Hallmark Aims to Show Marketers What Viewers Buy

NielsenConnections Deal Ties Shoppers to Viewers

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A week after signing on as the second network partner for Google TV Ads, Hallmark Channel has inked another data deal, this time with Nielsen. The Crown Media property is the first cable network to license the NielsenConnections Brand Target Audience products, which will enable Hallmark to show advertisers who is actually buying the products advertised on it.

"We want to help our clients attain that holy grail of ROI by making sure our viewers are product purchasers of the categories our clients play in," said Bill Abbott, exec VP-ad sales at Hallmark Channel.

Panel of 125,000 consumers
Using Nielsen's Homescan Panel of 125,000 consumers who scan their product purchases, Hallmark will be able to identify what percentage of the 1.2 million viewers who tuned into a Hallmark movie, for example, actually bought a packaged goods or pharmaceutical product. The technology will be used across all dayparts and viewer demographics, and will hit the marketplace during Hallmark's first round of ad-sales presentations to buyers in January.

The deal is particularly significant for Hallmark as the network's audience is made up primarily of baby boomers, who, though aged out of the advertiser-coveted 25-to-54 demographic, account for nearly $230 billion, or 55%, of consumer packaged goods sales. Baby boomer households also account for share of sales 5 points higher than their share of population, according to a recent Hallmark and Nielsen study.

"The results of this study will clearly show the unique value of integrating media and consumer data to provide clients with truly comprehensive insights," Howard Shimmel, Nielsen's senior VP-client insights, said in a statement.

Jon Mandel
Nielsen hired Jon Mandel at the end of 2006 to explore ways to use its consumer panel data in conjunction with its media ratings. Since then, Mr. Mandel has endeavored to create a service that will move marketers from buying ad schedules based on demographics to buying ad schedules based on a marketer's best prospects.

Hallmark's purchasing-data move comes at a time when both broadcast networks and cable companies are aggressively trying to marry purchasing behavior with viewing data. TiVo, the original DVR manufacturer, recently partnered with TV audience research company TRA to anonymously track purchasing data from 70 million shopper cards with viewing data from TiVo's 1.7 million set-top boxes.

CBS is also using TRA's technology to present its clients with "target rating points," a more relevant version on the traditional broadcast metric, gross-rating points. David Poltrack, the network's chief research officer, said each brand that used the data gained significant share of voice after using the TRA approach. "This has more accountability than any other marketing tool," he said earlier this week at UBS' 36th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference.

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