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Guru Search Results: 127 matches were found

Tuesday, December 07, 1999 #3033
Without the budget for post-flight call out surveys what formulas or 'rules' can I use to anticipate message saturation and burn. What reach or net reach level over what period of time would be probable to achieve a 80% awareness within the target. Also what is considered too much exposure for one message before you reach a point of diminishing returns. I know that the the better measurment here is research before and during the campaign, but there must be some bench marks that are industry accepted. Can you share these and share a public location for other general assumptions like this. Thank you in advance Guru... J

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
  1. Ad awareness will never be greater than reach, so start from a plan that delivers at least 80% reach
  2. To establish measurable awareness, some repetiton will be needed, so think about getting an 80% reach at a set effective frequency level. The Guru has previously discussed use of the Ostrow Model to set this goal.
  3. A message is worn out when its ability to generate sales falls off. This being hard to predict, many advertisers have used past experience to set media-measurement based cut-offs. These have included a limit of 2000 GRPs and a frequency cap of 20 in the second highest quintile. In reality, the size of the copy pool, the qualities of the copy, the target, the overall media mix, and product category may all lead to wide variations in wear out. The two standards mentioned above were both commonly used in basic package goods TV advertising in a mix with print and a TV copy pool of 2-3 executions.


Wednesday, November 24, 1999 #2998
hi media guru please guide me : how can i know how much frequency, reach, and GRP is needed for an old brand which first advertise on t.v? ( the target audience: main shoper with young children - 4-8 years old) thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 28, 1999 ):
This is a judgment call. The Ostrow model can help guide setting of effective frequency goals.

Reach then becomes what you can afford or what you need in terms of numbers of sales to become successful judged against anticipated consumer response as a percentage of target consumers reached effectively.

Further, one must keep in mind, since you are writing from outside the U.S., that cultural situations and media environments have a big impact on the matter.


Friday, November 05, 1999 #2938
I'm hoping develop a reach curve for a client to shhow how audience accumuluates with increased dollar spending in the market. I have a table that shows % reached by GRPs per 4 weeks and wondered where I could get published tables and surveys realting to increased share of voice in realtion to share of market spending. Is there are projection formula that could be used?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 10, 1999 ):
Share of voice usually means share of GRPs. Developing a Cost Per GRP index would give you a simple conversion. The shortcoming of share of voice is that it ignores impact differences between various media and copy units, unless comlex formulae to equate GRPs are created.


Thursday, October 28, 1999 #2918
i guru could you please explain what should be the diffrent between plan GRP and plan TRp and the real resoult in TRP and GRP terms? thamk you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 28, 1999 ):
1. None

2. Some people use "TRP" when referring to GRPs of a specific demographic and say "GRP" only in reference to Household Rating Points.


Tuesday, October 26, 1999 #2907
Respectable guru, I am writing from a country where outdoor is still sold by number of sites. What would be the pro's and con's for a 14 day campaign with 200 sites against a 30 day campaign with 100 sites (in the same area for the same cost)? What would be the relation between reach and frequency in both cases? Are you aware of any web sites with research on this topic? Thank you for your answers.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 ):
The Guru imagaines that in your situation, the daily effective circulation (DEC) of the sites is not known. This data is the basis for GRP based out-of-home buys in the U.S.

If we assume that the average DEC is equal for all 200 sites and the 100 sites, and that the 100 are evenly dispersed among the potential 200 locations the Guru would opt for the longer schedule. The net reach over each schedule should be similar and the longer presence should produce more sales.


Monday, October 11, 1999 #2865
What is the difference between a TRP and a GRP?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 11, 1999 ):
1. None

2. Some people use TRP when referring to GRPs of a specific demographic and say GRP only in reference to Household Rating Points.


Wednesday, October 06, 1999 #2854
What are the advantages/disadvantages of advertising during sweeps? We have a client who is TOTALLY hung up on advertising during sweeps. Isn't there a lot of self-promotion going on in TV? The client is a newspaper. Also, I've heard that political advertising during the fourth quarter 2000 is projected to be phenomenal. Do you have any information on how advertisers are reacting? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 07, 1999 ):
It is true that ratings are higher during sweeps, because programming is selected to increase audiences when they are being measured. And yes, there is a lot more self promotion in these periods.

But, assuming your client is going to buy "X" GRPs, they will get them with fewer announcements in a sweep than otherwise. If it takes 20 announcements to get 100 GRP in October but only 15 to get 100 GRP in November, the difference to the advertiser should be infinitesimal in terms of more impact. If any measurable effects are seen, there would be a hair more reach and a speck less frequency in the sweeps scenario. The cost per point might be higher.

Political advertising surges during every presidential election. Advertisers will not be visibly reacting today, since Fourth Quarter is sold as the first quarter of a network's year. When Q4 2000 selling starts to move next May, the upfront advertisers will secure their time comfortably. Some advertisers who don't usually buy upfront will. As the year goes on, some money which would have been spent in some places will go elswhere, network to spot, TV to radio, broadcast to print.

It happens every four years and used to be worse when both summer and winter Olympics fell in these same presidential election years.


Friday, October 01, 1999 #2840
What is the difference between achieving a 10.0 rtg. on one spot of Seinfeld, vs. a combined 10.0 rtg. on Oprah, The Today Show and Just Shoot Me? Are we reaching a larger audience? Is there a way to measure duplication of the three programs? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 01, 1999 ):
A combined 10 rating points accumulated across three programs will also represent 10 GRP, or an equal gross audience, but because of duplication the reach will be somewhat less than 10 and frequency somewhat more than 1.0. The reach will be at least equal to the rating of the highest rated program of the three.

The syndicated ratings reports, i.e. Nielsen, measure the duplication; the planner's standard reach & frequency tools estimated the net audience, accounting fo this duplication.


Tuesday, September 28, 1999 #2831
Is there a documented research/ benchmarks followed which indicates a) how long (in units of time and GRPs) should a TV commercial last before fatigue for that commercial sets in. b) Is this likely to be different for FMCG or durables? if yes, how much? Thanks, Praveen

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 28, 1999 ):
There have been many studies, most of them proprietary. The variables are too many to be generally applicable: Commerical length, quality, recall, enterntainmnet/annoyance value, number of executuions in rotation, etc. The differences in cultures and media environments probably also have an effect.

Some set a standard based on quintiles of exposure, others on GRPs.

The major compilations of publicly available research are at ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization and Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter.


Monday, September 27, 1999 #2830
I have read all your responses regarding recency. If you wouldn’t mind answering a few more, this is a multiple question predominantly regarding recency as a planning theory. 1) What Telemar program deals with TV R&F on a weekly basis? 2) Do the same audience accumulation formulas work for a one-week cume vs. 4wk or 52 wk? 3) When now planning an a weekly basis rather than a flighted basis are frequency guidelines or goals a consideration in the recency planning theory? 4) Has there been a clear industry swing relative to EF or recency yet? 5) A 1997 JAR article by Erwin Ephron cited some minimum target reach guidelines like 35 weekly, 65 four-week and 80 quarterly. Has there been anything more definitively determined since then (I noticed reply 2631 7/14/99 lowering the weekly reach to 30)? 6) For those espousing recency, is the trend to a 52 presence or extended flighting like 8-10 continuous weeks of each quarter? 7) On the Effective Frequency side, where the defacto goal has centered around the 3+ level, has the time frame shifted to anything other than a 4-week period?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 29, 1999 ):
1) Media Maestro and TV Buyer handle TV R&F.

2) No, formulas differ for one week, 4 week, and long term. 400 GRP, spread ove differend programs might come close to exhausting the reach potential of one week's TV audience, but not if spread over 4 weeks or longer.

3) Recency planning is focused on weekly reach, and incorporates the concept that every exposure after the third one is at the 3+ level.

4) Some have adopted recency, some cling to effective reach. The Guru is not aware of any polls of agencies or advertisers, but suspects that recency is still growing in acceptance, but is a minority approach.

5) The reach minima are a bit loose, and 30 vs 35 is not a major point of contention.

6) The idea of recency is that being there whenever a purchase decision is made is ideal. Flighting, when continuity is affordable and there is no major seasonality is contrary to the principle.

7) Four weeks has always been somewhat arbitrary, likley stemming from the one-time dominance of monthly magazines. But it is a convenient benchmark. A logical approach can set a level other than 3+ or other than 4 weeks, etc.


Wednesday, September 22, 1999 #2814
Hi Guru The ad agency I work for has a theory that cable GRP's and radio GRP's effectivenesss are significantly less than network and spot television. On our flow charts we only calculate 1/2 half of these points. I have heard this theory before but I've never seen a plan that cuts the GRP's in half. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 23, 1999 ):
The Guru has been aware of theories that use effectiveness factors in comparing media. Sometimes GRP are adjusted on the flow chart, but since the flow chart often serves as the buying control document, more often the adjustments are shown in reach and frequency comparisons.

There can certainly be an argument that radio has less effectiveness than TV, commercial exposure versus commercial exposure, all else being equal. But, the argument doesn't seem to be rationale for cable TV. The commercial is the same, the presentation is the same. Unless there are objective measures of attentiveness or clutter or recall used, why is cable less effective? Individual commerical audience size is not relevent to message effectiveness of the medium; one consumer is not aware of how may others are watching the same program.


Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2795
Dear Guru, I am writing to you from the Middle East. First of all I am very excited to discover the AMIC site. I have recently been exposed to various documentation on the recency theory. Alongwith the documentation I have seen something called reach curves. The reach curves I have seen are typically for 1+, 2+, and 3+ levels for all adults and all women audiences. I understand it is an easy way to translate Effective Reach goals into GRP goals e.g. X GRPs will get you Y% 3+ reach against the target. It also clearly depicts the point of diminishing return. I am eager to know how I can develop reach curves for my market. Can this be done by us in the media department or do we need to approach some company which specializes in this area. What sort of data is required? Just to give you a background, we are not a metered market. TV audience measurement is conducted thrice a year using face-to-face interviews with a representative sample. Viewership is typically available by 15 minute time segments for all channels across various demos. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
Reach curves have been in use since long before computers were used in media departments and long before metered measurement.

Curves are created by using the reach of actual schedules. For example, in the U.S., Nielsen would report the actual reach of specific brands' schedules, based on examining the net unduplicated viewers in their reasearch data who viewed the program schedules used by the brand's commercials.

Once you have several schedules ( 8 or so will do) with actual reaches and frequencies for various GRP levels, you can use the regression analysis data function in a spreadsheet, like MS Excel or Lotus 1-2-3, to calculate a formula which describes the curve. This formula can literally draw the curve on a graph, or let you build a table of GRP / Reach pairs. By the way, it is the frequency and GRPs which are used in building this regression, because while reach is a curve, frequency is a straight line.


Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2738
Is there a difference in Reach for the same level of GRPs if they are run in one week versus four weeks? It seems like there should be, but most media planning tools don't allow for a difference. They give the same reach result regardless of the length of time the GRPs are running. I'm interested in your perspective. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
Yes, one week reach is higher than four week reach from the same number of GRPs, particularly in radio. The reason is that, while the weekly cume of stations or of the medium, does not vary much from the four week potential, your chances of capturing more of this potential is greater when GRPs are run, well dispersed, in a single week.

In TV the enormous dispersion of program options and audience fragmentation makes this less of an issue. In radio, where buys are typically on just a handful of top-ranked stations, based on the target demo, the difference can be felt.

Telmar's radio planning tools allow you to set the number of weeks in reach calculations and see the difference.


Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2736
I've been asked to do a post-buy analysis for a business-to-business advertiser. What components should be included in the analysis?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
Any specifications of the buying instructions should be included in the post. These might include:

Broadcast

  • Number of GRPs
  • $ spent
  • Daypart mix
  • Horizontal and vertical rotation
  • Average rating or number of spots meeting/not meeting ratings minima

Print

  • $ spent
  • # of insertions
  • Page position
  • Reproduction quality
  • Rate base guarantees met/unmet - rebates due


Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2729
Dear Guru, 1- Please let me know SQARE model that SQAD use to calculate CPP for TV and Radio. Please let me know the detail or any link I can find more information or books... 2- Do you know any model for reach vs GRPs? Our client ask us to show the data like that. The problem that we try to find the suitable daypart mix, station mix, medium mix that is good for our advertising strategy but we don't have any optimiser programs. We have only ratings data like Telescope and Prinscope of ACNielsen. Do you know any example to solve this kind of problem? 3- Our client also want to have a model to set advertising budget to get for example 80+ reach but we can not know until it happen. How to solve this issue? warmest regards, Thai Vang

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 19, 1999 ):
A general explanation of SQAD's model is available from SQAD. They will give you the same information they would give the Guru. But the essence is manipulating actual buying data in real situations, provided confidentially by actual media buyers.

GRP's and reach do not have any standard realtionship, except within given media and population parameters. You are writing from Viet Nam, where Televison audience cume patterns are likely to be quite different than in the U.S. Even within the U.S., Hispanic TV reach curves are very, very differerent than the General Market TV reach curves.

The way to build a model, to oversimplify, is to collect a great number of actual reaches of real schedules, and then plot their frequency against reach in a regresssion analysis, which gives you the formula for the "curve." Frequency is plotted, rather than reach, because frequency is a straight line while reach is a curve. The curve formula then allows you to create a model with a reach solution for any GRP input. The more variables you use to build different curves, the more sophisticated your model can be.


Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2726
I buy a base level of 500 Ad 18-49 TRP's per week; a typical flight will run 4 weeks --- for a total of 2000 TRP's. From this base buy, we usually split the base buy in 1/2 trafficking in two different spots (1000 / 1000 TRP's). At what level do you think that wear out will occur? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 19, 1999 ):
What is your definition of wearout? A frequency level? A decline in ad awareness? A sales decline? There are may ways to set wearout.

One of the oldest, and easier to use because it is defined entirely by media measurement, is a certain frequency level in the next-to-highest quintile, perhaps a frequency of 20.

Depending on daypart mix, this might mean wearout at about 2000 GRPs for a spot.


Monday, August 02, 1999 #2681
what is GRP

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 1999 ):
GRP stands for "Gross Rating Points:"

Every ad has a number of people or homes in its audience (impressions). This number, divided by the population base for the relevant demographic, is the advertisement's "rating." The sum of all the ratings in the schedule is the GRPs. Or, the sum of the schedule's impressions divided by the population base = GRPs.


Thursday, July 29, 1999 #2669
What is the role and job definition of a media planner in a creative agency v/s that of an AOR agency ? Does the creative agency media planner need to give detailed plan schedules which include channelwise GRPs in order to justify reach/freq objectives to the AOR agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 1999 ):
"AOR," or Agency of Record is a buying function and there is no inherent reason for a planner's role to be different. The planner should not need to "justify" anything to an AOR, assuming plans are approved by the client before buying instructions are communicated to the AOR.

Of course, there can be situations where specific rules have been set up going beyond the typical AOR role.


Monday, July 19, 1999 #2643
Dear Guru! I've got the following question. Our client has a product to advertise. He has set advertising goals for the ad campaign. We defined the level of effective frequency needed to reach these goals. 1. What is the range of effective reach? For example, 30%

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
Media plan communications goals should specify a level of effective reach along with specifying the effective level of frequency.

Basic, as well as more advanced media software, calculates reach and frequency, frequency distribution and reach at various (effective) frequency levels. Input is typically GRPs.

Setting an effective reach goal can be based on gut, such as reaching the majority of the target at effective frequency levels in 4 weeks, or based on sales predictions. For example, this might be an estimate that 10% of those reached efectively will buy and X number of sales are the goal. Then 10 times X are the number who must be effectively reached.


