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Nielsen Adds an Ad Tracker

Nielsen Co. last week launched a Web-based commercial tracking system, KeepingTrac, and signed up Carat as its first client.

KeepingTrac enables clients to know whether their commercials ran the previous day, in accordance with their media plans.

So as the first customer for the new system, Carat can track commercial airings on a daily or weekly basis, see if gross ratings point commitments have been achieved, determine whether buying guidelines (including demographic targets) have been met, and modify advertising campaigns in real time.

Nielsen was touting KeepingTrac as the only service that provides clients with up-to-date data on television commercial airings and gross ratings points delivery as compared to the media-buy schedule. By automating this process, KeepingTrac provides next-day reporting and offers a complete view of the advertising campaign's performance while it's still in progress.

There are other companies, such as Teletrax, that say they offer quick verification in “near real time,” or within hours, of when and where a commercial or promotional spot has aired, matching a media buying schedule.

“We deliver our product, our service, via the Web,” Teletrax president Andy Nobbs said. “We deliver [verification data] within hours. People do want information that's more robust and scientific, but in a very timely way.”

Teletrax, which also monitors when and where specific programming content is being aired, is a joint venture between Medialink and Philips Electronics.

But Nielsen claims its KeepingTrac system is unique in that it matches the verification of the spot to the actual media-buy schedule, as well as providing data such as ratings and demographic information on the commercial's viewership.

KeepingTrac is providing next-day confirmation of television commercial airings for national broadcast networks, national cable networks and TV stations in all 210 U.S.-designated TV market areas, and matches the ratings data against the media-buy schedule. It also monitors media-buying guidelines to be sure that the correct creative is airing during the desired programs and dayparts.

“We're excited to be the first client of Nielsen's new commercial-tracking system,” Mary Barnas, Carat's executive vice president/director of local broadcast, said in a prepared statement. “[Carat now can] quickly and accurately evaluate our client's campaign performance and make the appropriate media buy adjustments as needed during the life of the campaign.”