REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK — Dec. 9, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. and Mediabrands, in conjunction with Kia Motors America and Hyundai Motor America, today released results from a groundbreaking research effort comparing advertising impact and engagement on Xbox LIVE to traditional video, including TV.
In the study, Microsoft and Initiative, a division of Mediabrands, measured advertising effectiveness across media types and explored how neuroscience technologies can help answer two questions that marketers have asked for years: how to measure audience engagement with their brand and how to measure advertising impact across several media types.
This pilot study, conducted by EmSense, a leading neuroscience company, involved two of Initiative’s clients, Hyundai and Kia Motors, in which test subjects were exposed to various media and advertising campaigns from the companies while wearing a special sensor-laden headset. The headset tracked brain activity, breathing rate, head motion, heart rate, blink rate and skin temperature. Test subjects were also asked to take a post-exposure survey.
The Xbox LIVE campaigns consisted of interactive billboards that users could click through to a branded landing page where they could then interact with content and download videos. The traditional videos used in this study included a 30-second television spot for Hyundai and a 60-second in-theater spot for Kia Motors America.
The results showed more time spent, greater recall and higher levels of emotional and cognitive response in association with the Xbox LIVE ad campaigns than with the traditional video spots. The interactive capabilities of Xbox LIVE enabled an additional 238 seconds of engagement beyond the traditional video ad, which lead to increased unaided recall and brand awareness. For example, the Xbox LIVE ads delivered 90 percent unaided brand recall, compared with 78 percent unaided brand recall rates for the 60-second spot. In addition, the Xbox LIVE ads delivered higher levels of both cognitive and emotional responses.
“We know from our standard performance metrics that our Xbox LIVE campaign is effective,” said Michael Hayes, executive vice president, managing director of Digital, Initiative. “What’s compelling about this research is that we now know that consumers are making an emotional connection with Kia Motors America as well.”
Even more compelling is the methodology that allows brands to compare impact and engagement across multiple measures and across a variety of media types.
“Accurately measuring cross-media engagement is a holy grail for marketers,” said Mark Kroese, general manager of the Microsoft Advertising Business Group, Entertainment & Devices Division, Microsoft. “We are very excited about the methodology used in this initial study and its potential for the industry. If we can crack the code on this, marketers and advertisers will be able to pinpoint ROI by media type and know which campaigns are yielding the greatest impact.”
Details on the Xbox study are available in a newly published white paper titled “Cracking the Code on Cross-Media Engagement” (pdf file).
This study is part of the joint collaboration between Microsoft and Mediabrands announced in June 2009 when the two companies committed to funding a multiphased effort intended to reinvent the way media is planned, purchased, reported and optimized. With the encouraging first phase complete, Microsoft and Mediabrands will continue to drive research that will analyze cross-media engagement across multiple screens, including mobile, which will provide further insight to help advertisers optimize and achieve greater ROI from their digital media budgets.
Created by IPG to manage all of its global media-related assets, Mediabrands employs 6,500 communications specialists operating in 90 countries and manages $30B in global media billings. It is a proven entity in helping clients maximize the impact of their marketing investment to deliver explosive business results. Mediabrands enhances the communications offering and performance across its network of media agencies including Initiative, UM, MAGNA and a roster of specialty service groups. Mediabrands is part of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. For more information, please visit www.mediabrands.com.
About Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft Advertising provides advertisers and publishers with media, tools and services designed to drive deep and profitable engagement with their audiences. This includes a global media network of Microsoft properties such as MSN, Windows Live, Xbox LIVE, and partner properties such as Facebook, WSJ.com and Verizon. The Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Suites simplify planning and management of campaigns and content, offering a range of services that help advertisers and publishers untangle the complexities of digital media and get more out of their marketing and content investments. Microsoft Advertising makes buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices spanning 42 markets and 21 languages. Visit http://advertising.microsoft.com for more information.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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