Monday, October 21, 2002

Reinforces Results of Benchmark MSN and Unilever Study

New York, NY – October 21, 2002 -The findings from the IAB’s Cross Media Optimization Study which examined online media’s place in the overall marketing mix for McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich, indicate the potential for an increase in branding metrics when online advertising’s share of the overall campaign budget is increased via reallocation of dollars. The IAB’s Cross Media Optimization Study, a yearlong series of case studies involving top marketers in the most important advertising verticals, is one of the largest multi-brand cross media studies ever conducted. The findings announced today reinforce the results of the groundbreaking MSN and Unilever study done earlier this year.

Conducted by the award winning marketing measurement expert Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution, with Dynamic Logic executing the study and Forrester Research developing the implications from the data that was developed, the methodology for the research has been endorsed by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), and received the prestigious John & Mary Goodman Award nomination for “Best International Research” from the global research authority, ESOMAR.

“There is no more important research project for the IAB and the industry at large than the Cross Media Optimization Study,” said IAB President & CEO, Greg Stuart. Certainly, with different goals and marketers representing differing categories, the results will vary, perhaps significantly, but what we are seeing in this the third, and most comprehensive study to date, that absolutely shows that the online medium’s percentage of marketing budgets must be increased in order to maximize results for marketers.”

The campaign for McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich was targeted at U.S. adults 18 to 49, with the goals of increasing awareness as to the product’s attributes and to drive purchase intent. The XMOS research of Internet users measured the impact of the campaign quantifying the effect of online advertising relative to offline, analyzed the efficiencies to determine if online could improve the brand metrics and if it could do so more efficiently, and thereby recommend a more efficient media mix.

“The changing media landscape has forced us to seek out new and unique ways to reach our customers,” said Neil Perry, Senior Director, Internet Marketing, McDonald’s Corporation. “The media environment is increasingly fragmented. This study has confirmed for us that the Internet can provide us with an excellent way of reaching out to important customer segments, particularly the 18 – 24 year-old demo.”

In determining the product image for McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich in four attributes, New, Exciting, Different and Combination of great flavors, in all four cases responses for “describes completely” and “describes somewhat”, online advertising in combination with offline significantly increased the product image over offline only. These four attributes were most greatly impacted by online advertising among the key youth segment (15 –24), and when combined with TV and Radio advertising, boosts the positive perception by an impressive 9 points.

“In this study for McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich, online advertising very clearly improves the branding metrics. What we have found is that McDonald’s TV and Radio advertising works well; the branding lift over pre-campaign levels is 187%. But if online plays are larger role in the mix, and the percentage of online advertising is increased to 13% of the same budget, the projected lift would be 232%. That’s a big contribution from online advertising,” said Briggs.

“The results are better when online plays a larger role in the mix because offline media reaches a point of diminishing returns. Buying more TV and more Radio ceases to add as much value as adding in Online so that consumers see the McDonald’s brand in a new environment that reinforces the core advertising message. Additionally, offline media misses or under-delivers to a segment of consumers who are more prone to be reached online. Television doesn’t reach or only lightly covers 27% of the 18 – 49 target market with online access. Seventy-six percents of these consumers used the Internet one or more hours yesterday, so using the Internet to reach these somewhat elusive consumers provides better coverage of the overall target audience,” he added.

“The recommendation coming out of this study is that for new products from McDonald’s or products targeted at the youth segment, increasing online’s share of the budget achieves better overall results.” Briggs concluded.

About the IAB
Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the leading interactive advertising association and represents companies responsible for selling over 75% of online advertising in the United States, including; AOL, CNET, MSN, Overture Services, Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo, and over one hundred others. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the interactive medium and educating the advertising industry about the use of interactive advertising. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising.advertising.


Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]