The Future of Advertising project, taken on by the Wharton School in cooperation with the Advertising Research Foundation in December, is releasing its first round of findings, 21 papers to be published in the ARF’s Journal of Advertising later this month.

The project aims to actually provide evidence for and against different ways of advertising.  There have been a lot of assumptions, but no one has actually done the research and provided concrete evidence to support a position.  In fact, although many articles have been written about the demise of television ad sales due to DVR systems, a review of TV effectiveness, which covered seven databases and 388 studies and found no erosion of TV-advertising sales impact over the years.

That is not to say that it is all positive news on the television advertising front.  The study found that TV advertising loses money for most marketers – though the same study found that, for the heaviest spenders, TV overall paid out and still works as well or better than it did in similar tests conducted more than a decade ago.  So if you are going to enter the television market, be ready to spend the money.  Don’t dabble in it, jump feet first, or else concentrate on spending your money on more targeted avenues.

In terms of word-of-mouth advertising, it is still quite effective.  A study co-authored by one of the biggest proponents of word-of-mouth marketing, Ed Keller of the Keller Fay group, found that 22% of word-of-mouth conversations were sparked directly by advertising.  Moreover, those 22% are much more likely to include brand recommendations than the remaining 78% of brand-related conversations that weren’t spurred directly by an ad.

This article continues to also discuss findings about online advertising.  For the full article, go to: http://adage.com/article?article_id=136993

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