In our paper, we showed that recall testing is a pernicious measure that directs creatives to make unnecessary tradeoffs between the rational and emotional components of an ad. We're certainly not saying commercials that recall well can't work. But, as every good creative knows, effective ads can work in more than one way-not just in the linear way that recall testing rewards, with verbal category and brand cues always appearing in the first five seconds of an ad.
We also disagree [with his statement that] "emotional response variables don't measure the ability of an ad to leave an impression in the marketplace." We've been measuring emotional response variables for over a decade and have found the long-term effects of these variables in the marketplace.
There is more than one way to measure the experience, both rational and emotional, that advertising lays down in the different memory systems of the mind. TV is fundamentally a visual medium and advertising researchers need to get past outdated verbal measures of ad performance.
As Joe Plummer of Interpublic correctly pointed out, we need to apply modern theories of mind and memory to properly understand the long-term effects of advertising. However, Joe hasn't been paying attention. An Ameritest client won this year's David Ogilvy Grand Prize in advertising research for doing just that.
Independent shops grasp message of GM's Fraleigh
General Motors Corp.'s C.J. Fraleigh's not unreasonable-he's a client ("GM ad boss takes agencies to task," AA, June 30). Like all clients, he wants a good deal for his money-agencies putting his interests first and thinking of new ways to reach his customers. In one speech Mr. Fraleigh laid out what has gone wrong with the agency business over the last two decades. Mergers, takeovers, buyouts, roll-ups and public offerings have left it bereft of the entrepreneurial energy and creative daring that attracted us to it. ...
This is why, even in this tough economy, there are new agencies starting up everywhere in the world, and why they are joining the networks of independent agencies. They want to control their own business and have flexibility to do whatever it takes to help a client's business grow. And, yes, they want the fun of how the business used to be.
ICOM is a network of independent agencies.
No bland DTC ads here: Merkley Newman Harty
While I applaud Advertising Age for pointing out the overwhelming dearth of compelling advertising in the DTC arena ("Needing a shot in the arm," Health Marketing Special Report, AA, June 30), I can't help but point out that it missed the other side of the story.
Our clients Pfizer and Tap Pharmaceuticals specifically chose our agency because they wanted to avoid the sameness that prevails in the category. They wanted to harness the creative power of a consumer advertising agency and apply it within the DTC world to cut through the sameness and engage consumers.
Our resulting Lipitor campaign for Pfizer became one of the most talked-about DTC efforts to date. Not only was it lauded in the trades, both advertising and pharmaceutical, but the campaign helped millions of patients.
The campaign we recently launched for Tap Pharmaceuticals' Prevacid also demonstrates our decidedly consumer bent to creating excitement in a crowded category.
The point is that we have found a way to create distinctive, breakthrough DTC advertising and break down barriers to non-treatment. Ultimately, this should be the true challenge to any agency in the category. While it's unfortunate to see such a volume of bland DTC advertising interrupt our TV viewing each night, it's comforting to know other agencies are still in the dark.
Merkley Newman Harty Partners
* In "Bernardin aims to accelerate momentum at Lowe New York" (July 7, P. 20), Jeep was incorrectly identified as a Ford Motor Co. brand. It is a brand of DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group.
* In "I can't wait" (Adages, July 7, P. 24), Carton Donofrio Partners, Baltimore, was misspelled as Carlton Donofrio Partners. Also, its work for Campaign for Children was wrongly described as a pro-bono campaign. It is a paid campaign.
* In "Pharma firms ready FluMist push" (June 23, P. 6), the agency handling FluMist was identified as Euro RSCG Worldwide's Lally, McFarland & Pantello, New York. That agency should have been identified by its new name, Euro RSCG Life LM&P.
* In "People & Players" (June 23, P. 61), Sergio Alcocer, creative director, LatinWorks, Austin, Texas, was incorrectly identified as Sergio Amado in a photo caption.