02_Elements/Icons/ArrowLeft Back to Insight

Insights > Digital & technology

Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings launches in UK

4 minute read | October 2012

Leading brands start measuring online ad performance with revolutionary Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings as it launches in UK

  • Less than half of all online ad impressions reach intended audiences, early UK results show
  • Big variance (15% – 80%) in campaign performance between different online publishers and networks
  • Nielsen OCR heralded as significant step in maturity of online advertising in the UK

Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insight into what consumers watch and buy, is today launching its much-anticipated advertising measurement solution, Online Campaign Ratings, in the UK.  The solution allows advertisers to measure the ability of online ad campaigns to reach their intended audiences with a never-seen-before degree of accuracy, and in real time.

Nielsen managing director for digital in Europe, David Gosen:  “Today marks a significant step in the development and maturity of online advertising in the UK, with the launch of Nielsen OCR.  In today’s challenging business world where ROI is vital, this new system delivers both a well-established metric in the form of GRPs and in-flight campaign optimisation.  These attributes will drive effectiveness in online advertising to new levels and we fully expect OCR to help establish a currency for online campaign effectiveness.”

First insights 

Leading to today’s launch, tests of Nielsen OCR in the UK show that on average less than half of all online ad impressions are reaching the advertiser’s intended audience, based on age and gender.  In one test campaign it found that ads for an innovative consumer product aimed at young women were completely missing their intended audience and actually being viewed predominantly by older women and by men.

The trials also show there is a big variance in performance between different online publishers and networks.  Campaigns are running very successfully on some sites, with more than 80% of impressions reaching the advertiser’s intended audience; on other sites though, it’s as low as 15%.  Nielsen OCR tells advertisers in real time which sites are most effectively delivering their campaigns, allowing them to use their media budgets more efficiently by switching ads from failing sites to more successful sites while campaigns are still ‘in flight’.

These early findings from UK campaigns mirror the results from more than a thousand campaigns in the US, collected since Nielsen OCR launched there in September 2011.

Immediate involvement from advertisers, agencies and publishers

Pre-launch, consumer goods giants Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser tested campaigns using Nielsen OCR in the UK.  Reckitt Benckiser global digital advertising manager Siobhan Crowe explains: “This is a great opportunity to understand who has seen our advertising online.  These metrics will allow us to better understand the efficiency of our digital advertising campaigns.”

In addition, OMD and PHD are among the first media agencies to sign up UK campaigns for a host of their leading brands to be measured using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings at launch.  These results will provide them with the world’s most robust measure of online campaign performance in terms of reach, frequency and gross rating points (GRPs) – the same metrics used and trusted by advertising planners of TV campaigns.

Bhavin Balvantrai, head of research for Omnicom Media Group, the global media agency for advertisers such as McDonalds, explains the agency’s involvement with Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings: “We are at the forefront of delivering better client performance and Nielsen OCR is a perfect opportunity to better understand online delivery for our clients.  We intend to use the data to inform future buying decisions.”

As well as advertisers and their agencies, publishers are also set to benefit from the UK launch of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings.  Unanimis, one of the first digital networks to sign up to Nielsen OCR, will use the data produced to independently prove the value of its inventory and its ability to reach specific consumer demographics.

So, how does it work?  

Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings combines Nielsen’s high quality panels with aggregated, anonymous demographic data from participating online data providers.  Using this unique approach, Nielsen is able to provide reach, frequency and GRP measures for online advertising campaigns of practically any size – campaigns with as few as 15,000 impressions have already been successfully measured – with extremely high accuracy.  

This approach gives advertisers the opportunity to analyse results to a new degree of granularity, such as by day, by demographic, by publisher and by placement.  At the same time, the use of anonymous demographic data ensures both consumer and commercial privacy to users and advertisers.  

Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings are already revolutionising the online ad world in the US.  Using the solution, a study there of 30 campaigns showed that clients can optimise campaigns to either save on average 11 percent budget, or improve campaign delivery by an average 14 percent. 

Gosen continues: “OCR will start to impact the online advertising market in the UK straight away.  But it will also continue the Nielsen journey towards Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings into Europe to cover the measurement of both TV and online.”

He concludes: “OCR helps to evaluate the real value of media by allowing planners to clearly identify the most- and least-effective sites their campaigns are running on.  More than a century ago, the retailer John Wanamaker famously said, ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’  Had it been around then, Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings would have told him.”

Related tags:

Continue browsing similar insights

Our products can help you and your business

  • Consumer & Media View

    Access syndicated and custom consumer research that will help you shape successful brand, advertising and marketing…

  • NCSolutions

    Maximize CPG advertising effectiveness with data to better segment, optimize and enable sales-based outcomes.