Friday, July 16, 1999 #2641
Here's a basic math question for you: I recently bought a media (TV) schedule that gave me a total A18-49 delivery (in 000's) of 45000, 89 spots, total cost = $1,300,000. Knowing that the total A18-49 universe is 61350 (000), how do I find the following?: 1) total GRPs delivered 2) total CPP

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 16, 1999 ):
The GRP equation is 45,000,000 impressions divided by 61,350,000 universe, expressed as a percent, or 73 GRPs.

The CPP equation is $1,300,000 cost divided by 73 GRPs or $17,808 CPP

Guessing this is national cable, it seems high. to the Guru.


Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2632
What are GRP's and what do they stand for in a media buy? I am an Account Manager and don't have the Media background but need to explain the GRP levels to my Product Managers. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
GRPs are gross rating points, the pounds and ounces of media buying and selling. The target audience of an advertisement divided by the population of the target group is the ad's rating. The sum of the ratings of the ads is the Gross Rating Points. Plans specify how many GRPs of each medium to buy. For print, specifications are more often numbers of insertions in specific titles, but the GRPs can be calculated the same way and one plan compared to another.

Allowance must be made for :15 versus :30 GRP or half page versus full page. A given program or magazine has the same rating (GRP) whatever the ad size/length, but obviously there is more benefit from 100 GRP of :30s or pages than from 100 GRPs of :15s or half pages.


Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2629
Dear Guru, Could you please tell me what is "cost per reach"? Is it just to divide the spending by net reach? Do you have standard to evaluate "cost per reach"?? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 14, 1999 ):
Cost per reach can be cost per Reach point which is like cost per point and is spending divided by percent reach OR c.p.m. reach, which is spending divided by thousands reached.

Like cost per point, it doesn't depend on a standard, but is used as a comparison in planning. It varies across media, media types and countries, of course.

For example, in the U.S., the scenario might be, Prime time evening television is the best generator of reach for X number of GRPs. But, daytime TV might deliver more reach per dollar invested at first, until the daytime reach curve flattens. Or the first 50 reach points in Prime might have X cost per reach and the next 10 reach points added in prime might have 2X cost per reach.


Monday, July 12, 1999 #2623
Reciently I have read a couple of documents that explain that you may estimate wearout using an equation(applying quintyl analysis). I would like to know if there is any equation to estimate hoe many GRP's per version you need to generate awareness. As always thansk in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 12, 1999 ):
Any number of GRPs generate some awareness. So the question is how much aweareness do you want to achieve. Reach may tie more closely to awareness generation, but GRPs are easier to work with.

Also, consider whether you really care about awarness of individual commercial versions as opposed to advertising overall.

Formulas the Guru has seen generally assume some beginning level of awareness and a fall-off in any week with less than100 GRP.


Monday, July 12, 1999 #2622
Dear Guru! Our client would like to spend $ 100000 on advertising on one of the major TV channels. This budget allows us to buy approximately 50 insertions. The product is a tv set. The brand is not new at the market. The advertising campaign goal is to increase the brand awareness. We are doubtful whether to place all insertions in a 4 week period, or to use fligts and 1-week hiatus. Could you clear the problem. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 12, 1999 ):
The Guru is not very familiar with TV in Russia (from where this question has been submitted).

But, assuming common ground: If a national commercial costs $2000, the Guru imagines it has to have a very small audience. Perhaps 1.0 rating, so you are talking about 100 or so GRP.

Ad Awareness is primarily a function of reach, while brand awareness nay have many drivers. 100 GRP of low rated commercials will not be likely to produce much reach, whether in four weeks or flighted. If brand awareness is the only goal and there are no promotional periods involved, the Guru would choose to spread the advertising over more time, to sustain the limited awareness which will be built.


Friday, July 09, 1999 #2620
Hello GURU ! I have 2 questions for you : 1. One of the media analysis we do in our agency,mainly for TV, consists in comparing a competitor's share of spending (calculated as his % of advertising expenditure within the total category) with his share of voice (calculated as the % of his 30 sec equivalent GRPs within the category). Is this correct in your opinion ? 2. How do you define SOV ? Is this the % of the GRPs one achieve within a category or is it the % of money invested by an advertiser within a category in a certain period ? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 11, 1999 ):
1) What do you do with the results of this comparison? How does the ratio of SO$ to SOV help you make decisions? The :30 equivalent step is reasonable, but how do you do that effectively outside of broadcast?

2) Some use SOV to refer to share of spending, others use it to refer to share of weight. The Guru believes share of weight is more descriptive of the marketplace perceived by the consumer, but the person controlling the budget, that is, the client, more often cares about money. They can see the impact of money on the bottom line more easily than they can understand the differences in impact of their :30s versus a competitor's :15s or competitor's radio versus their own magazines.


Thursday, July 08, 1999 #2616
Hello Guru! I would like to ask you what is a 30 sec equivalent GRP and why is that calculated if the spot length (as per some of your previous answers) do not influence yhe level of reach&frequency ? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 08, 1999 ):
:30 equivalent is a buyer's convenience. Assuming the standard unit purchased is a :30, instead of dealing with different unit rates in the same program, a :15 is treated as if it had half the rating. It's strictly an efficiency/value issue and has no impact on reach or frequency. Remember that the ratings we have are actually the ratings of programs or time periods and not commercials; commercials are just assigned the rating of the time slot wherin they air, so commercial length is irrelevant to rating.


Tuesday, July 06, 1999 #2608
Our company is presently trying to locate a list of kids aged roughly 12-19 for a direct mailing. Do you know where we might find such a list? We are also interested in knowing what the most popular magazines are among kids in this segment (for advertising purposes). Lastly, we would like to determine what it costs to advertise (gross, not CPM) via the following media: TV (specialty channel), radio, Internet (banner), magazine (popular), billboard, and space. Any help you could give us on these questions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your assistance. Sincerely, Drew Spence Market Research Associate Lac-Mac Limited drew@mail.lac-mac.com

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 06, 1999 ):
Most list brokers would have a teenage list available. Try American List Counsel for starters.

. Seventeen ,Teen,YM,TeenPeople are among the most popuular, especially with female teens. Male teens gravitate to more broadly targeted titles like SportsIllustrated.

To discuss ad prices in the media you mention, you really must consider something other than simple gross. If the Guru tells you a :30 on a specialty channel cost $100 or $1000, how can you evaluate what you must spend to communiucate something?

Internet banners are sold in cpms and numbers of impressions, not flat gross dollars usually; major sites have more impression than you might buy so you buy a portion of the available impressions. You can get teen oriented sites' banners for $15-30 per thousand. But just putting a banner on all the teen pages of Yahoo could cost $1,000,000 per month.

or more. Billboards might cost $250 apiece, but you won't buy just one, you buy a quantity of daily effective circulation expressed as GRPs. A teen cpm might be $5-$10


Tuesday, June 15, 1999 #2576
I'll launch a new 20" copy with a minimum GRP's level (70 Reach A4W) during 13 weeks. The creative team is recommending a 10" lift for the fifth week. This, of course will give us more weight or more weeks on air (I must pay 15" instead of 10" because of the TV Network policies). In cuantitative basis I will win using shorter copies but I would like to know how to evaluate the qualitative part to make the best recommendation. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 15, 1999 ):
If 10" costs the same as 15", why use 10's instead of 15's? 15's must have advantages over 10's.

The important factor is the relationship to the cost of a 20". Years ago, when 30's had become the accepted U.S. standard, 15's were introduced and extensively evaluated. The general finding was that 15's had roughly 75% of the value of a 30' at half the cost, so they were a very good buy

Defining "value" is the trick; is it recall, consumer motivation, sales effect? The archives of that old U.S. research will be available in the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

However, since you are writing from Mexico, it must be kept in mind that consumer reactions might differ, depending on what typical advertising units and exposure are for your consumers.


Friday, June 11, 1999 #2572
Is there any way to equate GRP levels to a brand attribute awareness? Everything I have researched tells me that a planner can translate GRPs into a desired awareness level, but I don't know how to take it to the next step. And aren't there many other factors that contribute to the brand attribute awareness that aren't advertisind-related? Help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 16, 1999 ):
Yes, consumer experience, word of mouth, in store exposure all contribute to attribute awareness. And GRP to awareness translation is far from perfect.


Wednesday, June 09, 1999 #2564
Do you know of any studies that compare direct response television advertising to general rate/fixed position advertising? Specifically, the differences in the GRPs across the board? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 10, 1999 ):
Assuming you are talking about the comparison of spots sold on a pre-emptable, ROS basis for direct response (often sold at 50% of "list price") versus ordinary "regular" priced spots in specific program or dayparts, why would there be a GRP difference? One can buy 100 GRPs either way; the price of a spot doesn't influence its rating.

If you are looking for the differences in GRPs purchased by typical campaigns of either style, the Guru isn't aware of any such compilation -- one can estimate dollars spent, but estimating GRPs requires and additiona source for ratings data and knowledge of the advertisers' targets.

One consideration worth noting is that direct response is often just bought as numbers of spots, with little regard for GRP delivery.


Tuesday, June 08, 1999 #2562
I have an outdoor question. If showing size refers to the reach per day, i.e. 25# reaches 25% of a market per day, why aren't the estimated TRPs per month simply 25 x 28 = 700. Most studies I see quote a lower TRP level for a 25 showing. What gives?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 09, 1999 ):
The Guru has come across this problem and found the answers.

There are two answers, one sensible, one nonsense, but both real.

Sensible: The "25 showing" is a standard number of panels, based on 25% of adult population. So if your target is Women 18-34, there may be a different number of women 18-34 GRPs in a showing actually bought as 25 Adult 18% GRPs. This is perfectly sensible, and happens ain all media, but the sellers and buyers of other media are fully conversant with these facts.

Now for the nonsense answer, which is most likely the basis of the number you were given. Various research companies, such as MRI have measured outdoor as part of multimedia reports and these generalized reports are being used to estimate target reach for a marketpace showing. Often a completely different source for average frequency is used and these two factors are multiplied to calculate GRPs. It seems invariably to be much lower than the GRPs you would get by the realistic method first described, and so makes outdoor seem less efficient than it should.

The misused sources could, instead be used to provide relative exposure indices between demographics, allowing a simple conversion of GRPs. The Guru hopes the Outdoor industry improves in this area.


Monday, May 17, 1999 #2509
Media Guru - I just read your responce to question #2507. Numerically, your answer may be correct that turning 200 pulsed TRP's into 100 continous TRP's may be more effective. (recency theory) It may not however be realistically the best course of action. Recency assumes that your advertising is ongoing reminder advertising and that your brand is well established. Also, purchase patterns and frequency are important. In terms of media, you have to consider what will 100 TRP's afford you? If you are in 2 or 3 dayparts in TV you will have a handful of spots, that the prospect will be lucky to see. I think that recency has to be balanced out with other marketing and media factors, including impact.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 18, 1999 ):
As the Guru said in that response, the concept applied "particularly if your product is something people are buying continuously or regularly."

Recency does not make assumptions about product establishment -- though some practicioners may. In fact the original statement of the thesis emphasized the point, for effective frequency adherents, that after the third exposure, every exposure was at "three plus" and looking at abstractions like three plus in a set time frame was not necessary. About 60 GRP per week has been identified as a workable threshold of effectiveness.

Regarding dayparts, any mix of daypart is likely to deliver an average rating in the 5 to 8 range. Unless you have frequency goals by daypart (why?), 100 vs 200 seems a moot issue.

The net effect on consumers, at the end of four weeks, whether you have run 100 GRP per week or 200 GRP in weeks #1 and #3 only, will be about the same, in accumulated reach and average frequency.

The biggest difference will be in average reach per week (or per day). Your point makes a big issue of a time frame called a week, which is just an abstraction and a common convenience in looking at schedules.

Thinking of the schedule you would select to run 200 GRP in 7 days, why must it differ if spread over 14 days?


Wednesday, May 12, 1999 #2507
For several years, I have bought my client's spring and fall campaigns on an alternating schedule i.e., one week on and one week off @ 200 TRPs per week. Historically, we take a four month hiatus between campaigns. Recently, someone told the client that it would be more effective to buy three weeks consecutively at lower TRP levels. Either plan would be restrained by a stated budget amount. Do you have an opinion about each of these strategies or your ownpreference in television buying strategy when trying to stretch the time on-air?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
You haven't stated how many weeks of 200 on and off you run.

But, assuming you take a one-week-on / one-week-off schedule of 200 and change it to 100/week continuous, this will probably be more effective, particularly if your product is something people are buying continuously or regularly. Since reach can only go just so high, the average reach per week of 100 GRPs continuous will be higher than the average weekly reach of one week at 200 and one week at 0 GRP. So the continuous schedule has a better chance or reaching someone just as they are about to make a purchase decision.

This is the essence of the "recency theory."

Click here to see past Guru responses about recency


Wednesday, May 12, 1999 #2506
We have a client who always hears our radio spots (I believe that is a good thing) but thinks they are worn out due to the high exposure. We do not agree as we are running 200 GRPs/wk. for 40 weeks with five spots with a 20% rotation for each spot. We believe that wear out is difficult as frequency is one of the goals of radio and due to listening habits. Is there an industry standard to determine when a radio commercial is worn out? For example, I know packaged goods advertisers who use TV look at the reach at the heaviest viewing quintile. If reach exceeds 25% they considering replacing or resting the spot. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
Wear-out is

1. Subjective 2. Variable depending on the quality and memorability of the copy.

Rules of thumb the Guru has seen include

  • "It's worn out when the client starts asking". . . or
  • 2000 GRP -- you're getting close on that one . . .or
  • 20 (or 25 or 30) frequency in the second highest quintile -- you're probably past that one, and have at least a 20 average frequency depending on your target and dispersion.
  • . . . and the one that really makes sense is tracking sales and making a change in the copy when the sales trend drops.


Friday, April 23, 1999 #2465
I am puzzled and maybe I should know the answer to this question, but I don.t We are competing with another agency to win an account. We were given the assignment to put together a television buy. The objective was to put the same buy together, but improve on the rates. Bottom line is that the buy starts in two weeks and the market is very tight. We improved in some areas and some ares came in higher. We were able to secure some overnight spots at no charge. This was the only difference. The ratings were .1 and .2 for overnights. We ran a reach and frequency. The following are the results: Ours results: 69.5 reach 4.4 frequency 309.1 GRP's There results: 46.6 reach 6.6 frequency 309.2 GRP's Why the difference? We use MM+ and they sue TAP SCAN. Could the diffence software programs be so difference in calculating R&F? I hope I have supplied you with enough info. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 23, 1999 ):
Two systems can legitimately have very different results, but this case does seem extreme. The detail level taken into account can vary and be quite important; for example, repeated use of the same stripped program or weekly program may be something one R&F model takes into account while the other just considers a more general GRP by daypart.

You haven't said whether the schedules were very nearly identical, either. If your 309 GRP was made up of 60 spots and their 309 was made up of 300 spots there would be substantial difference in R&F. Yours would then be preferable to most advertisers.

Bottom line, it doesn't make any sense to compete based on R&F results unless the same model is used on both schedules.


Wednesday, April 14, 1999 #2445
i read an article about the optimizer program and they use there on the phrase REACH PER POINT (RPP) what does it mean and how can i use it . (and i am not mean to cost per reach point) thanks a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 14, 1999 ):
Without seeing the article, the Guru is only speculating, but he believes this refers to the varying reach accumulation rates of different media elements, programs and dayparts.

For example, a given demographic may generate 30 reach for a typical schedule of 100 Gross Rating Points in daytime and 50 reach for 100 GRP of Prime. They have a different reach per point (GRP). When coupled with the cost, it's the essence of optimizers.


