Skip to main content

NewMediaMetrics Study Says Ad Buys Should Be Based on Consumers' Emotional Attachment

Reaching the right consumers with ad messages in the
increasingly fragmented media world is becoming even more of a challenge for
media planners and their advertiser clients, especially when they base their
buys only on age demographics.

That's one of many conclusions buyers can draw from the
fifth annual NewMediaMetrics Emotional Attachment Index. NewMediaMetrics, a brand
strategy company founded in 2004 by Gary Reisman and Denise Larson, works with
agencies and advertisers to determine consumers' emotional attachment to brands
and media platforms. And P&G, Wal-Mart and Target are among the clients that
have used the Index to help increase sales and launch new products.

NMM's 360 Cross-Platform Emotional Attachment Study was
first conducted in 2008. This year's findings offer some fascinating nuggets: programming
services such as Netflix and Hulu are gaining significant ground on broadcast
and cable networks as a source of viewing; and tablets showed the most dramatic
increase in emotional attachment among all media platforms with a 59% increase
in 2012.

Reisman spent some time discussing the value that the
Emotional Attachment Index and Study holds for advertisers and agencies, while
also citing some fascinating data from the latest study.

In a nutshell, what
does NewMediaMetrics offer to its agency and advertiser clients?

We help marketers leverage emotional attachment to their brands or to media
platforms so they can increase their return on investment. The marketplace is
so complex today for consumers and there are so many different products out
there and so many different media outlets to get information from. We work with
clients on a customized and proprietary basis. We have a brand index of 360
brands in 45 different categories, and for each we measure the emotional
attachment linking those brands to a particular TV series or to 14 different
media platforms that include 60 TV networks, 150 Internet sites, more than 100
print titles, outdoor, mobile and others. One of the things we do is correlation
between media platforms and brands.

Why is emotional
attachment to a brand or network so important?

Today, media buyers are chasing their tails when they buy just impressions
based on age demographics. They need to buy based on why people are buying
their clients' product and which people are emotionally attached to each brand
and media outlet. Then they can leverage their buys and improve their clients'
return on investment. Emotional attachment is a unique and effective way to do

So what do you tell
your clients?

We stress that emotional attachment drives consumer consumption. Our advice to
marketers is to stop the madness: Stop buying simple impressions. Today, they
are meaningless. The home run for marketers is to find out what products and
what media a particular consumer is emotionally attached to and go after those
consumers in a more targeted way.

Why is emotional
attachment so important?

Emotional attachment to a brand is a solid predictor of purchase behavior. If
consumers are emotionally attached to a brand, they are two-and-a half times as
likely to pay attention to an ad for that brand. And consumers are 40% more
likely to pay attention to media they are emotionally attached to. And
consumers who are both emotionally attached to a brand and emotionally attached
to a media outlet that brand is advertised on are three times more likely to
consider buying that brand.

What role does
social media play in the emotional attachment arena?

People who are emotional attached to social chatter are 43% more likely to tell
their friends and family about products and services they like. They are super
advocates of the brands they are attached to.

So what should be the
goal of a marketer?

The challenge for marketers is to tap into the media properties and content
that are most aligned with their brand's customers. For example, if the
consumers who are highly emotionally attached to Hulu or Netflix are also
highly emotionally attached to Burger King, it would stand to reason that a
portion of Burger King's media dollars should be allocated to those platforms.
There are also different levels of emotional attachment and that can also be a

Feeling the Numbers

Here are just a few of the findings in the latest 360
Cross-Platform Emotional Attachment Study. In total, it is a myriad of
data with a virtually unlimited number of combinations and correlations between
media platforms and brands.

  • The only media platform to decline in emotional attachment
    among consumers was AOL, with the favorable emotional attachment to its homepage
    falling from 21% to 11%. Other indications that AOL is falling out of favor
    with consumers are that emotional attachment to AOL email dropped 61% in 2012
    and emotional attachment to AOL instant messaging fell by 30%. The lone bright
    spot was for AOL's Huffington Post, which rose 3% in attachment from consumers.
  • Google Search remains the single most emotionally appealing media property
    among the nearly 400 measured in the study.
  • Netflix, with 49% emotional attachment among 18-49 year olds, was solidly ahead
    of Hulu, even though Hulu's EA index rose 4.5% in 2012.
  • Attachment to Facebook, although still strong, dropped slightly in 2011, with a
    6% decline among adults 18-49. The data for the study was collected prior to
    the Facebook IPO.
  • The top three TV networks among 18-49-year-olds in regard to emotional attachment
    were, in order, ABC, CBS and Discovery.
  • Among females 18-34 who are highly emotionally attached to Pampers, ABC gets
    17% more high-value Pampers buyers than NBC.
  • TLC has 31% more high-value Pampers buyers than Lifetime.
  • Cosmopolitan magazine has 33% more
    high-value Pampers buyers than Bravo.
  • Among adults 25-54 who are highly emotionally attached to BMW, the network they
    are most emotionally attached to is ESPN, followed by Fox and NBC.
  • Fox scores 15% higher than CBS among adults 25-54 with a high BMW EA index.
  • Time magazine has the largest
    percentage of high-value BMW buyers as readers; Time also has 13% more high-value BMW buyers than CNBC.

The combinations for numbers are endless and can be tailored
to each individual advertisers and brand. Here are some brand correlations to
TV networks and websites by percentage of emotionally attached viewers:

  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to ABC network are
    also 73% emotionally attached to Pearl Vision, 67.6% emotionally attached
    to United Airlines and 63.6% emotionally attached to Travelers Insurance.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to CBS are also 59.3% emotionally
    attached to Volkswagen.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to Discovery are also 75.5% emotionally
    attached to Westin Hotels and 58.3% emotionally attached to and
    56.5% attached to Travelocity.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to Hulu are also 61.8% emotionally
    attached to Embassy Suites and 56.2% attached to Sheraton.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to Netflix are also 80.5% highly attached
    to Uniqlo and 62.3% attached to Motorola Razr.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to Google Search are also 78.8% highly
    attached to Jaguar.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to Facebook are also 67.1% highly
    attached to Johnnie Walker and 66.4% highly attached to American Airlines.
  • Consumers highly emotionally attached to the AOL home page are also 46.2%
    highly attached to HSBC and 37.4% attached to Citibank.

(The data collected by
NMM was based on surveys conducted with 3,500 consumers age 13-54 to gauge their
emotional attachment.