CNN and ESPN Push Word-of-Mouth Benefit of Ads

By Andrew Gauthier 

Advertising Age

Time Warner’s CNN and Walt Disney’s ESPN are grappling with the idea that a TV ad should not be judged solely by the number of people it reaches, but also by how many of the people who see it are spurred to share its message with others.

It’s all well and good for a TV network to boast about the ability to lure a sizable crowd, but that’s so old school. Today, marketers want to know what subset of that audience talked about their ad with other people, and if that conversation was a positive or negative one.

“The usual view is that in marketing, to achieve a certain goal or aim, the more word-of-mouth you have, the less advertising you need,” said Graeme Hutton, director-consumer insights at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Universal McCann. More…