IAB study: Web ads convey Nexium attributes

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AstraZeneca could drive more heartburn and acid-reflux sufferers to their doctor for the little Purple Pill if it maintains an online media presence in its marketing mix throughout the length of a campaign, according to the latest cross-media analysis study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The analysis found AstraZeneca, which allocates just 4% of its total media budget to digital marketing, could deepen consumers' association with Nexium's brand attributes and increase queries to doctors if online media was increased to at least 10% of the media mix from the outset.

The research, conducted for the IAB by Marketing Evolution, is the latest in a series of cross-media-optimization studies that try to demonstrate how increasing online media can improve brand awareness, lead generation and trial. Previous cross-media study participants include Unilever, McDonald's Corp. and Colgate-Palmolive Co. Ford Motor Co. last week announced it will participate in the research series for its F-150 truck. One key finding of past IAB marketer studies was that increasing Internet advertising to just over 10% of the budget at the point where the efficiency of TV and print ads begins to wane significantly boosted a campaign's effectiveness, but not its cost. But for the more complicated message needed for Nexium, the analysis found AstraZeneca's campaign would have benefited from a stronger ongoing Web presence.

media breakdown

For the three-month campaign, led by Aquantive's Avenue A, Seattle, AstraZeneca put 73% of its budget toward TV, 17% in magazines, 6% radio and 4% online. AstraZeneca spent $192 million in measured off-line media in the U.S. to market Nexium, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

"No single media was capable of conveying all product benefits," said Rex Briggs, principal, Marketing Evolution. The complex list of product attributes included messages about specific benefits, dosing and a free seven-day trial. "Each media made a contribution ... and the online media adds to the overall objectives in a more cost-effective way," he said.

The study found that a mix of online and magazine ads were most effective driving key brand attributes and were most cost efficient. Although TV conveyed all key messages, it impacted awareness of only a few attributes, such as the symptoms the drug eases.

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