Tuesday, May 4, 2004
IAB Releases Results From Cross Media Optimization Study (XMOS) For The 2004 Ford F-150, ING, Universal Studios Home Video And Verisign Marketing Campaigns

New York, NY (May 4, 2004) – Today, during its Leadership Forum in New York, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released new research results from the latest of its Cross Media Optimization Studies (XMOS) based on advertising campaigns from Ford Motor Company's launch of its 2004 F-150, ING, Universal Studios Home Video DVD release of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," and VeriSign. Marketing Evolution, an independent research firm, developed the XMOS methodology to afford a marketer the ability to determine the optimal mix of interactive, TV, radio and print advertising drawn from real world, in-market results.

In no particular order, the following are highlights from each study:

Ford Motor Company:

The 2004 all new Ford F-150 marketing launch was the largest and most comprehensive marketing launch in the history of Ford Motor Company. The XMOS research examined branding and sales impact from television, magazine, Online Roadblocks, online ads, Internet Search, Auto Websites, Ford's website, Spanish language online advertising and offline events sponsorships.

Ford's online efforts were unprecedented, launching a massive reach program including "Online Roadblocks" – ads that took over AOL, MSN and Yahoo! home pages and email sections in a coordinated fashion. This effort resulted in Ford's reaching over 40% of Males aged 25 to 54 in a single day.

Other specific findings include the following:

  • 6% Of all sales could be directly attributed to online advertising exposure. Additional sales beyond the 6% could be traced to click-through and online brochure requests.
  • TV generates the greatest level of absolute reach and purchase consideration impact, but is significantly less cost effective. TV was more than 20 times more expensive than the most cost efficient opportunity, the Online Roadblock, and 5 times less cost efficient than online or magazines.
  • Users conducting a search on terms such as "Truck" or "4x4" were three times more likely to buy an F-150 than the general population.
  • Users visiting the truck section of an auto website were two times more likely to buy an F-150 than the general population.
  • Magazines and in-market web sites offer similar results including selectivity and efficient delivery of in-market prospects.
  • Online Roadblocks are the most cost efficient, and can produce significant daily reach (40%+), however are not as scalable as TV.

"We're especially proud of the innovative online creative work involved in the campaign. The online roadblocks literally shook the screen - exactly the type of creative reinforcement of "rugged and tough" that the F-150 was after," said Rich Stoddart, Ford Division Marketing Communications Manager. "Online was by far the most cost efficient media and presents a very attractive opportunity going forward."

"Not only did the F-150 shake up the web-browser, it shook up the advertising status quo as well. This again demonstrates that there is major competitive opportunity for brands that figure out how to use online right" said Greg Stuart, President and CEO, IAB.

The following chart outlines the proposed guidelines for Over-the-Page Rich Media Units:


ING was launching its entire brand presence into the U.S. market. The primary marketing objective was to increase basic brand familiarity and secondarily, to impact purchase consideration and general brand attributes. The six-month campaign and media allocations included television (68%), magazines (17%) and online (15%).

The study determined that the allocation of the budgets for the respective media was almost optimal for achieving the campaign's various objectives. For example, to impact purchase consideration and convey the brand message that ING "shows fresh thinking," the study found the combination of ads from all three media was by far the most cost effective compared to the results from ads in any one medium alone.

Other key learnings include the recommendation that shifting the online frequency levels to be more similar to TV (frequency is four times higher than print and nearly three times that of TV) would make Online the most cost-efficient element of the mix.

"This research enabled ING to bring our marketing team together and take a closer look at how we intended to allocate funds for the next big marketing push," said Tom Lynch, Head of Online Marketing, ING. "As a leading financial services organization, we need to be acutely aware of whether our messages are being delivered to our valued customers in the most efficient and effective means possible, and XMOS helps us achieve this critical business goal."


VeriSign's print and online campaign was aimed at Business Decision Makers and Technology Decision Makers in medium to large enterprises across industries. The research measured five key metrics: Brand Awareness, Association, Familiarity, Image, and Lead Generation. In general, the results demonstrated that while print media offered a more cost-efficient reach (lower CPM) to top-level titles, online proved effective at increasing brand awareness/association and, with higher frequency, at improving brand image. Direct response was 30% of the magazine's goal (70% was branding) and 50% of online's goal, yet, despite magazine's much larger budget allocation and reach, online delivered nearly 100% of all leads that could be traced back to advertising. In sum, Marketing Evolution concluded that since magazine and online generally reached different types of business decision makers (at different levels within the organization) and accomplished different goals, they should be used in a complementary fashion.

Andy Sims, Media Director of SF Interactive, VeriSign's ad agency that orchestrated the campaign, said "Effective enterprise technology advertising demands an appreciation of how to best apply one's efforts across your customer's purchase process. This study further proves that integration works. We saw that using print and online awareness vehicles with proven online direct response tactics not only hit our audience at multiple touch points, but increased velocity along the purchase continuum, increasing marketing ROI."

"This research confirms online's strength in delivering direct response and leads, but it also gives us a sense that B2B marketers with the right creative message and frequency, can influence other key metrics such as brand image," noted Stuart.

Universal Studios Home Video:

Universal Studios Home Video released the DVD of its classic movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. "The objective of the campaign was to present the film as one of the most beloved movies of all time while communicating that the DVD featured all-new, never-before-seen footage and enhanced visual effects. The target audience was 25 to 49 year olds.

TV was the cornerstone of the campaign, accounting for 94% of the budget, with roughly 6% spent on banner ads and less than 1% of the budget on rich media ads which floated animations on top of web pages. While accounting for the smallest portion of the budget, the most striking finding was that the rich media delivered dramatic results – most notably in combination with TV and banner ads. In addition, the study found that online was effective in reaching the portion of the audience that watches little or no TV.

For example, of those exposed to the TV and rich media combination, 25.4% said they would "definitely or probably buy the DVD," compared to 19.9% who saw TV alone. Likewise, key brand messages were also remembered much better by those who saw both the rich media and TV ads. Specifically, 48.1% who saw the TV ads plus the rich media overlay understood that the DVD included never-before-seen footage, compared to 39.4% of viewers who saw the TV ad alone.

Marketing Evolution used InsightExpress as their data collection partner in the XMOS Ford Branding study. "InsightExpress is proud to have powered this landmark study using the industry's leading online ad effectiveness solution, AdInsights, along with our patent-pending eRDD recruiting methodology," said Lee Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer of InsightExpress®. "As the IAB's preferred XMOS research provider, we are delighted to employ new research techniques to provide greater, more representative research insights."

The XMOS study methodology, conducted by Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution, with research solutions from InsightExpress, has been reviewed by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and nominated for Best International Research by ESOMAR.

In exchange for making the XMOS data public, twenty-six IAB member companies co-funded the research. These industry leading companies include: 24/7 Real Media, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Autobytel, Classified Ventures (Cars.com), CNET Networks Inc., Edmunds.com, The Excite Network, Forbes.com, Google, iVillage Inc., Meredith Corp., MSN, New York Times Digital, RealNetworks, Terra Lycos, Unicast, Univision.com, Uproar, USATODAY.com, The Wall Street Journal Online, Walt Disney Internet Group, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, weather.com and Yahoo!

About the IAB:

Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents the leading companies in the interactive space. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising in addition to being responsible for selling over 85% of online advertising in the United States IAB members include AOL, CNET Networks, DoubleClick, MSN, Google, Overture, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo! and over 150 others.   On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising.  For more information on the IAB please visit www.iab.net.

Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]