Thursday, April 08, 1999 #2434
My client was told from a previous agency that 100 points a week is a standard guideline for television advertising, for sustaining levels. I know there are tons of factors that would really go into developing point levels, but other than showing r/f and eff 3+ numbers is there any way to source this or provide rationale? The client is looking for it. Thanks as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 08, 1999 ):
As a regular correspondent of the Guru's you certainly knew that an agency saying 100 GRP / week is "standard" is a sign of ignorance, at best, and you've come to the Guru for help in debunking this nonsense.

Looking at the 4 week reach of 100 GRP / week might show a 100% variation in reach, frequency or reach at 3+ based on daypart choice, for Adult 18-49. So ignoring whether daytime or prime is used is foolish. Will 50 GRP/week of Prime do the same communication job as 100/week in day?

When GRPs are seen as just weight, with no consideration of programming content, reach potential, frequency, etc, one suspects media planners have not even gotten into the game.

Factors such as how high is the introductory weight, how high is the competitors' weight how long are flights vs hiatuses, should all influence a choice of sustaining weight.

The simplest way to rationalize for your client is to show how different the reach and frequency of 100/week can be and what the competition


Monday, April 05, 1999 #2431
Dear Guru, I have a question regarding %US coverage with spot radio. An old boss of mine who has recently left the company had used DMA %ages rather than metro %ages when reflecting total US penetration on a spot radio buy we did. I am unsure as to why this was done. Can you provide a rationale for using DMA numbers here? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 05, 1999 ):
To some extent it represents TV thinking and to another, it's more realistic.

DMA's are really a TV-defined area. Every U.S.county is assigned to one DMA or another -- except for some oddities in Alaska. So the sum of all DMAs is 100% of the U.S. with no duplication. The definition is based on which TV market gets the bulk of a county's viewing. In each market, the central city VHF stations generally reach the whole DMA. Spot TV buys are usually planned on a DMA rating/GRP basis.

Radio, on the other hand, is usally planned on a metro point basis. Even the strongest radio stations, audience-wise, rarely reach the outer areas of DMA's. In each DMA there are one or more Metros. Because the population of the DMAs concentrates in the metros, buys in the metros are treated as if they covered whole DMAs, and indeed, radio coverage is gernerally wider than the metro.

In the U.S. there are roughly 10 times as many radio stations as TV sations, many surviving because they cover out-of-the way areas, but others simply because we will buy small, select audiences. Consider the New York DMA. Largest in population, one of the smallest in geography, but with about 50 reportable commercial radio stations and about 9 commercial TV stations.


Friday, April 02, 1999 #2427
My AE has asked me to determine how much of the clients budget should be allocated to media spending. I believe this should be the AE's decision. How can I determine what should be spent on media and/or how can I help the AE to decide? GRP's

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 02, 1999 ):
If you've been given communication goals, like "100 GRP per week for 26 weeks", or "60 reach at 3+ frequency when in, for 26 weeks of activity" then it is fair to ask you to determine a budget, but the Guru imagines your AE's question has been asked in total information vacuum.

You're quite right then, that this is a decision that should be made before media planning comes into play.

Regardless of who makes the decision, considerations must first allocate budget to PR vs Promotion vs Advertising, in the broadest strokes.

Within advertising there's production vs research vs media.

You need to ask for the client's overall marketing plan, as your AE should have, if it wasn't the AE's responsibilty to create one from client information.

Of course, you can look at this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you can do the AE's job, since you've been asked to.


Thursday, April 01, 1999 #2426
What are the appropriate rating point levels for introducing a new grocery product into the New York Metro?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 01, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this kind of question frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses about advertising levels


Tuesday, March 30, 1999 #2421
The need: I am looking for a way to factor 'page exposure' data into mainstream media metrics such as CPM or GRP. MRI tracks and calculates page exposure using the following: (#_of_days_magazine_is_read * #_issues_read * %_of_pages_read)= avg_page_exposure I believe such data would not only provide a more accurate picture of a readers exposure to the ad pages but could alter CPM & GRP rates. My Reasoning: CPM=(ad_rate/audience); audience=(circ * readers); 'readers' is thenumber of different set of eyes per issue (single exposure). This number does not take into account how long or to what extent the reader looked at the publication -- it could be the mailman delivering the magazine who remebers the cover or it could denote a subscriber who reads the issue cover to cover. Enter the issue of page exposure. Suppose I am considering a magazine with a CPM of .01851 = 40,400/(704,000 * 3.1). However, if this same magazine provided me with a page exposure rate of .99 = (3 * 1 * .33) -- which says that the audience takes 3 days to read the issue and reads about 33% of the issue a day (which I know is unrealistic, but hear me out). Now suppose I take the .99 exposure rate and add it to the 'reader' and recalculate CPM --- 40,400/(704,000 * (3.1 +.99))= .01404 -- I get a much lower CPM. My Question: Why can't I make this type of calculation with page exposure data -- where is the break down in my logic or math? Any insights would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 01, 1999 ):
First, overall, yes it is a reasonable and not unusual concept to adjust CPM according to additional measured factors reported for magazines. However, there are some minor and some major issues with your process in terms of labels and decimal places, etc.

Yes, CPM is ad rate ÷ readers. Readers is circulation times readers per copy (refer to the explanation of MRI information which the Guru did for you in query #2403).

So the basic CPM -- cost per thousand impressions -- in your example is actually $18.51, assuming you mean $40,400 is your ad csot, 704,000 is circulation and 3.1 is readers per copy.

The exposure rate is a factor, not an add on. So the adjustment would be 3.1 times 0.99 or 3.069 or virtually no change. The cpm is now $18.70. If there was a very different page exposure factor it would make a difference. It is a valid way to reaxamine CPMs.


Wednesday, March 24, 1999 #2409
Dear Guru - This may seem like a vague question, but what is meant by "adjusted GRPs?" I am looking at a combined TV and print plan that delivers 425 avg. 4-week GRPs against W25-54, and under "adjusted GRPs" it says 336. These are 52-week plans, and there are only :30 units (no copy split). Your help is much appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 25, 1999 ):
Your question isn't vague, but "adjusted" is. Somone has done you a disservice by presenting something labeled "adjusted" with no explanation. There are numerous bases used to adjust GRPs including:
  • Variations in measured daypart attentiveness
  • Variations in measured daypart recall
  • judgement regarding sales effectiveness of different media
  • copy length/size versus some established standard
  • etc
. Various advertisers have set policies on these matters and planners trained on those advertisers' business report Reach/Frequency/GRP including these adjustments almost without thinking about it. But the first time someone sees such data, they deserve an explanation.

There are no universal standards for "adjusted GRP."


Wednesday, March 24, 1999 #2407
How did the industry standard of requiring television stations to post at 90% of the estimated TRPs on local spot buys originate?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 24, 1999 ):
Just because your agency and many others use this figure, it doesn't mean it's an "industry standard." But it is probably most common. The practice began in recognition of the statisical instability of the audience research, due to sampling issues. Two people, negotitating in good faith, and agreeing that a schedule should deliver 100 GRP, can find that, without anyone doing anything wrong, the schedule is reported to underdeliver because of "bounce" in the ratings. So to avoid arguements over probably half of all the schedules bought and sold, it became common to agree that if the schedule posted at least 90% of what was bought, it was "no harm / no foul." In fact, in most cases, schedules estimated in good faith should, statistically do better than 90%. And if a buyer finds that every schedule bought from a specific station came in near 90%, then there's something wrong; schedules should post over as often as under if statistical bounce is the culprit. Of course a buyer doesn't want all schedules to post 110% or bigger either, that would imply bad estimationg and overspending.

The 90% figure shouyld be a negotiating point. Don't automatically expect a station to honor it unless it's your stated policy or by agreement. Many schedules are bought without guarantees.

The Guru recalls his own buying experience when one salesman would offer 90% guarantee and the next 95%. It made it too hard to compare proposals. So the said to all the sellers. Give me only numbers which are 100% guaranteed. Raise the cpm you are offering, if you must, to compensate, but all sales must be on the same basis.


Friday, March 19, 1999 #2400
I need to know the calculation to work out margin of error for TV reach and frequency results. E.g. what is the margin of error of 40% @ 2+ depending on the size of the sample, penetration etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
Assuming you are using a model to calculate reach and frequency, your error is no longer an aspect of sample size but of the reliability of the model.

For instance, suppose your schedule consisted of 20 advertisements with an average rating of 10. And, based on sample size, the 10 rating was +/- 2 rating points (or 20% relative error). But your total schedule of 200 GRP is not going to be +/- 40 points. Because error is plus or minus, there is an equal chance that one 10 rating is really PLUS 2 and the next 10 rating is really MINUS 2. So, in a schedule, most of the error cancels out. This is one reason why ratings minima for buying are often short-sighted.

When it comes to reach analysis, someone might have built a model by compiling several actual schedules measured by the original research and finding a formula for the straight line formed by the average frequency of each. Since the actual schedules came from the orignal research, the sampling error of each (minimized by the plus or minus aspect of the schedule elements, as above) could have been calculated. But now the "curve" coming out of the model is only judged by its ability to match back to actual schedules.


Monday, March 15, 1999 #2393
Dear Guru - How do you nationalize GRPs? Is there a shortcut?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 15, 1999 ):
Assuming you mean that you have GRPs for a spot market area to start with:

simply multiply the GRP by the % U.S. to "nationalize".

For example, if your coverage area is 25% U.S. and you have 400 GRPs. then 400 times 0.25 = 100 "national" GRP.


Monday, March 15, 1999 #2392
What do you know about radio effectiveness? I know my question is a kind of broad but please help me with whatever you know.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
The Guru loves queries which invite him to write a textbook (overnight).
  • Radio is effective. There are numerous radio success stories, most famously, but not exclusively, based on great creativity and well known voices such as Stan Freberg or Stiller and Meara.
  • Too often, radio is judged by comparing a TV commercial execution to a radio commercial execution and ignoring the key point that in a schedule a radio spot may run three or more times as often or three times as many GRPs for the same budget. In other words, even if a TV commercial is more effective than a radio commercial, a radio schedule may be more effective than a TV schedule.
  • Radio commercials have sometimes tested as well as TV spots in some standard measures such as Day-After-Recall.
  • Most important: There are as many bad TV commercials as good radio spots and vice versa. Good radio will always outperform bad TV.


Thursday, March 11, 1999 #2384
Dear Media Guru Suddenly without my Strata software...what was the formula I learned so long ago for calculating Gross Rating Points?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 12, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses on GRP and calculations.


Wednesday, March 10, 1999 #2379
My supervisor said it is impossible to figure an average 4 week r/f if the flight is shorter than four weeks, but i remember doing it on another account. Can you please confirm who is correct, and how to figure it out if I am? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 10, 1999 ):
You're correct. There are a few workable approaches to this.
  1. One says that whatever GRPs run within four weeks are the GRPs that count in figuring an average 4-week R&F, whether these GRPs are spread over one, two or three weeks. So, if you have two weeks at 100 GRP/week you have the same average four week R&F as you would for 200 GRP across four weeks; it could just as well have been 50 GRP/week for 4 weeks or 67 GRP/week for 3 weeks.
    The Guru supports the above theory.
    A small exception might be made for one week schedules, where actual data shows that, for radio in particular, a given number of GRP run in one week delivers slightly higher reach than the same GRP spread over four weeks, due to listening patterns.

  2. Another approach uses "when-in" data. Here, if you run 100 GRP/week during your flights and your flights are two weeks in and two weeks out, then you do your R&F as if you had 100 GRP/week for four weeks. Using this theory, you get the same result for 100 GRP/week two in, two out, as you do for two in, four out, which, to the Guru, is clearly quite a different communication level.


Monday, March 08, 1999 #2378
How do you figure out average four week r/fs without software? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 08, 1999 ):
Before software, there were tables to get reach from broadcast GRP, and books of factors and formulae for print.

Those old tables are probably no longer valid, perhaps someone has done some new ones. The Guru has discussed this frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses on reach and frequency


Thursday, February 18, 1999 #2347
As a buyer I have always been given the necessary information needed to put together a buy. I am currently in a new position, and I am being asked to provide information that I've never concerned myself with before, or gotten involved with the how's or why's of the decision. I'm in dire need of help. Here goes: I have been asked to determine the number of GRP's that should be used in a proposal for a new client. I have not received any budget information. The schedule will run 6-8 months, my demo is A 25-35 and the GRP's should be spiked during the 1st & final week of each month. Also, I am to include TV, Cable, and Radio. My question is: Do I simply request avails from the various TV & radio and cable stations within the market, put together a proposed schedule based on the avail information I receive, and add up the number of GRP's accordingly? HELP!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 18, 1999 ):
Congratulations, today you are a media planner. But apparently you are working with people lacking professional advertising experience or perhaps a retail client.

You either need some marketing goals input or you need to suggest some goals and get agreement before proceeding. You have been presented with a question equivalent to "how many pounds of nails are needed to build a building?"

You need to know how big a building, what materials it will be made of, how many nails in a pound, to what use will it be put and how big must it be?

To recommend schedule weights you need either a budget or a communications goal to deliver. In media / marketing terms you need to establish -- whether you are given direction or someone accepts your suggestions:

  • What has priority: Reach or frequency?
  • is there a minimum reach or effective reach to attain; per week, in four weeks, or in total?
  • To help answer those questions, if no simple answer is available, you might ask is it a new or established product or service?
  • What levels are used by the competition, if any?
  • Are there any specific product awareness, ad awareness or sales volume goals?
  • (In planning advertising, assume everything is a result of advertising: there is no awareness among people not reached; there are no sales to people who are not aware of the product.)

Knowing all this, you could examine reach frequency and continuity impact of various levels and combinations of your media choices. In other words, you somehow need to establish what must be accomplished by the GRPs, before you can decide how many to use.

It is puzzling, in this great information vacuum, that someone has decided to "spike" certain weeks. Apparently there is some information around which you haven't yet been given.


Wednesday, February 17, 1999 #2344
How do you calculate the average radio or TV CPP for a specific market?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 17, 1999 ):
It depends on what data you have to work with and how you want to describe your result.

The general rule is to add up all the GRPS delivered and all the costs. Then divide total cost by total GRP.

But this assumes you are working with some real numbers, either a past buy or proposed schedules. Averaging CPPs directly is usually wrong. If you have only CPP's to work with, you will need to get either their associated costs or associated ratings to work back into the numbers you need for accurate averaging.


Tuesday, February 16, 1999 #2338
Ambient media is defined as the "rapidly expanding sector of non-traditional out-of-home opportunities that surround us."(Concord Ambient Media Report 1998) My dissetation topic is concerned with measuring and improving the accountability of this sector, what is the best way to get started?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 17, 1999 ):
The Guru would recommend that you begin with a review of the literature concerning the move by 30-sheet and 8-sheet outdoor from arbitrary sales of "showings" to a GRP system, in the late '70's and 80's.


Sunday, February 14, 1999 #2331
How can i measure and incorporate the effectiveness of outdoor mediai(hoarding,transit etc)in a conventional media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
Do you actually incorporate the "effectivenss" of other media in your plans?

Outdoor is measured, and you should be buying outdoor by audience size as you do other media. 30-sheet and 8-sheet outdoor, for example, sell in "showings." The current standards of "Showings" call for expressing showing in GRP-per-day. In other words, a "50 showing" of outdoor means that the locations you buy have a combined "daily effective circulation (DEC)" -- or number of daily impressions -- equal to 50% of the population.

Some people may discount the passive, short copy outdoor medium by a certain percentage, say 50%, when combining with or comparing to other media such as broadcast and page-dominant print.


