What is Ad Testing?

Simply put, ad testing is a form of market research used to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Ad testing is important in understanding how audiences respond to ads and how they can be changed to better suit consumers.

Ad testing methods

Monadic testing and sequential monadic testing are two common and proven qualitative research methods of testing ads. Monadic testing asks participants to look at a single ad and provide feedback on it, giving an unbiased perspective to the researchers. This can be extremely useful when ad agencies are looking for immediate, initial reactions about a certain ad.

However, if agencies are more interested in seeing how multiple versions of their ads stack up against each other, monadic testing can be tedious and time consuming. Sequential monadic testing requires participants to watch multiple ads sequentially and then present their opinions, offering researchers a comparative understanding of the ads.

Benefits of ad testing

Ads are expensive. Companies spend large sums of money producing ads, only to spend more to distribute them. Therefore, they need ad campaigns that are impactful, far-reaching, and enticing. Ad testing can provide powerful insight into how audiences are responding to their ads, and address any major flaws in their current campaign. By streamlining their messaging, playing to their strongpoints, and figuring out how best to connect with consumers, companies can run incredibly efficient ad campaigns through ad testing. Good market research can inform not just how a company designs its advertising, but shapes its entire brand.

Limitations of ad testing

Unsurprisingly, the more rigorous the ad testing, the more expensive it will be. Ad testing – especially for major, widespread campaigns – can be quite pricey, as they require numerous researchers working with lots of participants in order to get the most accurate data. Additionally, successful ad testing often requires multiple rounds of testing, making the research more time-consuming and extending the bill.

Ad testing case study

A pharmaceutical company unveils a new product aimed to combat motion sickness, and plans to release an ad to be broadcast at primetime. It hires an advertising agency to come up with a few ideas, and conducts some ad testing before making its final decision on which to air.

Participants watch ads A and B, and give their feedback to the researchers. In ad A, respondents appreciate the humor, and say that it didn’t feel as serious as a normal drug advertisement. Most respondents say that ad B is too boring, and doesn’t stand out as a memorable ad. However, respondents who suffer from motion sickness point out that they liked some of the language used in ad B over ad A – the use of “discomfort” and “lightheadedness” over “queasiness” and “vomiting”.

This is information that only people who suffer from motion sickness would be well-versed enough with the topic to pick up on, and can advise the company to alter the language in ad A to reflect the more nuanced approach in B. By conducting a thorough market research analysis on its ads, the pharma company can effectively reach a wider audience while still appealing to its target demographic.

Invoke’s Approach to Ad Testing

Invoke’s approach to ad testing allows advertisers to test multiple ads in a timely and cost-effective manner, without order bias. In an Invoke ad test, participants are asked to evaluate multiple ads in a rotation, allowing for an in-depth comparative analysis of the different executions without worrying that the testing order will impact results. Invoke’s inclusive, LIVE format also enables stakeholders to add on-the-fly questions to gain deeper insights into what is and isn’t working for each ad being tested. All of this can be done in a single session, ensuring that advertisers and their agencies have the feedback they need to optimize their creative by the end of the evening.

How Is Invoke Different?

  • Invoke Is Big Qual. An Invoke LIVE session brings every stakeholder together on a consumer-led journey that leads to a real-time decision.
  • It’s inclusive, bringing together marketing executives, producers, showrunners, brand managers, business executives, and insights teams on an hour-long conversation with your target audience
  • It’s conclusive, enabling you to probe audience sentiment, test concepts on the fly, attain clarity about strategy and message – and make the right decisions, often by session’s end
  • It’s organic and illuminating, offering rich and sometimes unanticipated insights into how your audience view you and their world: the Why behind the What
  • It’s qual and quant simultaneously, with audiences of many hundreds in a single session

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