Nielsen Prepares Survey on Placements

NEW YORK Nielsen Media Research said today it is conducting a new study which will attempt to assess how and why TV viewers react to on-air product placements.

A handful of the ratings company’s clients will participate in the study, including Viacom networks CBS and UPN, Discovery Television, The Weather Channel, Interpublic Group of Companies’ Magna Global, Omnicom media agencies OMD and PHD, telecom company Sprint and Publicis Group’s ZenithOptimedia. NMR (like Adweek, owned by VNU) said the objective of the study is to determine how the context of a placement’s execution can impact response.

The relationship viewers have with a specific program, as well as their familiarity with the brand and product categories featured will also be analyzed, the company said. Nielsen has done some testing of product placement effectiveness in the past and hopes to develop a reliable product placement measurement service that clients could use to buy and sell placements more effectively.

Commenting on the new study in a statement, Steve Sternberg, evp and director of audience analysis at Magna Global, said, “Numerous advertisers are increasing their commitment in the product integration arena, while there continues to be precious little industry research to guide executives with crucial business decisions. This study is an essential first step toward more advanced and customized research analysis in predicting the relative impact of differing levels and types of product integration.”