option. It also means that roughs of the test ads can be used if a finished printed version is not available.
4. A dummy magazine created on a PC by a professional designer using an appropriate off-the-shelf publishing software package. The test ads can be inserted and the whole magazine printed out and bound. The result can look more realistic than the folders described above, while keeping the cost low.
5. Advertisements shown on their own – either just the test ads, or including some other ads to create a mild disguise. These could be finished printed ads or roughs. This is the most artificial of the methods which use ads printed on paper.
6. Projecting advertisements onto a screen or wall, or within a closed box of some kind, for a fixed time (usually a few seconds only). This is not only the most artificial form of exposure, but it also runs counter to a prime characteristic of magazine advertisements – the reader’s ability to hold the ad and examine it for as long as desired. On the other hand, it is method of ascertaining what information can be derived from the ad on an occasion when a reader only scans it quickly and does not read it in detail before turning the page.
Exposing the stimuli
Having prepared the test advertisements, there are a number of options for exposing them to respondents. In practice these two elements must be considered together from the start of course.
1. Finding people who have read the relevant issue of the magazine in the normal way – an issue which they obtained themselves without knowing they would be interviewed. They can then be shown the interviewer’s copy of the issue as a prompt while being asked questions. This means that exposure to the advertising and editorial has been completely natural. Timing can be tricky: too soon after the issue is published may mean an informant has not finished reading the issue, but too long after publication may mean that an early reader has partly forgotten what he or she looked at.
2. Giving the magazines to informants to take away and look at in a normal reading situation, with an interview later – say the next day. This assumes that the research is using real live magazines or live magazines with the test ads tipped in. This gives a reasonable approximation to normal magazine exposure, but it is not totally realistic – in particular, the informants know they have to read the issue within a defined short time-period, and they do their reading in the knowledge that they will be asked questions about it.
3. In a waiting room of some kind, giving informants the magazine to read while waiting for the interview. This is a simulation of normal reading, but the unnatural and very short time limit for reading, the strange location, and the possible tension while waiting to be called into an event that is not fully understood all introduce artificiality. Real magazines with real test ads or tipped in ads can be used.
4. Forced exposure: showing the informants real or dummy magazines, folders representing magazines, folders containing advertisements only, or advertisements shown loose. This abandons any attempt to create normal reading. While this artificial situation can say nothing about whether the informant would have noticed the test ads in normal reading conditions, it still enables the interviewer to ask about how and what the ads communicate, and the path that the respondent took across the individual components in an ad when first shown it.
Measures of an ad’s effect
It is prudent to examine not just a single measure but several in order to test the advertising in all its aspects. An advertising campaign is likely to have several objectives and sub-objectives, and the pre-testing criteria should be chosen to cover these, and to reflect each aspect of how the test ads may be expected to work. It should also be explicit whether what is to be tested is the execution of a creative idea or the idea itself. This list shows some of the most important of the many possible criteria of a magazine advertisement’s effectiveness: Ad awareness, memorability.
Clearly, the manner in which respondents are exposed to the advertisements will affect which measures on this list are capable of being employed. For example, if forced exposure has been used, ad awareness is irrelevant; and accurately measuring eye movement requires some way of capturing it, such as a hidden camera focused on readers’ eyes while they read at a fixed spot such as a lectern.
Advantages of dummy advertising vehicle:
1. Estimating a response rate.
2. Fishing out wording issues or questions that are difficult to answer.
3. Estimating the length of time to complete the survey.
This factor is probably the second of the two most common reasons surveys are pre-tested. By reviewing the time stamps of how long it took the respondent(s) to take the survey you can determine whether you can add those two other key questions your client wanted to add, or determine if you need to cut back on the scope. 4. Understanding points of likely dropout.
We’ve often spoken about better engaging survey respondents in past blog
posts and this benefit speaks directly to that. You can accomplish this a few separate ways. One would be to look at data to see which questions carried the highest likelihood of dropping out. Another, more personalized method would be to follow-up with select survey respondents by phone to discuss their survey experience (if you have access to their telephone number through an internal or client panel).
5. Improving your subject line or invite text.
Another benefit of a pre-test is to test the effectiveness of your subject line or invite text. Therefore, if you have time to pre-test, you might want to think about using a few different subject lines or invite text and then see which of those worked best.
6. Provides natural setting for testing.