MPG’s Resonance Calls It for Obama

NEW YORK Call it a wrap — a victory in November for Sen. Barack Obama. That is the outcome being predicted by Havas-owned MPG based on the results of data processed through a new social network modeling tool call Resonance that the shop has developed and will now introduce to clients.

The prediction is unique because it definitively projects that Obama will win in November, even providing the margin of victory in the battleground states, as opposed to identifying which candidate is ahead at the present time, which is what most polls indicate.

According to the Resonance research, Obama, whose lead in many polls has been aided by the worsening economic crisis, will continue to gain strength in the contested states between now and election day. MPG says to expect Obama to win with 57 percent of the popular vote versus 43 percent for McCain “in states that will determine the outcome of the Nov. 4 election.”

According to Joe Abruzzo, evp, research at MPG who oversaw the development of Resonance, the tool uses “agent-based” algorithm modeling to predict consumer behavior. The shop is rolling out the new tool to clients to help them predict behavior and consumer attitudes toward products and brands, Abruzzo said.

For the election prediction, Resonance tabulated the responses of 1,200 “likely” voters that were quizzed on a number of issues concerning the two presidential candidates such as trust, leadership and consistency of their stands. Also tossed into the mix: views being expressed across the blogosphere, as well as the media strategies and messages that the candidates are likely to use in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

“This is the maiden voyage,” Abruzzo said of the tool’s use to predict the outcome of the campaign. “It’s a way of capturing how people are making decisions,” what influence media plays in those decisions and how media plans can be adjusted to try to alter consumer behavior.

And it should work for brands, just as the shop believes it has worked to predict the election outcome. “It takes into account every brand exposure, one person at a time,” he said. Resonance will also measure consumer perceptions to creative messages, brand perception and usage, and how media campaigns can be altered to impact those and other metrics, said Abruzzo.

Abruzzo said the tool was developed over a number of months with an MPG research team based in Barcelona, Spain. One client, in the financial services area, who Abruzzo declined to identify, has experimented with the new technique.