Translation Teams Up With Nielsen to Measure Cultural Impact

The collaboration follows the company's partnership with Disney

The Translation and Nielsen logos
Translation, Nielsen
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Translation Enterprises, which is comprised of music distribution platform UnitedMasters and creative agency Translation, is collaborating with Nielsen to measure cultural impact. The offering is designed to help marketers reach audiences at scale with culturally relevant work and extends to Nielsen’s planning, activation and measurement solutions to Translation’s cultural intelligence.

Translation founder Steve Stoute told Adweek that measuring cultural relevance is something he’s wanted to pursue for about seven years. He described the current collaboration with Nielsen as the culmination of three years of work developing a framework for measuring cultural influence at Translation and the innovations made at Nielsen throughout that period.

Stoute also said that segmentation had failed the industry and that the days of media buys tailored to reach a mass audience with as small a budget as possible were over, describing that approach as ineffective.

“The opportunity for brands now is looking at getting more efficient with their money, getting more cultural depth,” he said. “You want to get at audiences with a high likelihood of being engaged with your product and being engaged with your storytelling.”

Nielsen global head of analytics Matt Krepsik characterized the offering as something that is “core to where we see our business going.”

Nielsen intends to utilize Translation’s cultural insights to develop a product that enables marketers to measure how well a brand campaign resonates with cultural influencers and adjust messaging accordingly.

“We’ve always measured audiences based on age and gender. That’s such a broad range. What we’re able to do with cultural intelligence is look at audiences on a more granular level,” Krepsik said. “Not only do we think about that from a measurement segment, but how to feed that into planning tools, based not just on age and gender but unique audiences. I think the most important piece is understanding the outcome and performance. As we begin to evolve value-based metrics, [marketers] will be able to develop content to speak to them [that drives] an outcome and behavior.”

Krepsik explained that “when we start enabling marketers to tailor and curate audiences, the impact is significant, often a five to 10 times improvement on the effectiveness of their ads.” He also said that Nielsen had begun to preview the offering to some advertisers and that it was met with significant enthusiasm.

Last month, Translation entered into a multiyear partnership with Disney, intended to help reach diverse audiences with culturally relevant advertising. The partnership formalized a collaborative relationship on display with CreativeWorks and Translation’s ad for State Farm during ESPN’s The Last Dance. Translation has worked with the NBA for over five years, worked variously with NBA Teams the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks and adding creative to AT&T’s NBA partnership last year. This year, 1800 Tequila named Translation as its creative agency of record.

“We tend to spend more time understanding that creative, culture, storytelling and technology need to work as one. When I built this company I said we need to be at the convergence of culture, tech and storytelling,” Stoute said. “When you put these skillsets together, you get these examples of partnerships and ideas that make something great.”

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.