Apple, Campbell's Say iAds Twice as Effective as TV

A Nielsen Study Shows iPhone Users Are Paying Attention, While TV Viewers Not so Much

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NEW YORK ( -- It's been seven months since the first iAds -- Apple's bid to reinvent mobile advertising -- started popping up on iPhones and iPods, and now that those campaigns are over, we're seeing the first effectiveness study, funded by Apple.

The new Campbell's iPhone app
The new Campbell's iPhone app
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In it, is a fairly big claim: Those exposed to one of Campbell's iAds were more than twice as likely to recall it than those who had seen a TV ad. Indeed the five-week study, conducted by Nielsen, showed that consumers shown an iAd remembered the brand "Campbell's" five times more often than TV ad respondents and the ad messaging three times more often.

IAd respondents said they intended to purchase Campbell's four times more than the TV group and that they liked the ad five times more. TV and mobile audiences were queried separately in mobile and online surveys. The TV audiences were part of Nielsen's panel, while mobile users were recruited within various apps.

Now that the first iAd campaigns are over, Apple is looking for data that would persuade existing marketers to renew or increase their initial investment as well as win over new advertisers standing on the sidelines. The problem Apple is facing is for their high cost of entry -- a reported $1 million minimum for first-run advertisers -- many other options exist for mobile advertising, including rich-media competitors like Medialets that look and feel a lot like an iAd.

Campbell's iAd, created with agency BBDO, touted its reformatted condensed soups, including low sodium varieties, with recipes, coupons and links to download the brand's new app. Out of 53 million impressions, 1% of users that saw the ad clicked through and spent an average of nearly one minute perusing it. While online ads were not part of the Nielsen study, Jennifer Gordon, director of global advertising for Campbell's Soups, said these results for iAd also beat the marketer's benchmarks for static banner ads.

"We have a lot of data that goes many years back for TV print, out of home and radio, but we're searching for more validated metrics in mobile," said Ms. Gordon. "This does show, in really traditionally brand metric terms, that iAd really outperformed."

The results don't mean Ms. Gordon is planning on moving dollars away from TV to buy more iAds. The study was put in place to validate mobile, a relatively new medium for the marketer. While Ms. Gordon would not share budgets for iAd, she said it was a "sizable investment" and Campbell's biggest play in mobile to date. Ms. Gordon says Campbell's is discussing further iAd campaigns and ways to optimize efforts.

By comparison, Campbell's spent $25 million on soup brands in network and cable TV in October and November, according to Kantar Media. Campbell's would not provide budget specifics for the TV campaign in the survey, "It's Amazing What Soup Can Do." It included brand spots and commercials for specific products and ran primarily on fringe, cable and daytime TV targeting adult women.

The brand is struggling with preconceptions of the decades-old brand and iAd was a way to frame the brand in a new light. "I think the combination of our news (of reduced-sodium condensed soup) and the new platform was great synergy and got people to think differently about Campbell's," Ms. Gordon said.

However, the survey could also reflect overall demographic differences of each medium, or the targeting that Campbell's used in their iAd campaign. The iAd sample was weighted to reflect the iPhone and iPod Touch universe in terms of age, gender and income, while TV survey results were weighted for a general TV audience.

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