Beginning of the end of Fanstasy Land?

How many mass marketing and advertising theories are based almost exlcusively on anecdotal and circumstantial grounds?  Some?  Lots?  MOST?

Well . . . in TV anyways it appears that we’ll start discovering how much of it actually holds up.

Seth Godin posts today:

First, after a bazillion years, Nielsen announces that they will start to rate the viewership of commercials. The obvious question, “why wait so long?”

The answer is that the networks are a critical client of Nielsen, and the last thing in the universe they want is to rate commercials.

The surprising thing is that many advertisers don’t want the ratings either.

Why? Because as soon as you measure, you need to admit you failed. So you need to tell your boss you wasted a few million dollars… 

But even measuring the “ratings” of TV commercials assumes a premise I think we’re all learning doesn’t mean much – that “Attention” or “awareness” actually equates to action.  Are you buying ATTENTION with ads – or ACTIONS?

Radio will have to face the same music with PPM (or whatever electronic measurement they end up using)  I’m looking forward to it.  Yes – it may inaccurately ensconce some old school ideas that really need changing (they weren’t going to change anyway) – but it’s just as likely to dislodge a few of them also.

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