Sponsored programming and product placements are all around us—from the sitcom actor grabbing for his favorite kind of ice cream to on-screen auto racing telemetry sponsored by a luxury wristwatch brand.
In fact, during the 2016-17 TV season, 611 different brands engaged in on-screen branded integrations over the major English-language broadcast networks alone during primetime, up from 574 just three years prior. While these branded integrations have been used by advertisers for decades, the actual effect they have had on consumers’ own desires has to date been relatively ambiguous.
With the advent of new technologies, such as ad skipping and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) viewing, advertisers seeking ways to expose their brands and products to viewers beyond the traditional 30- or 15-second ad format have a unique opportunity. Embedding brands and products within the content can be a highly effective way to ensure marketing exposure—if marketers and brands have the appropriate tools for evaluating them in a standardized way, that is.
With the increased reliance on product placements and brand integrations as a marketing strategy, measuring the value of exposure has become crucial to the industry in order to appropriately transact on them, by both media owners looking to optimize ad inventory and by brands seeking the best way to capitalize on an engaged consumer.
Programmers and advertisers can benefit from having a consistent way for product and brand exposures to be valued across screens and devices by including such factors as size, location, duration, brand hits and impact factor. While advertisers recognize that branded integrations are a valuable way to reach consumers, many have lacked the tools and understanding needed to accurately measure their true value.
And the type and quality of integration has a direct impact on how a brand resonates with the viewer and the level of recall in which a viewer is able to attribute to the brand featured in a product placement. If the placement was featured in a distinctive way there is higher brand recall and ultimately higher associated value for the integration. It’s this type of consistent, qualitative measurement that helps programmers and advertisers better understand how to deliver strong brand resonance through product placements and how to attribute a currency to the inventory across any platform.
But only when the industry has a standardized way to accurately and seamlessly assess the quality of a brand’s exposure—calculating an overall equivalent media value that can be compared against traditional advertising and across different platforms—will brands and media owners know how to appropriately define and act on strategic initiatives in order monetize content, help advertisers and programmers understand where and how the most valuable advertising exposures are and, ultimately, drive ROI.
This article originally appeared on AW360.