Thursday, February 11, 1999 #2322
Ephron(1993)suggests that the more a planner goes for frequency on television, the less effective he will progressively be, because the extra GRPs will fall increasingly into the "black hole" of the heavy viewers' viewing times, when they already have more enough OTS. In the context of "Effectiv Frequency", do you think concentrated frequency with a low reach is usually "better" than a lower frequency with a higher reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 13, 1999 ):
In the context of effective frequency, yes, more frequency with less reach is better than less frequenct with more reach, but that isn't the point of effective frequency. Effective frequency is the concept of focusing on the reach which is delivered at enough frequency.

Effective frequency is one basis of Ephron's theories. The key point he adds in movimg to recency planning is that frequency is additive over time; once a message has passed the effective threshold, each additional exposure is with effective frequency, especially when advertising is continuous. There is no need to consider only four week


Thursday, February 04, 1999 #2309
Dear Guru, I was wondering if you could tell the average CPP for women 18+ for 100 GRP's in the top 20 markets.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 05, 1999 ):
AMIC provides recent SQAD HH spot costs per point for all markets in the Rates, Dates and Data area


Friday, January 22, 1999 #2285
Dear Guru, This is a bit of a theoritical problem.I am currently working on a shaving cream brand which has been on decline for a few years now. Currently it has a market share of 3.9% and is ranked 7th.The markets where it is doing relatively better are actually the smallest markets, but here too, it is not better than 5th on market shares. It has a media budget which is about 1/5th of the biggest spender, which incidentally is not the market leader. My dilemma is - in the given scenario, for a relaunch, where should media focus be - on the overall smaller markets but where the brand is but marginally stronger or on the bigger markets for the category, where a greater potential lies ? The distribution strength is the same in all markets and no directions have been provided by the marketing team on priority markets. Thank you Guru. My name is Abu Huzaifa and i am media planner in Bombay, India.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 22, 1999 ):
Firstly, these are really marketing issues, not media issues, but to try to look at it from a purely media perspective, consider:

Think beyond the "bigger opportunity of the larger markets," because the impact you can deliver in a market is important. In other words, do you get more consumer response to 100 GRPs against 2 million people or 200 GRPs against 1 million people?

For example:

1. Assume that every impression delivered, no matter the market size, has the same potential to generate sales and / or share growth - where will your budget buy the greatest number of impressions?

2. Assume that the ability of the impressions to generate sales growth is influenced by current share of market. Estimate the value of this effect, plus or minus. Apply this weighting to the impressions you can buy and recalculate sales potential, according to paragraph 1.

3. Or assume that every exposure after the third one (or a level of your choosing) is some degree more effective. How many "effective impressions" can you deliver to each market set?


Tuesday, January 19, 1999 #2276
What you can tell me about GRP and CPT? How to explain the formulas of them?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 19, 1999 ):
The Guru assumes that by CPT, you mean "Cost per Thousand," which is abbreviated "CPM" in the U.S., (using the Roman numeral "M" for one thousand)>

GRP stands for "Gross Rating Points." It is the sum of all the ratings of all the advertisements of a schedule. Or it is the sum of all the impressions of a schedule divided by the population of the geographic market under consideration. "Impressions" and "Population" must be in the same demographic category within the same geography when applying this formula.

CPT, or cost per thousand, is simple a matter of dividing the cost of media by the number of impressions delivered expressed in thousands.


Thursday, December 24, 1998 #2236
Dear Guru, One of our clients is interested in "pricing guidelines" in the media according to a designated sought reach; He wants to change the pricing method he was working according to with the tv franchises, and seeks for a way that media prices will derive from the reach defenition. All his products are targeted to the same target audience so he believes he can convince franchises to determine prices accordind to a basic monthly reach he will undertake to accumulate every month. Since this is totally new to us, we will be grateful if you can help us. Are there any case studies we can learn from?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 24, 1998 ):
The Guru thinks this is simpler than it may seem. In television, generally reach is quite easy to estimate from GRPs when schedule parameters are known. Therefore, either the agency or the station can look at the reach goal, know the GRPs required, and use established cost per GRP to express cost for achieving the reach goal.

You should keep in mind that in cases where multiple stations are used, the overall reach is a matter of a combination of their schedules.


Tuesday, December 22, 1998 #2232
We use a buying service for our media. I'm just learning and was asked what seems a simple question, but do I have all the elements and could you help me to formulate the equation to learn. We are running 125 TRP's weekly in radio flighted thoughout the year. 3,000 total TRP's for the year. $550,000 total budget. CPP ranges from $32 to $200, average is $90. Q. With 125 TRP's a week, approximately how many spots a week will this schedule produce?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 23, 1998 ):
The Guru assumes you are running 125 GRP in each market.

Depending on market and demographic, average ratings run from about 1.0 - 2.0 on top stations. Divide GRP by the average rating you will buy to estimate number of spots. At an average rating of 1.0, 125 GRPs represents 125 spots.

And you didn't need any of that cost or cpp data.


Monday, December 21, 1998 #2230
I am currently analyzing a media schedule that includes consumer print, trade print and national cable. I have been asked to pull a reach and frequency for the entire schedule. I realize that I am working with several differenct universes. I have added the circulations and pulled the gross impressions for cable. I have added those together. Is there any formular to determan a reach and frequency? Help?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 24, 1998 ):
In general, different media have different audience accumulation patterns when thinking about net unduplicated audience vs gross audience.

Calculating reach from a total multimedia impressions number is not practical unless the gross rating points (impressions divided by GRPs) is so many thousands that a 95+ reach can be assumed.

Some media, in particular broadcast media, allow general estimation of reach from a table of GRP levels. Print media are more complicated.

What you really need is standardized media software for reach and frequency calculation like that which is offered by AMIC 's sister company, Telmar.


Friday, December 11, 1998 #2216
Dear guru- we are trying to figure out how to combine impressions for radio and newspaper across 18 markets. should we combine each market separately? or should we combine all markets for each media vehicle? what is the best way to do this? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 11, 1998 ):
It depends on what use you want to make of the data. Impressions may be added across media and across markets.

The tricks come when you want to turn them into GRPs. Then you must compare impressions against the population for the relevant geography to get GRPs for that geography.


Friday, December 04, 1998 #2198
Dear Guru. Thank you for your answers - they are very helpfull to me. My question is on "recency". 1.What groups of products best fit for "recency" planning. 2."Recency" planning needs continuity. But it is not evident what frequency level is needed at every moment of such continious ad campaign. It seems reasonable to set more frequency at the launch period and then decrease frequency for mantainance. Also we should take into consideration seasonality. Thus our campaign becomes pulsing but not continious. What are your comments? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 04, 1998 ):
1- Recency seems to best fit common products that are bought regularly; in other words, a purchase is stimulated by running out of the current supply. This means food and HBA products, primarily. More "considered purchase" products, like automobiles, may not be a good fit.

2- Erwin Ephron, principal proponent of Recency, has commented to the Guru that about 30 reach on a weekly basis is a threshold level. This might mean 50-60 GRP depending on the media used amd target.

Part of recency theory, in relation to frequency levels and effective reach, is that after three exposures have been delivered, every subsequent exposure is supported by adequate frequency. Recency generally applies to brands with established awareness; when you raise the issue of product introductions, it is a different situation.

Seasonality is the principal exception to recency. There is no point in delivering the most recent ad exposure at a time when no purchase is likely. It is important to distinguish products with seasonal fluctuations, like deodorant, from products with very specific seasons, like barbecue charcoal.

Also consider that Recency does not mandate even levels in its continuity. The weight can be raised above the threshold when appropriate.


Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2195
In radio terminology can you please explain a wired and unwired network? Also, is a wired network the same as a line network? As always, thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
Wired and line are the same. The terms stem from the days when telephone lines were the primary connection for a network. Wired or line networks are sets of stations under affiliation ageements to carry a network's programming, typically on a common schedule or with stated exceptions. "Unwired" is essentially a way for a spot rep to sell a long list of stations as a package. No programming is involved; just spots or GRPs.


Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2194
Dear Guru, can you name any media analysis tools and media predictive tools that media planners use on a regular basis without being too technical, of course. Many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 03, 1998 ):
Here are several:

  • Reach: the number of different target households or persons exposed to a campaign (most often expressed as a percentage of the target universe, and most often calculated over a 4-week period).
  • Frequency: The average number of exposures of the campaign to those reached.
  • Gross Rating Points (GRP) / Target Rating Points(TRP): Essentially interchangeable terms for the sum of the audiences of all the ad units in the campaign, expressed as a percentage of the target universe.
  • Gross Impressions: Same audience count as GRP/TRP but expressed in whole numbers rather than percents.
  • CPP / Cost per GRP and CPM / Cost per thousand impressions: should be self evident from the previous. These are referred to as the "efficiency."
  • Effective reach: Those in the "Reach" who experienced a specified minimum number of exposures (effective frequency)

All the above stem from the audience research tools and investment figures. So called "reach and frequency" systems typically generate all these figures.

Other tools, especially in print media are also occasionally used. These may include "time spent with" media vehicles, "page openings", attentiveness, etc.


Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2192
Dear Guru. It is not still clear to me how to measure or calculate Reach of the ad campaign using media mix. For example, my ads on TV provided 90% reach, and ads in print reached 25% of the target audience. What is the total reach, frequency of the campaign? What other indexes can we find for such campaign? And my second question is about outdoor advertising. It is essential to measure the effectiveness of the ad campaign comparing awereness and sales before and after the ads placing. But that is somehow the post- campaign analisys and my client would like to see some feagures before the campaign starts (pre-campaign). What indexes (like reach, frequency, GRPs, OTS) can we provide to the discription of the outdoor ad. campaign? Thank You very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
Reach of a medium in a plan is simply a statistical probability. Further, it is generally thought that each medium overlaps each other medium randomly.

So, in your example, if you consider the reach of each medium as a decimal, the probability of not being exposed to TV is 0.10 and of not being exposed to print is 0.75.

The probability of not being exposed to either one, is therefore 0.10 times 0.75 = 0.075.

Therefore, total reach of the mix is 92.5 (if 0.075 or 7.5% don't see it then 92.5% do see it).

Other basic "counts" for a campaign are impressions (OTS), cost per rating point and cost per thousand impressions.

All of these counts; reach, frequency, GRP, OTS, etc are possible for outdoor, if the research has been done, in your country, to count the audience of the locations used.


Tuesday, November 24, 1998 #2172
what is the standard response rate and should response be figured on GRPs or reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 24, 1998 ):
There isn't a "standard." The Guru has to guess that you are talking about TV infomercials. Obviously, price, product interest and quality of the infomercial can have great impact on response.

One or two percent is probably a very high response. The Guru would use reach as the base, because GRP will progressively accumulate fewer and fewer exposures among those who might buy but have not yet.

Contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) for more information.


Monday, November 23, 1998 #2170
Dear Guru! Since there are several media planning softwares in the market I wanted to ask: are there any guidelines for measuring the gap between the prediction and the actual results. What I mean is: Is there a "normal" gap, for example: 20% gap between the predicted reach\GRPs (pre campaign)to the results (post campaign). Thank you!Irene Kol.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 23, 1998 ):
This is a two part question:

1- The "gap" in GRPs will not be due to the software, it is based on your buyers' estimating ability and the accuracy of post analysis as well as the reliability of your audience research.

2- Since reach is derived from models based on averages, there can be variance. Variance will also depend on the medium you are considering and how it is measured.

For example, if your magazine audience research is conducted once a year when you plan a quarter's campaaign of 1 insertion in each of 5 magazines and then buy exactly that, how will you ever know if the reach was different than you planned?

On the other hand, suppose you plan radio based on a specific number of GRP on a specific number of stations, in a specific daypart mix, and you buy exactly that. How would you judge that the reach goal wasn't met, unless the buy did not deliver as planned, whether because of poor estimating, station failing to schedule properly or a new ratings book?

In no case are you dealing with the accuracy of the planning software.

Many agencies and clients agree to a +/- 10% range in delivery of broadcast GRPs. Other standards are often agreed as well.


Thursday, November 12, 1998 #2148
We have a client who is planning to run about 450 GRPs in cable TV. The timeframe for the spots is from 6pm - 1am and the campaign length is 10 weeks. We have 2 :30 spots in rotation (new copy for the client). If frequency is important, what would be a good level to shoot for and what would be overkill? Help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 13, 1998 ):
The Guru is not sure whether you mean average frequency of exposure, as in "Reach and Frequency" or the frequency per cable channel per week in your buy.

At 450 GRP over 10 weeks, you will probably run about 75 - 200 spots per week, depending on the networks used and target. 15 to 20 per network wouldn't be a bad level.

The Guru believes that some cable schedules get so heavy that the repeated commercials quickly become an annoyance to loyal viewers of content specific networks.

Four week Reach / Frequency would probably be in the 30 / 6.0 range.


Friday, October 30, 1998 #2117
I have a client that would like to do an image radio schedule for the first time. An 8 week schedule was proposed - he wants to cut it to 6 weeks for budget reasons. The reach and frequency for both schedules are similar. Is there research to show him as to why the longer schedule will have more impact and long term effectiveness?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 30, 1998 ):
There seems to be a missing factor. If you were running 100 GRP per week for 8 weeks and cut back to 100 GRP per week for 6 weeks, GRP would be reduced by 25%. Therefore, reach or frequency would have to change significantly, if not both.

I.e: suppose your 8 week plan had a reach and frequency of 60 / 13.3 with 800 GRP. If you reduced the plan to 6 weeks / 600 GRP and the reach did not go down, frequency would drop to 10 -- a 25% change. If the frequency did not go down then the reach would have to decline to 45, again a 25% decline. Realistically both reach and frequency should exhibit obvious drops.

Perhaps someone is mistakenly comparing average 4-week reach in the two plan. That comparison would be irrelevant, but be "similar" if not identical.

If you mean that the 8 weeks schedule is compressed into 6 weeks, then there would be an avergae 4 week difference but no budget reduction.

In this case, however "recency" theory would prefer the 8 week version becasue it provides more chances to deliver advertising to the consumer at a time of decision making. This theory may not be appropriate for "image" campaigns.


Wednesday, October 14, 1998 #2095
Dear Guru, Do you know special media models for autdoor advertising? Are there any difference of modelling diffrent media? What is the most appropriate model for calculating reach and frequency for the outdoor advertising. There are several models like Agostinis, Beta Binomial eg., what is the closest one to the outdoor models. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
Harris Donovan of Canada has an Outdoor Reach and Frequency system.

A media reach model is based on several observations of the actual reach achieved by real schedules and finding a "curve" that matches a regression analysis of the GRP vs frequency lines. Some of the models you mention are appropriate with small ratings like radio's or medium ratings like consumer magazines'.


Wednesday, October 14, 1998 #2094
Dear Guru! Could you explain the speciality of billboard advertising, focusing on the time length of the campaign. I suppose there is an optimal length of a campaign, and after that the reach is not growing (or just a little). In the European market we can find 1 week 2 week and 1 month long campaign too. Are there any available research on this topic? Thanks Tamas

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
In the U.S., an outdoor campaign is usually bought as a 25, 50 or 100 "showing". "Showing" means GRP's per day, based on camparing DEC (daily effective circulation) to the population universe.

A "50 showing" outdoor campaign will achieve 85% or better reach in one month, so obviously there cannot be much reach growth from there. A 25 showing isn't much lower and a 100 showing isn't much higher.

Campaigns usually run 3 or more months. The cost of production typically works against less than 30 day postings.

Even though outdoor delivers very high reach at low cpm, in the Guru's experience it is rarely employed just for this reach building, because it offers limited message length and detail.

Harris Donovan of Canada has an Outdoor Reach and Frequency system.


