#TDMR Live: Online ‘Feeling-based’ Dial Testing with Vision Critical and ESPN

Live Coverage by Kristin Schwitzer, cross-posted from the New Qualitative Research blog.

Real-time coverage of the following session from IIR’s 2011 Technology Driven Market Research Event in Chicago: ‘Online ‘Feeling-based’ Dial Testing ‘ A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Emotional Drivers of Content Appeal’

Vision Critical and ESPN spent the past two years ‘innovating together’ to develop new research solutions. Matt Kleinschmit, Senior VP of Vision Critical, and Julie Propper, Senior Director Advertising Analytics of ESPN, spoke on their relatively new online approach to testing cr

What is Reaction Plus? a new way of doing traditional dial testing, a scalable system for testing audio visual content online with national sampling in the context of a regular online survey, measuring emotional reactions real-time with overall assessment. It’s a next generation content testing tool providing second by second testing with real-time reporting, and full quant results available a few days later. It’s good for program testing, on-air talent testing, promo spots, ad testing, pilot testing, web media content testing, and radio.

How does it work? four steps: training video, content evaluation, follow-up Qs, and instant reporting.

How did ESPN use it? to take a closer look at creative and determine which elements have the greatest impact on ESPN’s audience. For football season, they looked at 43 ads from 14 advertisers and tested 25 reactions (e.g., amused, annoyed, informed). Their work included looking at various creative themes, media weight, and commercial duration.

What did they learn?
‘ the importance of knowing your audience ‘ men and women have different reactions (e.g., men are more frequently amused by the tested creative than women);
‘ simultaneous emotions exist ‘ the same element triggered both Amused and Annoyed reactions;
‘ not all TV creative are created equal ‘ branded messages are more likely to have higher unaided recall, aided recall and overall appeal, while co-branded messages tend to have higher fit with the sport;
‘ (not surprisingly) emotions that drive appeal and recall: Happy, Amused and Entertaining; Annoyed can drive recall, even though not appealing;
‘ make the most of a :15 second commercial, as these shorter spots can generate reaction in half the time of :30 spots.

Going forward, ESPN will use Reaction Plus to test multiplatform efforts, wear out, optimal commercial pod length, contextual relevance, pod positioning, and live game/highlights vs. programming.