Scary Ad Execs Want to Track Every Move

If it was the government who proposed this Orwellian program, I'd be less scared (can we spell the word “incompetent”?). The private sector, however, is interested in results more than press releases. So, even though the program currently only involves “volunteers”, I'll bet the scope will be expanded once the kinks are ironed out. Yikes. And, in the long run, studies like these are going to cause a great shake-up in the ad industry, as television suddenly becomes a much less effective advertising vehicle when measured accurately. Good news for us, actually - more money to be spent elsewhere, on “alternative media”, as it's called.

Ad Execs Want to Track Every Move

Marketers devise tracking technology to monitor each advertisement you're exposed to, and how the ads affect your spending. Welcome to Project Apollo. Joanna Glasner reports from Ad:Tech in San Francisco.

Marketers are testing new techniques to measure whether advertisers' messages are getting across, and they are prepared to spend vast sums and deploy astonishingly complex technologies to do so.

At the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco last week, advertising experts contemplated a variety of approaches, ranging from round-the-clock automated ad tracking to simply reducing the number of ads per show, that could make it easier for advertisers to reach an increasingly fragmented viewing public.

To measure the impact of ad campaigns, VNU, the parent company of television-audience measurement firm Nielsen Media Research, and Arbitron, the media research firm, are developing an experimental program called Project Apollo that takes the concept of viewer tracking to a level of unprecedented detail...
Project Apollo's creators intend to electronically record marketing messages to which participants are exposed by embedding an audio code into ads that can be automatically picked up by portable devices.

It won't just be television ads, either. Embedded codes may be incorporated in ads across a range of media, including radio, TV and in-store loudspeaker systems. In future versions of the project, John Bosarge, senior vice president at VNU Advisory Services, envisions including exposure to ads in print media as well, albeit not through embedded codes.

More on Project Apollo here

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 2, 2005 8:55 AM.

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