Tuesday, October 06, 1998 #2073
In media jargon, what does recency planning mean?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 06, 1998 ):
Most simply, it's the idea that the message heard closest to the time of purchase decision is most effective. This leads to plans that optimize continuity instead of focusing on achieving a minimum level of GRP's or minimum effective reach for some affordable number of weeks.

The Guru has addressed recency often; try searching the term in the Guru Archives Search Engine.

Recency has also been a hot topic on our MediaPlanning and Award-papers e-mail discussions.


Friday, October 02, 1998 #2068
Hi Guru! We have a client who has $80-100,000 extra budget to spend this year. The budget has to be spread out nationally (in over 150 markets). We were offered a full page ad with a magazine (that reaches our demo) with a circulation of 7.6 mill. for 90M. We were also considering running a cable schedule on only one station since that's all we could afford. Which do you think is the better option? In addition, we are looking to run the first 2 weeks in December.Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 02, 1998 ):
There really isn't enough information here to make an informed decision. For instance, a lot would depend on what media are in the base level of the plan, what your base reach and frequency are already, and what are your goals.

But let's play with it anyway: Suppose your magazine is Better Homes and Gardens, which reaches 26% of Adult Women. You would be achieving 26 Reach, a frequency of 1.0 and, of course. 26 Women GRPs.

Let's suppose your cable network is Lifetime. Does your money buy 26 GRPs there? More ? Less? It might get you 13 reach and a frequency of 2.0. Which is more important to you, reach or frequency? Does the magazine or does cable offer better content as an environment for what you are selling?

You need to reduce the question to specific factors which you can evaluate.


Wednesday, September 16, 1998 #2045
what is persuasion rating points?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 16, 1998 ):
Persuasion rating point is not a standard term. It would seem to imply an adjusted rating point based on testing of the effectiveness of specific media in specific situations. For example, the Roslow Study, for Univision, summarized in the Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator area of AMIC, measured effectiveness of English language advertising among Hispanics, using persuasion as one of three metrics.

Based on theis study and other data, many advertisers use an effectiveness adjustment when planning Spanish language media.

E.g: If I (the advertiser) want to have 100 GRP per week among my Hispanic target, before buying Spanish media, I wish to account for the fact that Hispanics watch some of the English language media in which I advertise. From Nielsen's NHTI I can see that for every 100 general market media rating points I buy in English language media, I get (for example) 60 Hispanic rating points.

But I know from the aforementioned studies that the GRPs Hispanics receive in English are less persuasive that GRPs of Spanish media. So I apply an effectiveness adjustment to calculate effective Hispanic rating points to which I might refers as "persuasion rating points".

Now the 60 GRPs among Hispanics might become only 33 persuasion rating points. So instead of buying only 40 Spanish language media rating points (100 Goal minus 60 delivered), I should buy 67 (100 Goal minus 33 delivered), to have an effective (persuasive) media plan.


Tuesday, September 08, 1998 #2031
Dear Guru, I'm new in the Advertising field. I would like to know how to calculate the Target Market Reach1+, Reach2+, abd the Average Frequency. TIA. -- SKY

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
The answer depends upon what data you are starting with. At its most simple, "1+" reach is the same as just saying "reach". If you know the GRPs, and the reach, then the average frequency is calculated by dividing reach into GRPs.

At bottom however, in each medium, TV, radio, print, etc. reach was actually measured at some point, rather than calculated . That is, using respondent level measurement, such as Nielsen or MRI or Simmons, actual schedules advertiser were evaluated for gross audience accumulated and the net reach accumulated, as well as how many people saw exactly one advertisement in the schedule, how many saw 2, how many saw three, and so on. As the Guru stated above, reach is defined as those who saw one or more (1+) advertisements. 2+ or 3+, etc, is determined by adding those exposed to each discreet number of ads.

Taking the results of many of these schedules as a scatter graph, a classic reach curve may be plotted. Or, by arraying GRPs and frequencies in a table, a formula equivalent to the curve can be determined statistically. This formula then becomes a "model" for calculating reaches of other schedules in similar media. Formulae for 2+, 3+ frequencies can also be calculated. There are no simple formulas for doing this. "Beta Bimodal" is one statistical function frquently used. These functions and models are usually built into large computer media planning systems like Telmar's.


Thursday, September 03, 1998 #2026
Both we and our client agree to the recency theory. The problem is that given the retraints of the budget, we are only able to schedule "weekly" advertising for about half the schedule while still achieving minimal weekly TRP threshold levels. Right now we are wrestling with the dilemma of how to schedule these weeks for the first half of the year while still following the principals of the recency theory: (1)12 weeks straight through then a 14-week hiatus (2)6 weeks on, 14 weeks off, 6 weeks on or (3)an alternating schedule of 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off, etc. throughout the period. Do you have any theory on what might be the best approach to maximize return?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 03, 1998 ):
Thinking about a "threshold level" of GRP's is instinctive, but at odds with the essence of recency theory. Review other Guru answers below about recency. Please also see a very interesting discussion of recency on our MediaPlanning e-mail list. The list archives are at Ad Talk and Chats . Why not subscribe to the list and bring your question there as well?


Tuesday, August 25, 1998 #2014
Hi, I would like to know anything regarding setting the minimun level of TRP's, or minimun reach goal. We know how to set the optimun level, but there is a minimun? One point where is better not to advertise at all. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 31, 1998 ):
Any GRPs generate some reach and frequency.

Any reach generates some consumer impact. Setting minima is a matter of judgment and logic.

If you are an adherent of the effective reach theory, you will determine what is your effective level (3+ or more) and what portion of your target you need to reach at that level, to make advertising worthwhile. This determination will tell you either how much time you can be active in advertising or across how much geography. The Guru favors 50% as the portion of target to set as minimum to reach effectively.

If you believe totally in the recency theory, any is a reasonable minimum, because each impression has its greatest chance to produce a sale this way, as it is more likely to produce unduplicated reach at any point in time. Yet, few planners can avoid feeling there should be a minimum, probably because they want to see measured sales movement for some period of time.

In either case, seasonality and purchase cycles will inform the decision.


Monday, August 24, 1998 #2011
We are in the process of planning for a major TV client where we have been applying the recency theory for the past year. Because of the size of the budget we have been limited to around 70TRPs weekly essentially for the entire year. In Year II our client has asked us to consider temporarily abondoning the recency theory and to move dollars (and TRPs) out of the more expensive buying months (April, May) to the relatively more more inexpensive months (January, Feb)and to increase our TRP levels accordingly. Do you have any input on which strategy should/could have more effect on brand performance assuming all other factors are equal (pricing, distribution etc.)?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 24, 1998 ):
First we have to assume that the basis of recency theory is accepted.

Recency theory calls for reaching as many people as possible as close to the sale as possible. Thats's why continuity is emphasized for products with little seasonality and regular purchase cycles.

One of the essential elements of recency theory is that not all impressions or GRPs are equal, even in the same programming. You are focusing on cost per point. As you are probably aware, reach developed per GRP decreases with every added GRP in a schedule. There is therefore, a declining return on investment in reach at any point in time, which is why spreading out prospects reached produces the optimal return. The first 10 GRPs bought in a week generate more reach than the last 10 GRPs.

Hence, the added impressions bought when they are cheap produce less sales than the impressions lost from the more expensive times.

So now you have to evaluate what might be produced. Assuming you are lowering -- not eliminating --activity in higher priced periods how many more impressions, and how much more reach can you achieve in low priced times. If you cut back 10 reach points per week in July but buy 20 added reach points per week in March, perhaps the added reach can sell more than the lost reach, or perhaps not. The Guru would look for a 50% minimum trade up in added vs lost reach points to justify the change; i.e. if the plan goes down 10 reach points per week in one period, then it need to go up 15 reach points per week in the other.


Wednesday, July 29, 1998 #1978
If I'd like to compare cost-efficiency of certain radiostation and certain TV station, would it be correct to apply some coefficient for radio GRP's (like 0,3 radio GRP's vs 1 TV's)? Is there any reliable research findings concerning the question of comparable value of, say, the same kind of units but for different media? Thankful for your answer, Elena, Moscow

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 29, 1998 ):
Cost efficiency is typically used to compare media while intentionally ignoring "qualitative" differences. Of course, planners like to assign values to represent the differing value of communication power or whatever.

What is your measurement standard in a media plan? Reach, effective reach, sales per GRP?

It is quite unlikely that a TV GRP has 3 times as much of anything - recall / sales motivation / etc. And one must keep in mind that GRPs have their effects as part of schedules, not one at a time. Even if one radio announcement was 30% as strong on some basis as one tv annoouncement, the accumulation of effect over the course of a schedule would become much less, especially if radio's lower cost per GRP allowed a bigger schedule for the same money, which is why efficiency is compared in the first place.

Short answer - develop comparisons of efficiency and effectiveness separately. Then use effectiveness as an index on efficiency if you must.

ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization or the Advertising Research Foundation may have studies on the relative effectiveness question.


Friday, July 24, 1998 #1973
I need help! I need to know the forumla (or formulas) for figuring the reach and frequency on a television schedule. I need it to be demo / and have the following information: universe, impressions and GRPs. What else do I need and what is the magic FORUMLA! At this point we are using the cumulative impressions into the universe to figure the reach - but could that be right? I don't think so - but the reach is what I need to figure (already have GRP and freq is easy if I have reach!). Please help - and thanks tons.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 24, 1998 ):
When you divide the accumulated impressions by the universe, your result is GRPs. There is no simple reach formula unless you already know GRPs and frequency. There are various very complicated algorithms for calculating reach for a given average rating size, known average duplication between programs used, etc. "Beta Bimodal" is one of the best known.

But today, Reach calculations are done by computer, using models built from Nielsen's actual measurements of net audience reach from meter-measured schedules.

Telmar, AMIC's sister company, is the leading provider of software for such analyses.

Before computers were commonplace, media planners had tables which gave reach for various GRP levels depending on demos, dayparts and duplication. These, too, were based on average Nielsen audience accumulation reports.


Wednesday, July 22, 1998 #1968
I am trying to study the factors related to unaided recall of TVCs. In your experience, is the prevalence of potential buyers connected to recall? In particular I have in mind several campaigns to baby products. Providing that all have the same reach and GRP, and that X% of mothers intend to buy Y product and 2X% intent to buy product Z. How should this effect the results? Irene Kol Israel

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 22, 1998 ):
The Guru would expect consumers in the market for the product to have better commercial recall. Also that people with specific brand intentions might recall that brand's commecial better.

But the actual content of the commercial should be the major factor. If intenders of product Y see a product Z commercial with important information about that product it may greatly enhance their recall, especially over a schedule as you posit the question.

Surely at least part of a commercial's intent is to convert users from one brand to another. At any point in time, those still intending to buy Y will probably have better recall of Y, and vice versa.


Friday, July 17, 1998 #1959
I am working on a television post buy analysis and was wondering what the industry standard index is for estimated vs. actual GRP ratings? Rule of thumb in the past was 90%+, is this still in effect and does it change from market to market? Is there any documented research for this percentage or do most television sales reps know the "rules" in order for me to get make-goods for my client?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 17, 1998 ):
Everything is by agreement. In this business, one tends to think the policy of the agency or medium where they learn things are rules of the industry.

Some agencies have a +/- 15% policy others have +/- 10%. Some advertisers make their agencies give them +/- 10% when the agency policy is a wider allowance and some major advertisers don't post.

Some network deals are 100% guaranteed, magazine "rate base" is 100% guaranteed, but many advertisers/agencies never verify delivery.

If you negotiate a 90% deal with your sales rep, then that' s what he/she's got to do. If you're doing regular business, it shouldn't be much of an issue to get 90%, anyway.

In markets where there are weekly ratings available, it should also be your practice to rerate buys as they progress and negotiate adjustments during the schedule to avoid shortfalls on post analysis.


Saturday, July 11, 1998 #1945
Dear Guru, I have seen you use "advertising weight" in other response. Please clarify the meaning of this percentage. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 11, 1998 ):
Advertising weight refers to the gross audience of a campaign. It may be GRP/TRPs or impressions. It may be considered in total or by individual demographic segment. While some look primarily at expenditure, "weight" is a better guide to communications impact.

In competitive analysis, each advertiser's weight is compared to all others as a percent of the total weight in the category to calculate "Share of Voice."


Saturday, July 11, 1998 #1944
Dear Guru, Thank you for your incredible help! I have to fulfill an RFP for an online ad campaign. The agency requested avails, SOV and a proposal. Please explain SOV in the online context. I understand avails to be available impressions.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 11, 1998 ):
"Avails" in the context of a media proposal typically means a listing of the advertising positions offered. In broadcast, it may describe dayparts and programs available for sale with audience and pricing specified.

The term seems a bit of a stretch in on-line, but could describe a lsiting of available banner sizes, positions and rotations, with impressions and prices.

"SOV" does not seem to fit here unless it is meant to express the portion of the site's total available impressions delivered by each available advertising opportunity in the "avails."

The Guru's observation has been that people operating web sites and managing their advertising have not come from other media or even agency backgrounds. It would not seem useful to try to impose broadcast terminology on new electronic media, except for those terms common to all other media, such as "impressions," "GRP," or "cpm."


Monday, July 06, 1998 #1937
Dear Guru, I'm trying to find info on the relationship between reach and frequency known as the prime axiom in media planning. Such as, what it is, why is it useful and how is it directly or indirectly measured? Also, I need research on the volatility of broadcast media. For instance, how can broadcast media avoid law suits if they fail to run a commercial. I'm frantically completing a take home exam for a graduate class and can't find research on these topics. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I'll let you know if we get an "A."

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 07, 1998 ):
One wonders at the sort of course where these terms matter but are not thoroughly taught. Reach and Frequency are the weights and measures of a media plan.
  • "Reach" tells you how many different people are exposed to an advertising schedule. It is commonly expressed as a percentage of a target group's population. E.g. 75 percent reach among women 18-49.
  • "Frequency" tells you the average number of exposure to the schedule experienced by the people reached.
The usefulness should be obvious: no matter how great or impactful an ad may be, it will not sell product unless it reaches enough people and reaches them frequently enough to have an effect on their behavior.

The various research tools media planners use which measure the audience of TV shows, radio stations, magazines, etc can also tell us how many people are reached by schedules of several uses of theses programs and books. From these direct measurements, statistical models are built which can estimate the reach and frequency of schedules being planned. Media Planners can therefore compare alternate schedules to determine which ones will best meet reach/frequency goals.

Thinking of pure arithmetic relationships, reach and frequency are linked with GRPs -- Gross Rating Points. When the ratings (audience as percent of target group) of all the individual ads in a schedule are added up, the resulting total is GRP. GRP divided by reach = frequency and reach X frequency = GRP. 2. Mistakes happen. Fine print in contracts protects broadcasters against liability if they inadvertently miss airing a commercial, or deliberately do so because a higher paying advertiser comes along, or because the decide to air a news special. etc. Their only obligation is typically to give a "makegood," another commercial location with equal or better quality.


Monday, June 29, 1998 #1929
We are producing a 90-second radio vignette for our client. It will include :30 for their commercial and :60 of new entertaining content that relates to thier product. When scheduling this vignette to air on network radio once each day for 26 or 52 weeks, is it better to get a fixed time or an ROS type schedule? Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 29, 1998 ):
There are pros and cons to either. An ROS schedule should cost less per spot and per GRP. It should also develop better reach. A fixed time lets you pick your environment, but you may not have any particular prefernces, so that can be an illusory advantage. Over the course of an ROS schedule, ROS should get the network's average rating as the schedule's average rating, or a better one if that's what you negotiate. Picking fixed positions will not likely give any advantage over that.

The greatest remaining benefit of fixed positions is being able to tell the client to listen for his spot at a specific time. However, even with an ROS schedule, the network should be able to give you a scheduled times a day or two before they air.


