Scores are inclusive of all cultures and can be assessed on every ad
Ace Metrix, the leader in measuring video advertising effectiveness, launched an unprecedented approach that quantifies the level of Cultural Sensitivity portrayed in advertising. Scores measuring evidence of empowering and exploitative signal across all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions etc. as well as the amplitude of overall signal provide advertisers with a pragmatic understanding of viewer reaction to their ad in terms of cultural and social issues. In addition, emotional metrics and viewer verbatim comments lend further insight into specific actions brands can take to reduce negative elements in their creative and improve their overall Cultural Sensitivity Score.
“We live in a complicated world, with highly polarizing opinions and cultural and social sensitivities. Dozens of groups, amplified by social media, have advertisers worried they’ll be the target of the next outcry, whether a brand intended to take a direct stand on an issue or not. At the same time, there are hundreds of socially valuable initiatives that brands align with, all coming with their own risks and rewards,” said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO.He continued, “Inspired by the current advertising climate, we wanted to create an all inclusive score to help brands identify social/cultural triggers in their creative to avoid misunderstandings and backlash. Too many times brands are caught off guard by the unintended, sometimes disastrous consequences of their messaging. Our Cultural Sensitivity measurement mitigates that risk.”
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The methodology is based on the same NLP and machine learning techniques Ace Metrix leverages to measure emotion, where scores are passively derived from voluntary respondent verbatim comments. In this way, scores can be measured and compared on all ads including those previously tested.
Other available metrics in the industry rely on leading questions that are issue-specific making them vulnerable to both false positives and negatives.
The overarching Cultural Sensitivity Score is comprised of three components that provide advertisers with positive and negative scores as well as the amount of comments:
- Empower: This score signals the level of positive impact. It is computed as a percentile against all ads with Empowering signal. Scores range from 0 – 100.
- Exploit: This score signals the level of negative impact. It is computed as a percentile against all ads with Exploitative signal. Scores range from 0 – 100.
- Decibel (dB): This score measures the strength of total signal (Empower and Exploit) detected. Scores range from 0 – 100.
In the example above, high tension is evident among viewer opinions regarding recent creative from a brand that took a stand on masculinity. While both elements achieved strong scores, Empowering outweighs Exploit signal indicating more viewers approved of the ad than disapproved. On top of that, the decibel is in the top percentile indicating most people mentioned the ad’s cultural impact (whether positive or negative) in their optional, free-form response.
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Further analysis of emotional metrics and viewer verbatim comments for the same spot revealed some disapproval stemmed from the creative execution at the beginning, which fostered a more negative tone, rather than the overall message of the ad:
“The message this ad is conveying is deep and very well thought out. As men we need to push forward in the next step as a people; instead of using the same techniques that men 100 years ago were using. This ad at first made me a little upset at how the view of men and boys were being portrayed, however about halfway through it changed to say we’re better than how we used to be so I will in the future be buying from this company!” Male 16-20
“I enjoyed how the ad elicited a bad response from me in the beginning of the ad, then pulled a 180 degree turn and gave a more positive message. It showed how [brand] was not trying to be sexist, by stating “the best a man can get,” but how they were trying to set a tone for generations of people having respect for others.” Male, 36-49
“At first I didn’t like the ad because of the harmful message it was sending to boys, but then it took an unexpected turn and sent a much more positive message and I love it.” Female 21-35
With full integration into the Ace Metrix reporting system, brands can filter Cultural Sensitivity scores based on demographics and custom targets to identify how different segments are affected by cultural cues. Scores can also be easily reported at campaign and overall brand levels.
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