Nielsen is trying to level the playing field when it comes to integrations, launching a new metric it says will help marketers and publishers standardize brand mentions across platforms.
Nielsen Branded Integration Intel is the first standardized metric to chronicle, measure and evaluate brand integrations—as well as any appearance or mention of a product—on linear TV, short-form video and subscription-video-on-demand (or SVOD) services like Netflix. The metric will help networks and marketers determine how the media exposure from such campaigns compares to traditional TV advertising, which Nielsen says should ultimately lead to more accurate monetization of integrations.
Nielsen Branded Integration Intel will analyze and “score” every exposure of a brand in content, including factors like size, location, duration, brand hits and impact.
“We’re helping clients understand the nature of their brand integration in a way they haven’t been able to,” said Renee Plato, svp media solutions and innovation, Nielsen.
While integrations have been around for years— Nielsen said 611 different brands were involved in on-screen integrations during the last TV season—“now we can actually provide a level of measurement that pinpoints or delivers a relative level of value,” Plato said. “If you can measure it, you can put a view to it.”
And that should ultimately help “formalize a currency” to help standardize integration monetization. “The more scientific measurement that you have across a performance, the better you are able to define a currency behind it for our partners,” Plato said.
Nielsen Branded Integration Intel “is a diagnostic for understanding how the impact of the brand exposures drives brand recall,” Plato said. “The stronger the score, the more effective recall the brand has achieved.”
The metric covers six different types of classifications, including verbal mentions, passive versus active (whether a brand is in the background or more prominently featured), and unbranded versus branded (whether a brand and logo are visible or whether a specific brand is just suggested by contextual clues like the shape and color of a product). The exposures are then broken down further, looking at the size of the brand, location—closer to the center of the screen drives better memorability—and prominence.
It focuses only on “indisputable characteristics” of the integration, ignoring subjective measurements like plot, humor or attractiveness of the actors in contact with the brand.
“We’re going to analyze every exposure on a second-by-second basis across the entire piece of content or the episode or apply it to short form,” Plato said. “Every time there is a product, we’re going to classify that product exposure.”
The score is presented on a scale of 10 to 455, with passive, unbranded mentions at the lower end. The highest score, Plato said, “is a verbal mention in conjunction with an active visual of the brand. That drives the highest level of brand recognition and ultimate recall for that brand and product.”
“You can now go back to this data set that is very detailed and say I didn’t score so well in this application or this integration or this exposure here and there,” Plato said. “So maybe if my scores were higher, my recall would have been higher.” Nielsen will also provide clients a benchmark or norm, so they can see how a brand integration compares to other integrations in the same type of programming.
The offering has quietly been in the market for the past six months, as Nielsen is working with 12 clients, covering networks, digital publishers, agencies and brands. While some clients look at specifics, most prefer to view an entire season of an integrated partnership to determine what was actually delivered during a campaign.
“It is platform agnostic, and you can aggregate the full value of a campaign that way for an advertiser,” Plato said.
Nielsen can also analyze the amount of exposure a competitor might be receiving.
“We worked with Nielsen and a leading global agency to develop YouTube-specific integration scoring using Nielsen’s Branded Integration Intel solution,” said Matthew Williams, global head of creative impact for YouTube, in a statement. “This allowed us for the first time to quantitatively assess the value of brand placements for YouTube creators and brands. We scored hundreds of videos across a range of product categories, finding that brand integrations with YouTube creators drive lifts in brand familiarity, brand affinity and purchase intent.”
Nielsen currently analyzes only the content and brands its clients specify—the company takes three or four weeks to complete its analysis. Branded Integration Intel could eventually become a syndicated offering, Plato said.