Friday, June 26, 1998 #1927
Are you aware of any published research that indicates at about how many GRPs recognition (or even recall) measures begin to level off?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 27, 1998 ):
There may be many such studies, most likely available through the Advertising Research Foundation library or Newsweek Media Research Index. However, when such single variable sudies are published, it makes it all too easy to overlook the fact that the creative carries the greater burden for your measures. Thus the perpertual questions about how many GRP = wearout.


Thursday, June 18, 1998 #1905
Is there a threshold at which you maximize on reach (TV) at a certain weight level? I am purchasing a high concentration of GRPs (60% in prime / 20% in news/prime access / 20% early morning/daytime/late night) in excess of 300 Ad 18-49 GRP's per week for 4 weeks. Running R&F against such a plan shows reach at 99% --- which I feel is impossible. Isn't the threshold of maxing out on reach at 96%?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 19, 1998 ):
The typical, short term cume study gives a 96% top end. But 99% of Homes have TV so a 99 reach is theoretically possible.

Since either 96 or 99 is the result of all TV collectively, a very heavy plan is required to achieve it, especially in today's fragmented TV environment, where cable has so great a share of viewing.

For your schedule, even 96 is probably somewhat high. If your R&F system is unsophisticated, outdated or unable to adjust to the number of weeks in the schedule, that may explain the high result you are getting.


Wednesday, June 10, 1998 #1890
Dear Guru, Is there any way to compare between the quantity of a campaign GRPs to the purchase intentions? For example: if we did a campaign of 1000 GRPs, and the post test results show that 50% intend to buy the product (a new product that was just penetrated).Is there any criteria that I can use to evaluate the "value" of each rating point according to its influence on the purchase intentions or on the aided / unaided awareness? I know that the purchase intentions and all other post-test results are a results of lots of other factors as the message itself, the frequency, the product itself etc. Still, I wonder if you can help me to focus on the connection / correlation between the GRPs quantity and the slots mix to the purchase intentions (The competitor's campaign had the same sum of GRPs but most of it in off prime, unlike ours that was about 50% in prime time, and this difference had a meaningful effect on the purchase intentions. Can I "prove" the correlation between slots mix and purchase intentions? Thak you very much!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 20, 1998 ):
The Guru could rule the world if GRP's had a simple direct relationship to purchase intent, or sales, etc. If advertising copy quality or unit length or programming made no difference, as your theory would require, there would be no creative "stars" in agencies and The biggest agency might have a one-person media department.

To approximate what you are looking for, if purchase intent is measured at enough different points of enough different schedules, then a graph relating GRP to intent can be created. It will only be approximately predictive because it ignores all those other variables the Guru mentioned.


Thursday, May 28, 1998 #1610
1.Please, where can I find "Archives" by topic? 2.I have seen a table showing Awareness Level correlat ed to Target GRPs.Could you, please, tell me how they estimate Awareness Level? 3. I also have seen a table showing Audience engagement in various activities when average commercial is aired. Would you, please, tell me how the information is obtain ed? Is it from a national panel? If yes, does this panel also provide audience data? Thank you, Inocima.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 02, 1998 ):
1) The Guru Archives may be accessed from their link on the Media Guru Page. In the next few days, we will be adding a search engine to allow you to find all all past Guru answers on the topics of your choice.

2) The Guru isn't familiar with the table you have seen. Since you are writing from Brazil, it could be based on research totally unfamiliar to the Guru. The proper way for such a table to have been created would use just estimates of awareness, but actual survey results. An advertiser or agency which has conducted many awareness studies and correlated them with actual GRP's of the plans running in synchronization with the studies could create such a table.

In fact, just a few actual measurements could be the basis of a table if it is assumed that the awareness / GRP relationship follows some sort of curve as does the Reach / GRP relationship. The Guru is familiar with one formula for predicting awareness based on GRP, which came from analyzing several plans and surveys. In essence, it predicted that when there was any significant starting awareness, awareness declined in any week where there were less than 100 GRP.

3) Again, Brazil's audience engagement data is not familiar to the Guru. In the U.S. such data usually comes from secondary sources such as our Simmons or MRI, which ask these questions but are primarily print audience and product usage studies.


Saturday, May 23, 1998 #1602
I am looking for any guidelines / research about: 1- number of spots for radio (sustaining level, 50% heavy up, 100% heavy up 2 - if I have continues strategy what maximum gap of not being on air may I allow without harm to sales (one week, two, three?) 3 - in my country (Russia) we have practice in outdoor not to place competitors on two opposite sides of billboard, ahzt I think is not correct, as each face of billboard works for different directions and can not compete with each other. What is the practice regarding this in other countries. Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 26, 1998 ):
1) The Guru doesn't judge radio effectiveness in terms of numbers of spots. If one schedule of 12 spots, for example, has an average rating of 0.5 (one-half of 1 percent of the target audience), which is common, it cannot be considered equal to another station's 12 spots with an average rating of 2.5 (also reasonable for top stations in the US). The first accumulates 6 GRPs and might reach 3% of the target, the second accumulates 30 GRPs and might reach 12-15% of the target.

So GRPs' or other audience measure are more realistic ways to determine levels. Having done this, if you determine that 100 GRPs, for example, is the correct sustaining level, then by simple arithmetic, 50% heavy-up is 150 GRPs and 100% heavy-up is 200 GRPs

2) Awareness begins to decline as soon as there is any advertising gap. Current thinking is that sales of a continuously purchased product are better supported by continuity at whatever level is affordable rather than an arbitrary minimum effective weekly level, separated by periods of inactivty. The U.S.'s Advertising Research Foundation has considerable literature on the topic and so might ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization

3) The Guru agrees with you regarding opposite sides of a billboard. The competitive protection policies the Guru is familiar with in the U.S. only deal with advertising seen by the same audience, that is, traffic headed in the same direction. Usually there will be a certain range specified, such as "Within 500 feet" for metropolitan 8-sheet boards, which are about 5x12 feet and can be placed in dense concentration within cities.


Thursday, May 14, 1998 #1592
Dear Guru, There are two questions I wish to address to you: 1. Is there any rule of thumb regarding the weight of 10'' spots? How effective can a relatively 'small' campaign composed chiefly of such short spots can be? By a small campaign I mean one that has arounc 300-400 GRP. 2. When it comes to factors that either enhance or lessen the effectiveness of a campaign, are there any conventions regarding the use of relevant factors? The order in a break may be a more familiar example but there are other factors that one may incorporate to a media plan, e.g whether the commercial is new or not. Thank you so much for the attention Iris Kalka Pelled3 Communications

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 14, 1998 ):
1) The Guru's rule of thumb in general, is if the effectiveness - relative to a :30 - is better than the price ratio, a :10 can be a good investment. In the early days of :15s in the U.S., they were evaluated as about 75% as effective as :30s, and sold for 50%, so they were popular. The Guru believes he has seen research to say a :10 is worth 75% of a :15.

However, you are posting from Israel. Your local standards may be different, because of the different culture and different media environment, clutter, media mix, etc. If you can ascertain a local effectiveness ratio, you can make an informed decision.

In any case, the Guru believes these short executions are best used as a supplement to longer copy. The Guru does not believe most creative people would be comfortable with only :10 copy and just 300-400 GRP. 2) The number of factors, such as break position, age of commercial, complexity of message, product interest, etc, which can be influential is almost infinite. The relative influence is a judgement call. Evaluating through a logical process, by establishing your rules and executing them, is best.

The Guru has seen these factors used to develop an effective frequency basis for a media plan's communication goals. In this way all considerations come down to a single number.


Monday, May 11, 1998 #1587
Is there a correlation between GRP levels and awareness? If so, what GRP levels are recommended to significantly effect awareness? The category I'm looking at (long term care insurance) has low consumer awareness, and a high avoidance factor.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 11, 1998 ):
In its simplest terms, there is a correlation. Obviously, the more GRPs delivered, the more awareness is created. Creating new awareness will take more GRPs than sustaining existing awareness.

A safe minimum guideline is to continuously reach more people than the existing level of awareness.

It is also important to remember that awareness alone doesn't make a sale. The message must be persuasive, not merely one of which the prospects are aware.


Saturday, February 21, 1998 #1507
Question: What are the various pros and cons of the respective television dayparts when determining daypart mix or dispersion? I've perused ARF and Newsweek's archives and can't find anything regarding "rules" of the daypart mix.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 21, 1998 ):
The Guru doesn't feel there are explicit "rules," per se.

Considerations include:

A daypart mix will reach more people than the same dollars in any single daypart.

Dayparts chiefly differ in

  • rating size
  • cost per spot/cost per GRP
  • audience compostion (proportion of genders, ages, etc)
  • and viewer attentiveness

A plan's communication goals should specify which of these aspects matter and to what degree, allowing the planner to make an intelligent choice in mix by examining how well the various possibilities deliver the goals within the budget.


Sunday, November 30, 1997 #1466
Hi Guru: I am a marketing student and now doing a promotional campaign. My team needs to develop a media flowchart with reach, frequancy, GRPs, and yearly schedule by by month. I know there are softwares that does that, but we are only students and have no money to buy professional softwares like that. I would like to know if there is freeware that we could use to develop this chart or if there is anything we could refer to. Thanks a million. Please let me know ASAP cos this is due pretty soon. Sarah

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 01, 1997 ):
As with most specialized software that makes a job easier and a result prettier, there's also a tedious, less attractive choice.

Telmar's ADplus / Flowmaster is one of the best programs for media flowcharting. However, with no budget, you can probably do an adequate job for your school project with whatever spreadsheet program your computer has installed: Lotus 1-2-3, MS Excel, or MS Works, etc.

Just set your columns to 2 characters wide (enough for dates) for each week and you can create a flow chart. Activity bars can be filled in with special characters or shading.

Any text can be accommodated and total can be calculated; heavier lines dividing months and quarters are also easily done.


Wednesday, November 19, 1997 #1459
Does it make any sense to calculate GRPs not having reach and frequency stated? My campaign brings me 530 GRPs - whatdoes it mean for me? Could I calculate OTS if I have only GRPs? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 22, 1997 ):
GRPs are simply a summation of all the audiences of all the ads in a plan. They give you the "boxcar" size of a plan without any detail. This can be used to compare to other campaigns or other times, in crude terms.

If by OTS, you mean "Opportunities to See," which is equivalent to Impressions, then the calculation is simple. GRPs are a percentage of the population. Whatever your GRP's target group, you need to know the total "universe" of that population for which the GRPs are stated. Then, if you have 500 GRPs, you have impressions equal to the population, times 5.


Saturday, October 18, 1997 #1438
Dear Guru Could you please give me your views/suggestions on the following: 1. How can you set media objectives for a banking client in a market with only two major competitors; both of whom do not have a clear-cut advertising campaign? Would a % above last years GRP levels be appropriate; in proportion to the market share desired? What other parameters should I consider? 2. Qualitatively or quantitatively, how can front page solus positions in newspapers be compared with inside pages and ear panels? 3. And lastly, how do you add TV and press GRPs; for a specific audience? Sorry about the long query. Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 18, 1997 ):
As a rule, the Guru sets media objectives based on marketing goals, not competitors' activity. Some marketing goals do indeed lead one to comparsions with competition, and awareness of competitors' plans is always a consideration.

If the key marketing goal is share growth, then a proportional increase in weight is one approach. But consider that share, like reach, exhibits an asymptotic curve. In other words, it can't pass 100%, so the higher it goes, the more effort is required to "move the needle."

Consider: You first assume that "X" amount of GRP's are required just to maintain share, on the assumption that competitive activity doesn't vary (and that advertising is the only variable influencing share).

Have you considered whether current share is proportional to share of GRP weight among competitiors?

Would 50% more GRPs grow share by 50%? No, if only because it increases the size of the total advertising arena. Your 50% increase in GRP does not increase your share of GRP by 50%, so calculate the right number to increase share of GRP, if you follow that philosophy.

But since there are competitors, perhaps it takes 50% more weight to gain 25% more share?

Newspaper positions can be compared on a basis of noting, reading, recall, etc. In each country or culture (you are writing from India), the relative power of media and the way consumers relate to them are different.

In the U.S., for example, a front page ad in a newspaper would be quite unusual if not unheard of.

Contacting the U.S. Advertising Research Foundation or ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Marketing Research organization, or your own country's newspaper advertising association may turn useful up research on positioning.

The Guru treats GRPs of different media as simply additive. When there are established effectiveness factors, as some advertisers have developed, GRPs may be accordingly adjusted before adding, in comparing plans.


Thursday, October 09, 1997 #1427
Does the length of the commercial determine the amount of GRPs reached? If I schedule a 30ss and achieve X amount of GRPs, and schedule a 15ss the same amount of times I achieve the same amount of GRP's as with the 30ss?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 10, 1997 ):
Very simply, yes. Whether they are watching for 15 or 30 seconds, the audience of the commercial is the same, so the GRPs are the same(never mind theories of channel switching, or we'd be adjusting commercial audiences based on partial viewing).

What can be confusing is that TV buyers often use formulas requiring :15's to be treated as if they had half the rating of a :30 in the same time slot, so that they can most readily calculate a ":30 equivalent" c.p.m. or Cost Per Point.


Monday, August 18, 1997 #1393
If I took 75.0 GRPs from Prime Spot TV, and moved it into Spot cable, would the reach be equal?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 18, 1997 ):
Generally speaking, cable does not cume as high as prime spot(ratings size is the simplest guide to relative reach potential, in general). Strip programming cumes less than higher dispersion schedules.

In any given market/universe situation, if a cable buy is made such that its ratings and dispersion equals that of the prime spot schedule, reach may be equal as well, but such a situation is not very likely.

If there is a large schedule of other dayparts or media, to which you are considering adding either Prime spot or cable, the difference in impact of 75 GRP of one versus the other may be quite minimal


Wednesday, July 23, 1997 #1377
Enjoyed learning from your answers. I have following questions. 1. Is there a rule of thumb for decising how much to spend on advertising vs. public relations? 2. What is the role of ad agency in determining advertising budget? Or is it determined primarily by the client? 3. How common a practice is it to perform a computerized analysis of media plan to determine the final impact in terms of reach, frequency, etc. 4. Is there a magic number in terms of GRP's, or other ratings needed to convert a prospect to a buyer? If not how does one establish the optimum budget? Thanks so much. Raj

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 26, 1997 ):
1) Advertising vs Public Relations decisions are based on a complex mix of marketing issues. One advertiser, mostly concerned with establishing an image or with community relations may spend the majority of funds on PR and the next, seeing a simple need to move units of a basic impulse purchase low-competition, product, may do no PR at all.

2) Some clients merely tell the agency how much there is to spend. Others will go through a process of determining marketing goals with the agency and consider the agency's recommendation on the cost of accomplishing those goals. More often the budget will come from the client, based on issues other than marketing goals, and then be allocated in accord with achieving the goals within the budget.

3) Computerized media delivery analysis is common. Some small retail advertisers may just hipshoot media decisions, often because the geography is small enough to track directly.

4) No, there is no magic number of GRPs to convert prospects to buyers. The marketing issues in each case vary. It should be obvious that persuading you to order a 7-Up versus a Coke next time you go out to lunch, given your background knowledge of the products and benefits, and the consequences of the wrong choice, is quite a different proposition than persuading you to buy a Mercedes Benz, select a vacation destination, or in which hospital to have surgery.


Monday, July 21, 1997 #1376
GURU: I've been out of school, working for a large agency for about a year. I would like for you to help me with just one question: What is the difference between a GRP and a TRP? I don't think there is a difference, but co-workers use TRP and I've learned it as a GRP (Gross Rating Point). Please help with any word origin or history you may have. Thanks for your help,

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 21, 1997 ):
Until the late 70's, most TV advertising, especially for major package goods brands, was bought on a Household GRP basis. As demographic targeting became more common, "Target Rating Points" (TRP) became a term distinguished from Household Gross Rating Points, which was especially useful when a plan discussed both. Some people still use phrases like Women 18-49 GRP when others would say TRP. Except that HH points are never TRP, there is really no difference.

What is important is consistency within any document and advertiser.


Friday, June 20, 1997 #1367
For TV planning, should we look at planning GRPs on a weekly basis or on a burst campaign basis? In our country, it can build reach very fast and easy.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 20, 1997 ):
Without knowing the country to which you're referring, the Guru can't comment on specifics. In various countries, due to consumer's media consumption habits, media availability, and product purchase behavior, the right way to plan continuity vs burst, pulses, waves or flights varies.

The worst mistake is to assume that what is right generally applies to every case. Just as in the US, Hispanic media must be planned completely differently than General Market media, because Spanish media's relative strengths and availability are different, so too, can each country have its own, best answers.


Thursday, June 19, 1997 #1366
Dear Guru, I have a set of urgent questions to ask of you. I have a meeting tomorrow, and need your help! 1. How is effective reach calculated? 2. Reach v/s Frequency -- when should one be given priority / importance over the other? 3. Is there any way of taking creative into account while analysing competition? If yes, can a system of weights be worked out? 4. How do you reconcile to the vast difference between reach/frequency deliveries from a Peoplemeter system as opposed to the Diary system? My client refuses to accept a 4+ reach of 30% being accustomed to levels of 70% for the same plan! Would greatly appreciate your immediate reply.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 19, 1997 ):
1) In any schedule of several commercials, some of the target group will see only one, some will see two, some will see three, some will see four, some five, etc, etc.

The actual measurement is based on tracking the cume of several different advertisers schedules in a single measurement period such as one month of the PeopleMeter.

A mathematical model that will match the measured GRP/Frequency is calculated so that plan deliveries can be predicted. Going more deeply into the actual measurement, it can be determined how many people of each demographic group were exposed to each commercial in the schedule and a model calculated which will predict that performance for a plan.

For example, below is the typical output of a computer models' frequency distribution, showing what percent of the target saw exactly n commercials and what percent saw n+. (this example is from Telmar's ADplus):

                    Frequency (f) Distributions 
                           ------------------------------------- 
                                  % who saw
                                 ---------------
                          #seen exactly  at least     
                          ----- -------  -------
               Target:      f     rch    rch    
               P18-49      ---   -----  -----   
                            0     69.1  100.0   
                            1     11.5   30.9    
                            2      6.0   19.3    
                            3      3.7   13.4   
                            4      2.6    9.6   
                            5      1.8    7.1    
                            6      1.3    5.2   
                            7      1.0    3.9   
                            8      0.7    2.9   
                            9      0.6    2.2   
                           10+     1.6    1.6   
                           20+     0.0    0.0    

2) Reach vs Frequency: The determination of emphasis here can be a complicated analysis making up the greater part of a plan's documentation, under the heading of "communications strategy." A commercial so powerful that it's sell is overwhelming in one exposure might take the "Let's buy one spot in the Superbowl" route as did the Macintosh computer with the classic "1984" execution.

In more competitive situations, competitors' levels are taken into account, clutter in the media of choice, copy quality, etc. Obviously a balance must eventually be struck between reach and frequency based on judging all these factors.

3) There are several ways to take creative into account while setting up reach vs frequency goals;

The complexity or simplicity of the message

The number of commercial in the pool

how close your commercial is to the established "wear-out" level

The balance of :30 to :15

etc, etc. can all be assigned factors and totalled or averaged to give a reach vs frequency emphasis factor

a similar exercise can also set effective frequency thresholds

4) There should not be "vast" differences between effective reaches based on people meter and diary systems if schedule GRP and other aspects are the same. 5 or 10% would be the range the Guru would expect.

A plan with a 70 reach at the 4+ level would be delivering in the range of 98% total reach. It sounds as if your client may be confusing a plan with 70 reach and an average frequency of 4 with 70 at an effective frequency of 4. Or perhaps confusing 4-week reach with a long term cume?


Friday, June 13, 1997 #1365
Dear Guru, Could you please give your opinion on what can be viewed as a recommended level of GRP, frequency and effective frequency for a highly competitive advertising category on TV. As an example we can take a carbonated soft drinks' category. What should be the planning guidelines? When and why we should use flighting (pulsing) or what is the rationale for a continous campaign. Additionally to TV which other media should we use and why? Thank you in advance, Bob

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 13, 1997 ):
You are actually asking for the complete Objectives, Strategies and communications tactics of a full scale media plan, without offering enough background.

Nevertheless, here are some considerations:

One theory of competitive media planning calls for delivering a minimum of 10% more impressions than the key competitor, in head to head media. This assures beating the competition in GRP, reach and effective reach.

Budget is a consideration. If there is not enough money to compete as above nationally, then selecting geography where the delivery advantage can be maintained should allow you to beat the competition, bit by bit, until you can afford national support.

When there are time-sensitive promotional issues, then pulsing can be an effective way to deliver more impressions over the crucial period. Recent media theory has emphasized the benefits of continuity, because "the impression delivered closest to the purchase decision is the most effective impression." In the soft drink category, where purchase decisions are constant, continuity may be generally preferable to pulsing.

In other, highly competitive, seasonal categories pulsing may be needed.

As far as recommending other media, that calls for more information, but please look at the Guru's Media Advertising Strenghths


Monday, May 12, 1997 #1343
Is there any model that relates advertisign awareness or brand awareness with media weight level? If there is no measurable coverage of the media, say computer magazine, what can we base our judgement on.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 12, 1997 ):
When there are published studies of this sort, the Guru can usually find them in the Advertising Research Foundation Library or in the Newsweek Media Research Index

There is, no doubt, a great volume of studies which are held proprietarily by advertisers.

There was a model the Guru once used, based on certain Agencies' many tests, which roughly assumed ad awareness would equal 91% of the existing awareness plus 3% of the previous week's GRPs (gross audience coverage).

It should be obvious that this model works best for brands with little or no going-in awareness and also dictates that anything less than 100 GRP per week leads to declining awareness for brands with awareness above 35%

Media coverage can be estimated for print media: circulation is usually known; readers-per-copy and composition can be approximated by comparison to similar publications.

It should also be kept in mind that awareness is not a factor of media alone, but depends, to great extent on creative.


Saturday, March 15, 1997 #1303
Dear Guru. I have some questions about RADIO media-planning: 1. Could you recommend the book(s) which contains: a) definitions of the standard coefficients: GRPs, Reach, Frequency, Time Spend Listening (TSL), Average Rating b) Information about statistical models used for computing these numbers c) Sample outputs from radio media-planning software 2. I have download an educational software from University of Texas. Do you know any other places where can I import demo or edu software for media-planning 3. TSL is additive what means that: a) TSL for (say) 3 hours is a sum of appropriate 12 quater data b) TSL for a whole day is a sum of 12 x 4 quater values c) TSL for (say) three stations is a sum of appropriate three components But what is the behaviour of the Average Rating in these three, described above, cases?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 1997 ):
Radio planning is covered in general planning texts, such as Sissors and Bumba, mentioned in the adjoining Guru answer. The booklet provided by the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) will give you the definitions you want. So would a technical reference manual from Arbitron. Since TSL, (time spent listening) is behavior expressed as a quantity and attached to one station at a time by one listener, the TSLs may be added together. This is different than ratings which are percentages and can only be combined or averaged with weightings according to the population groups projected.


Saturday, February 22, 1997 #1039
I am trying figure out the best way to calculate reach & frequency for the following:

Television Flight:
4 consecutive weeks (250 TRP's per week)
Then scaling back and running 175 TRP's per week - Every other week for the following 8 weeks.

How do you calculate R&F when your schedule runs on an every other week basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 24, 1997 ):
There is no basis for believing that an alternate week schedule of 700 total points (175 per week for 4 of 8 weeks) cumes to a different total than 87.5 GRP per week for 8 weeks, as long as the scedules are otherwise identical in numbers of different announcements, and numbers of different episodes of the same programs.

It is true that if the schedules per week of activity were solarge as to exhaust reach potentials, the answer might bedifferent, but this is far below such levels

So the total schedule of the first four weeks at 250, plus the 4alternating weeks can be calculated as if there were lower levelconsecutive weeks.


Monday, February 17, 1997 #1043
When a planner has a small budget and it has been determined that television is the appropriate media vehicle, does it make sense to concentrate all of the GRPs in one or two dayparts? Example: late news and/or early morning for a business person 25-54?Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
If geography is not a variable, then the question relates principally to the balance of reach vs frequency to be acheived. Daypart concentration may increase frequency at the expense of reach, daypart dispersion will increase reach at the expense of frequency. Low cume dayparts like the ones you mention may deliver less reach than a single high cume daypart like prime.

Comparing several possible schedules which are affordable within your budget for their delivery of plan goals is a better course than trying to make the decision based on a generalization of what "makes sense."


Monday, February 17, 1997 #1045
I am interested in obtaining research that explores effective consumer promotion television weight levels. A typical consumer promotion window may be 2 - 3 weeks. Most consumer promotions are planned in the neighbourhood of 300 GRPs / week. Is there any research that has measured effective levels. I am trying to identifity an optimal level, a level (or range) below which response/sales suffer and/or above which response/sales do not substanitially increase.Goal- avoid spending too little or too much against a given promotion.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
There are so many variable beyond GRP weight that the Guru doubts you will find simple answers.

Just a few are copy length, daypart mix, competitive arena, product interest, and commercial quality and wear-out status. Further, the Guru thinks that effective reach / frequency is a more useful quantitaive standard than pure GRP.

Two places to look for relevant research would be Newsweek Media Research Index or Advertising Research Foundation


Tuesday, February 04, 1997 #1057
What is the best way to evaluate outdoor - qualitatively and quantitatively? Any available research?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 09, 1997 ):
In the US, outdoor is typically packaged in "showings" of 25 / 50 / 100 which generally mean 25 / 50 / or 100 GRPs per day, that is, a selection of locations with a total daily effective circulation equal to 25 or 50 or 100% of the adult population of the market. (demographic data is often very approximate).

Outdoor delivers very high reaches at low CPMs. Message lengths are of course quite limited.

Barring specific creative testing or pre-post attitude awareness and usage tracking, evaluation is very much a judgement call based on creative and your communications goals.


Monday, January 27, 1997 #1067
My client is requiring me to use adjustment percentages whencalculating GRP's in print. I was always taught that reach x frequency= GRP's. Now if I calculate the adjustment to my GRP's, the formula no longer works. Is this correct, or do I have to do something else to my reach/frequency? Help!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 28, 1997 ):
There are various approaches. If the GRP adjustment is just an index reflecting characteristics of the vehicles and their audiences, it may be sufficient to show R/F/GRP/AdjGRP

If the adjustments are meant to change actual value of the GRP, it is usual to recalculate reach from the new, adjusted GRP. Since print r&f is usually calculated from actual schedules, via a "black box" algorithym, rather than from a GRP "curve," this may be impractical. If your system allows you to enter factors for each publication before calculating reach, that may solve your problem.

Lastly, even with adjusted GRP to represent some abstraction, the people reached would not be reached at a different average frequency, so one quick and dirty answer, if you must use adjusted GRP, is just to divide them by the original frequency, to get reach.

It's similar to the concept of changing a spot coverage area, broadcast r/f to its national equivalent: The GRPs are weighted by the coverage area % and the frequencyremains constant, to calculate the reach.


Tuesday, October 22, 1996 #1120
I am a consultant to a TV station. Recently most agencies have adopted one or another Media Planning software. We have tried to undersatand what type of optimizers they have and what effect in their decisions may have. For example one that uses integer programming seems to benefit high GRP programmes while others low cost and low audiences. How does the type of optimizer influence the plan? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 23, 1996 ):
Optimizers must be set to Optimize something. It may be pure reach, reach at a given level of frequency, reach within a specific budget,etc. Usually some form of reach is in the goal, because other considerations like cpm or GRPs are simple arithmetic, while reach involves more complex computer models.

The reach models must be based on some measurement of "actual" schedules to be worth anything at all. If each optimizer is merely based on some programmer's opinion of how audience accumulates, there is no way to predict results without owning a copy of the program.

When reach within budget is the issue, it is possible forlow cost/low rated programs to be preferred if theydeliver so much more gross audience that even at low rates of net accumulation, the total reach can be more than quicker 'cuming. high-rated schedules.


Monday, August 05, 1996 #1171
In regards to print advertising, what is a wear-out report? What data do I need to complete this report (reach, frequency, formulas)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 08, 1996 ):
The Guru has discussed Wear Out previously (see below July 17 and May 7).

A wear out report would state the status of various print executions in your campaign in comparison to the wear out standard you have established.

Clients have a way of asking the wear out question without setting a standard or even being able to decide how to set one.

Essentially an ad is worn out when it loses all or most of its ability to accomplish its marketing purpose with its target. The purpose may be as simple as product sales, or lead generation in a direct response campaign, or it may be as difficult to define as building brand imagery or awareness of a specific product benefit. Since directly relating any of these to a specific ad would require custom research, it is typical to use whatever research has been done in the past as related to easily modelled media measurements, such as reach, frequency, GRPs or quintiles.

For example if in the past, a custom study showed the average ad was worn out at a time when the planners knew that 80% of the target had seen it 8 or more times, or when the frequency in the top 2 quintiles passed 30. (Don't use these examplenumbers). Naturally, different ads perform differently, but you will need to work on an average basis.

A wear out report then becomes a matter of reporting something like how many of thetarget have seen the ad at least "x" times, or that the frequency in the top 2quintiles will exceed the standard measure as of a certain month of the schedule, or"X" number of GRPs will have run for the ad by some date.

The key is knowing how one of these media measures relate to your wear out standard. Then the report is a simple task.


Wednesday, July 17, 1996 #1179
Do you know any research about how much average frequency is enough before the consumer turns against the advertised product. I mean before they are fed up with the ad. I would like some articles or tables about different product categories concerning this effect.Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 18, 1996 ):
There does not seem to be any definitive research on this. Planners dread the question "when is the campaign worn out" almost invariably asked without any definition of "wear-out." Certainly some ads are less enduring in terms of selling ability, which may have little to do with consumers being "fed up." Some advertisers use frequency in top quintiles as a guide, some just accumulated GRP, others study the competitive environment and clutter of their usual advertising media.

The "propinquity theory" gaining in appreciation argues for lower frequencies and if it catches on generally, may change the concept of wear out. Probably the best source of published study and opinion would be the Advertising Research Foundation Library


Tuesday, June 25, 1996 #1191
In ranking radio station, should you rank thenagainst average quarter house rating or is it better torank against cume and why? Thank Media Guru

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 25, 1996 ):
Rankings are usually done against AQH ("Average Quarter Hour" -- there are no household measurements in radio ratings)

One reason is that these numbers have a correspondence with cost per point and cpm, which are other typical evaluation standards for radio buying.

Depneding on your overall goal rankings on cume may or may not be useful. If a particular station is trying to convince you to use cume rankings, it -- no doubt -- fares better on cume than rating.

However, if you are buying to a reach goal, buying stations in order of cume or cume/efficiency may be the best way to acheive your reach goal for the least dollars, rather than by amassing GRP in order of cost per point. This is especiallytrue if you are planning to buy many spots on a station. In that case, the cume better reflects your reach potential. Conversely,if you are buying very few spots on a station, the AQH will betterreflect the situation.


Friday, May 17, 1996 #1213
Dear Guru,I have two questions which you might have heard before.
a)I do know that a :15s commercial on TV cost between 50% to 75% of a :30s depending on market etc. Is there any studies that show what the benefit of either length is (if any) in terms of reach, frequency, effectiveness, memorability, etc.
b)I have seen studies praising the advantage of multiple media usage above single media; in other words using TV and radio instead of just TV. Can you elaborate on that and update with new info about this topic. Reason being a client who would like to slash the budget down to just using TV for campaigns. I however feel that there is an added benefit in using multiple media.Please respond by Monday if you can.Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 19, 1996 ):
a) There is is no difference in reach and frequency between a :15 and a :30. In the same time period, they have the same audience, within the tolerances of research measurement.

On the other hand, a schedule using :15's in place of some or all the :30's will provide more reach and frequency, because it has more announcements, hence more GRP, etc, for the same budget.

When :15's started to become popular several years ago, there was considerable research regarding effectiveness versus :30's. The general findings were that :15's had about 70 - 75% of the recall of a :30. At the time, :15's were typically a network option priced at 50% of :30's so the trade off of price vs effectiveness seemed favorable.

b) Multi-media plans chief benefit is in reach development, though the effects of the added reach have ripples in many directions.

Adding a new medium adds more reach than adding weight in the same medium: There are more likely to be different people in the audience of a different medium, over a given period of time. This applies to effective reach as well.

There are a variety of philosophical approaches to taking advantage of this.

One approach says to build reach up to a minimum effective level in the primary medium first, before adding the next medium. Another says build the first medium to the point where the reach curve flattens, then add the next medium to resume reach growth.

A newer, different line of thought, the "recency" theory, de-emphasizes reach in favor of delivering messages to the consumer closest to the point of making a purchas decison. This argues for continuity, to reach more people at all times rather than highest levels in sporadic flights. Again, multi-media will produce more reach, but other theories of minimum weekly levels may effect scheduling, ie radio bought to a minimum of 12x weekly when active.

Judgements must also be made regarding whether TV and radio is perceived as the same message by the consumer. Of course, this same judgement must be applied to different executions in the commercial pool of each individual medium as well.


Sunday, May 05, 1996 #1227
I'm trying to figure out how Gross Rating Points are used to figure out gross impressions when it comes to using billboards to advertise?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 06, 1996 ):
As you may know, generally. . .

Gross Rating Points as a decimal fraction (i.e. 50 GRP = 0.50)multiplied by population (for the relevant demographic) =impressions.

The "trick" with billboards is that GRP in outdoor are expressed in daily quantities. So a #50 -- or 50 GRP -- showing means a total daily "circulation" equal to 50% of the population, or 1500 GRP per month.


Wednesday, March 20, 1996 #1259
I am buying a radio schedule (100 GRPs/wk for A25-54) in a market that is approximately 28% black. The urban station in this market is relatively efficient, but is by no means a "must buy". In fact, there are about 10 stations with 9/10 of a rating point of each other (AQH rtg, M-F 6a-7p). This urban station claims that I must have at least one urban station on every buy or I will miss 28% of the market. I disagree. When buying so few points a week, I do not have the budget to buy as many stations as I like. A better use of the money would be to cover the various age cells in this broad demo and try to balance the male/female reach. My question is, What is your opinion on this subject? Is an urban station a "must buy" in this market any more than a country, rock, or news/talk station?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 22, 1996 ):
There are several levels at which this question can be considered:

The essence is determining the true value of that station: "should you buy it", not "must you buy it"

- If you ignored the fact that this is an urban station would you buy it, based on the general parameters of the buy? Rating/efficiency/rank, etc?

Are you having a negative reaction to being told you must do it?

Do you really miss 28% of the market just by not buying that station? To what reach level are you buying? At 100 GRP / week you're not likely to reach more than 72% of the target in a typical 4 weeks, anyway. So if the station is the onlyone reaching its market segment, how much does it matter if that segementis the 28% you miss rather than any ther 28% of the market.

Is that station is the only one reaching its segment? It is likely that several other stations in a market with that high penetration of Black population also reach that audience, but perhaps with a lower audience composition. Check the schedule you will buy to see how its African-American audience reach compares to its general market reach. Perhaps it's comparable even without that station.

On the other hand, if that segemnt is important, reaching it in a culturally relevant program environment can substantially enhance selling opportunity.

Examine the product usage data about your client according to Simmons/MRI/Scarborough/MMR, etc. Perhaps the African-American consumer is far more valuable to your client as a prospective customer than is the general market, and that Urban station, with its good efficiency, is the first one you should buy, even if it does sell aggressively.


Friday, March 08, 1996 #1266
Guru:Is there a formula for calculating reach & frequency for trade vehicles.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 10, 1996 ):
There is no truly simple formula for calculating reach and frequency of any medium. The key datain print R&F are pair-wise duplication between different vehicles and between two or more insertions in the same vehicle.

As the number of insertions in a plan increase, the number of data elements to include in a formula increase. The number of possible pairings for just a 10 insertion plan is 45 ((n x n-1) / 2).

Telmar among others, offers software designed to quickly perform these calculations on defined schedules of media measured by SMRB, MRI, MMR, J.D. Power or others. Using measured media as prototypes, reach of various schedules you might want to consider could then be calculated. From these numerous calculations, you could, by regression analysis, develop a "simple" formula of the form y=ax+b to calculate frequency based on GRP of typical plans of the sort you run in these media (y is frequency; x is GRP; a and b are factors from the regression).

A formula of this kind is very specific to the audience dynamics of the media vehicles involved. Please understand, this is not a recommended technique, merely a response to your question.


Wednesday, February 21, 1996 #1755
Dear Media Guru- I have a two part question , both dealing with the same subject, tv sampling error. Suppose ER gets a 20% rating and Seinfeld gets an 18%, both off a sample of 1000 resondents. What are the odds of there being absolutely no difference between these two ratings? This is not as simple as looking up the standard error of each rating. I remember that it has something to do with the standard error of the difference, but I just can't recall the calculating process.Could you please explain? Then to complicate matters, I'm looking at the same phenonena on a grander scale. Suppose the estimated delivery in rating points for a tv schedule is 1000 GRPs and it underdelivers by 10%- ie. 900 GRPs. What is the likelihood that the difference had to do with pure chance ( sampling error) and how do I calculate that? I know this is more difficult since you have to account for buying many programs in the estimate and the actual. Naturally, we are assuming that the error differences are all due to sampling, and not the idiosyncrasies of the marketplace or the impurity of the sample. In this case I know the answer is going to be technical, but that is what I need. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 23, 1996 ):
The Guru loves this kind of stuff. The answer is technical but hopefully, in simple terms.

First, if ER has a 20 rating and Seinfeld has 18, with a sample of 1000 (for that demographic), then the ER 20 rating's standard error is +/- 1.265 while Seinfeld's 18's is 1.215 (See formulas in the Jan 25 18:23 Guru Q&A below).

Note that the absolute size of the error on the 20 is larger but it is relatively smaller. Also note that the range of these errors is such that they can make the two programs' ratings equal: 20 - 1.265 = 18.735 which overlaps 18 + 1.215 or 19.215.

There is a 68% probablity that these two ratings fall within this range. But the swing could go either way on either number. And could fall anywhere within the +/- range specified

There is a 90% probabilty that these two ratings fall within +/- 1.999 on the 18 and +/- 2.081 on the 20. The odds are 95% that they fall within +/- 2.381 for 18 and 2.479 for the 20.

These odds actually relate to reliabilty. That is, if you repeat the same rating study 100 times with the same actual facts existing, 68% of those studies will give ER a rating between 18.735 and 21.265.

Now the 1000 GRP underdelivered by 10% is different As the beginning of the explanation showed, while there is a swing around any rating (a 5 would be +/- 0.689 in the same study), the odds equally favor underestimates and overestimates. This is the same as the reason why small samples don't necessarily underestimate ratings. So in 1000 GRPs made up of 500 spots with an average 2 rating, the sampling error on the individual ratings somewhat cancels out.

To calculate this in an Arbitron measured radio buy using a single survey and one station, for example, the formula is

GRP x ((100 x #spots) - GRP) / sample x Factor)))

"Factor" is from a table provided, specific to demographic and #quarter hours in the daypart of the buy.

So, if your 1000 GRP were based on Adults 18-49 ( with a 1000 A18-49 sample), and a Mon-Fri, 6a-7p schedule, the calculation would be:

(1000 x ((100 x 500) -1000) / (1000 x 2.42)))

or +/- 143 GRP at the 68% confidence interval. Obviously, if the average rating were higher, hence fewer spots or if the sample was larger the variance would be smaller. With an average 20 rating, the swing is about +/- 40 GRP.

So, depending on average ratings and sample sizes, the 10% underdelivery could be within the range of standard error.


Friday, February 16, 1996 #1760
Dear Mr. Guru, Thank you for your last reponse on how to calculate GRP's. You had mentioned that you had explained it fully except for Neilson's calculation methodology. I would be interested in hearing more about this method of calculation as well. Also, is there a "better" way to measure the actual "Impact" an ad campaign has had if you know the actual length of each ad, the frequency the ads ran and the channels(and shows) that they ran during. ie. frequency X length X Audience(rate for each time slot)?? This is obviously a simplified formula, but your feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, for television advertising, what are some of the other accepted methods of measurement. Thanks (Again) darrylw@conceptus.on.ca

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 16, 1996 ):
It is Neilsen's survey methodology that wasn't covered. They would use the same calculation formulae. The full description of Neilsens methodologies for People Meter, household meter and diary would cover several pages. Contact Neilsen who will be happy to send you methodology booklets.

Regarding "impact" there are as many ways to evaluate this as there are advertisers.

Some advertisers use a factor for copy length based on norms from recall tests. For example, 75% of a :30 is a typical value for a :15.

Some use attentiveness by daypart.

Some use a combination of the two factors.

Some apply the factors to GRP as an indicator; some apply to GRPs and then estimate reach from those adjusted GRPs as an impact indicator.

The frequency of a schedule, as discussed so far, refers to the average frequency of exposure for all pesons reached.

There are those who use "effective reach," counting only persons reached at least 3 times (or any designated minimum) when evaluating the impact of a schedule.


Thursday, February 15, 1996 #1762
What is the actual formula for calculating GRP's

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 15, 1996 ):
There are various formulae, depending on from what data you are working:

GRP = Reach x frequency

or

GRP = Average rating x number of advertisements

or

GRP = The sum of the ratings of all the advertisments in a schedule

or

GRP =The total impressions delivered (i.e. audience among a specific demographic group, expressed in raw numbers of people X number of advertisements) divided by population universe for that demograpic.


Thursday, February 15, 1996 #1761
I would like to know a DETAILED calculation for GRP's for Television advertising. I assume the frequency is the number of times the ad ran across all channels. But how do I calulate the Reach for a T.V. AD. Is it based on the rate cards of the networks?(if so, how) or is it based on direct audience measurement. As much detail as possible would be greatly appreciated. darrylw@conceptus.on.ca

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 15, 1996 ):
Calculation of GRP does not depend on knowing reach, though reach x frequency is ONE formula. Reach is the more complex calculation, GRP is relatively simple (see other formulae in the adjoining question).

Reach has no relationship at all to rates, nor to commercial length, for that matter. Audience research surveys such as Nielsen can tell us the audience of individual programs. The net unduplicated audience, or reach, of actual advertisers' schedules, examined over time covered by a given survey period, typically four weeks, can be determined.

When many such scehdules, usually thousands, have been examined in that way, "curves" on a graph can be drawn representing the intersections of reach values with schedules' GRPs. The graph curves because each added announcement adds fewer new, unduplicated people toi the reach of the schedule.

The curve can be expressed as a formula y = ax+b, which then can be built into the computer model which media planners use to quickly calculate reach from given GRPs and sometimes other descriptive details of scheduling, such as average ratings, numbers of different networks or programs, etc.

The Guru is now nearly out of details unless Nielsen survey methodology is of interest.


Friday, January 19, 1996 #1781
I would like to know if in United State exist any research, about outdoor reaching people. If exist, could you give me an explanation, and any address to try to get more information. How an outdoor campaign is evaluated in U.S.? How many people reach, this kind of study. Thank you in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
There are measurement sytems and standards for outdoor media in the U.S. Outdoor (more generally called Out-of-Home media, to include buses, bus shelters, subways, etc) is measured in GRPs as are other media. Outdoor GRP's are measured on a per-day basis, while broadcast media are more often thought of on a per-week basis.

Therefore if one buys 100 Adult 18+ GRPs of outdoor posters, the daily audience exposures (circulation) are equal to the Adult 18+ population of the market area. So a 100 GRP buy is about 3000 GRP per month (100GRP per day x 30 days.

Typical reach systems will report that this level of outdoor delivers a reach in the 90% range with over 30 frequency. You may buy 50 GRP or 25 GRP, of course. Even at these levels reach is typically 80+.

Years ago we talked of "100 showing" or "50 showing" which was sometimes the plant operators rough estimate of 100 or 50 GRP and sometimes just a pricing basis.

Outdoor sales companies, such as Gannett (212) 297-6413 can provide scehdule-specific reach analyses.


Wednesday, December 27, 1995 #1804
what is the difference between general media and direct response television media? and would I ever recommend to my client DRTV as an inexpensive way of getting exposure?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
General TV and DRTV are different in the way they are purchased and in key aspects of the copy used. To qualify for DRTV, the copy usually must be selling something through an 800 telephone number. Mail is also possible, but the immediate nature of telephone response is preferable (900 number ads are typically under a different rate structure).

DRTV rates are usually based on half of the going rate for the time period. The concept of "going rate" is hard to pin down with any certainty, unless you are buying the same schedule at the same time as "general media." These half price schedules are typically in remnant time or relatively undesirable times late at night or early in the morning or weekends. They are also instantly preemptible. You can't rely on delivering a schedule of "50 GRP per week in prime and 75 GRP per week in early fringe" through DRTV.

General TV schedules are used to build awareness through planned levels of reach and frequency or timely impressions delivery during specific promitions or campaigns DRTV schedules are opportunistic buys, with each airing anticipated to generate a certain quata of responses for a product ready to sell at all times without specific timing issues.. DRTV advertisers often track resonse minute by minute to associate each call with the specific commercial airing responsible. This is in clear contrast with the awarenes building aspect of general media.

When your client measures "exposure" in reach or effective reach terms than DRTV is not an efficient way to get exposure. Those remnant timeslots are not reach builders.

A DRTV advertiser is generally selling something worth the investment in inbound telemarketing expenses for each 800 number order, and assuming a certain minimum of orders per airing. (You cant make money if a $5 an hour operator has to spend 10 minutes taking address, size, flavor and credit card info to sell a $2 item, unless you add $3 shipping and handling). This means it doesn't work for toothpaste, floor wax, soap or cookies, unless you're selling the $29 bag-o-groceries special.


Saturday, January 28, 1995 #1876
Do on line services have a reported user count, minute by minute, to calculate interactive GRPs?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 28, 1995 ):
Most on-line services have the ability to capture minute by minute usage of their services since some of them bill customers by the amount of time they use. Some of them also have a profile of the user based on questions provied at the time of sign-up. So theoretically, they could produce average qtr.hr. ratings or even minute by minute ratings on the demographics they capure and therby calculate Target GRPs. Some may even be able to capture what you viewed while on-line (program ratings) provided such viewing is on their server. Whether any of them would care to part with that information for a fee or otherwise is speculative at best.


Wednesday, January 18, 1995 #1878
How do I calculate GRPs?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 18, 1995 ):
Reach x Frequency = GRPs



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