Revealing The Return On Recency

Highlights of the Viant-NCS Persuadable Case Study

In concert with Viant and Joel Rubinson, NCS purchase data has unearthed further evidence of the value in targeting actual brand buyers, and the impact of reaching them at the right moment.

Dubbed “the Persuadables”, this three-brand CPG study crafted a consumer segment composed of heavy brand buyers who were about to mature in their purchase cycles, and pitted their results at the register against an array of other, more traditional consumer segments. The outcome was nothing short of incredible:

  • The Persuadables (heavier volume shoppers who are close to their next purchase) generated a 16x greater ROAS than the other exposed audiences
  • Targeting heavy brand buyers provided a significant lift in ROAS; proof that targeting brand buyers vs. non-brand buyers is uniformly a better strategy

Persuadables Case Study from Viant and NCS

NCS and our clients have long-known that heavy buyers bring the lion’s share of incremental sales, and The Persuadables study is one more proof point to that argument. What makes this body of work unique is how it quantifies that which many of us have always suspected: recency plays a significant role in the success of a campaign.

And so, we find new wrinkles still tell the same tales: in CPG, past purchase behavior is the #1 predictor of future purchase behavior… and timing is everything.

Head over to Viant’s website to download the full study, or contact NCS to learn more.

Announcing The NCS Learning Lab On Viewability And Attention

At this year’s ARF Re!Think Conference, NCS debuted its Learning Lab on Viewability and Attention to extend the industry’s understanding — and opportunity — around the effectiveness of viewable ads.

Along with an all-star cast including Kellogg’s and Yahoo, Nielsen Catalina Solutions worked with Moat to reveal how two-second standards for video viewability don’t tell the whole story. Using in-store incremental sales as the KPI, early results illustrate the correlation between attention and outcomes: as Time In View increased, so did Sales Impact. Further, the 0-2 second window which would not qualify as a viewable impression did indeed drive some return.


What’s the implication for brands and publishers? For one, it means not looking beyond the current viewability standards leaves a lot of effectiveness on the table. Brands should (and can, with NCS and Moat) assess inventory performance second-by-second to optimize the sweet spot for future creative and media buys. In the same breath, publishers can more accurately inspect and promote the value of their inventory against results at the register.

To expand your campaign’s view into attention metrics, get in touch with NCS here.

Announcing Cross-Media Sales Effect On Audience Link, For Digital And TV

In an age where the phrase “cross media” is used as a business development buzzword masquerading for innovation, the industry has eagerly awaited a solution that truly crosses the major arenas of ad spend: linear TV and digital. NCS Cross Media Sales Effect On Audience Link — announced at ARF Re!Think 2017 — is that solution, measuring the campaign’s results at the register, as always.

Only/Any/Both: delivering the sales results across media combinations

To understand the effectiveness of advertising across TV and digital (including mobile), it’s critical to be aware of the following:

  • The unduplicated reach delivered by your campaign
  • How each media contributes to sales results individually
  • The synergistic effect of the combined media that drives higher sales

The insights revealed thus far through studying several Facebook campaigns show, above all else, that brand characteristics and creative have a major impact on cross media synergy. In short: every media campaign is different, so every measurement matters.

Download the full ARF study here. Or, to find out if your campaign qualifies, get in touch with NCS.

How cross-media value increases with frequency

TNT’s TargetingNOW TV Platform Generates $4.9MM In Incremental Sales For Yogurt Brand

You asked for more yogurt case studies, you got ’em.

Okay… so no one really asked for more yogurt case studies, but the work we’ve done here with TNT is well worth the second serving.

In a recent TV study for a major yogurt brand, TNT leveraged NCS buyergraphic audiences and Sales Effect measurement for a closed-loop solution that drove nearly $5MM in retail sales above and beyond what consumers would have spent had the ads not run.

A big part of that success came from TNT’s TargetingNOW technology. In their words:

Turner uses an in-house, proprietary model called CAE (Competitive Audience Estimation) in order to optimize the schedule. CAE is a predictive model that ingests a variety of data sets and builds 30 minute impression level estimates against the target – it is the most granular audience estimation tool in the industry.

One of the unique finds of this particular study was the high ratio of sales driven by non-loyal buyers; a somewhat rare outcome in the CPG world, and a testament to great alignment between the campaign goal, the creative, and the target audience.

Turner Case Study Buyer Category Impact

Are you looking for a smarter approach to this year’s upfronts? See the full TNT case study to learn how buyergraphic audiences and measurement at the register can boost your in-house research.

Yahoo And NCS Deliver Sales Impact On Search Ads For Chobani

In our second industry-first case study this month, NCS paired up with Yahoo and Chobani to measure the incremental sales impact of search advertising, and the resulting 1.3% conquest of market share was enough to sweeten anyone’s day.

This was a closed-loop campaign, meaning that Chobani not only used NCS to measure results at the cash register, but also took a smarter approach to its media plan from the very beginning by targeting NCS’ buyergraphic audiences (Chobani buyers, in this case) on the Yahoo search platform. An incremental sales lift to the tune of 9% was the reward for a job well done on everyone’s part, optimizing the media plan and quantifying the outcomes.

If you’re a bit hazy on how incremental sales are measured, read the AdAge coverage or allow our friend Marty to drop ninety seconds of knowledge:

Silk Taps Into A 10% Incremental Sales Lift Thanks To Influencer Marketing

In a first-of-its-kind study, NCS came together with TapInfluence’s influencer marketing platform to realize in-store sales lift for WhiteWave Foods’ Silk brands.

This was an especially interesting study for us, not only because it was the first to tie influencer marketing to attributable sales lift at the cash register, but because it blurred the line between what traditional media would consider a pageview vs. an impression.

To test the TapInfluence platform and influencer content, WhiteWave selected over 250 bloggers to create recipes themed around “Meatless Monday Nights”, wherein a Silk product would be featured among the ingredients. NCS then measured the in-store behavior of consumers who read the articles vs. a control group who did not, resulting in a 10% incremental sales lift and $285 of incremental sales per 1,000 pageviews.

Even more interesting was the fact that WhiteWave did not ask to have the Silk brand mentioned in any of the bloggers’ social shares linking to their articles — so while the audience made a conscious decision to read the content, their exposure to Silk was unsolicited, much like a traditional impression.

NCS Silk Case Study Incremental Sales

Download the full case study here, and check out TapInfluence’s webinar coverage of this study to learn more about influencer marketing.

Kellogg’s Sees 28% Incremental Sales Lift From Rice Krispies Mobile Campaign

Kellogg’s has released notable results from a holiday cross-device mobile campaign powered by Opera Mediaworks, LiveRamp, and Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

The Rice Krispies® brand wanted to stay top-of-mind as a key ingredient to the wide world of holiday treats a mom could cook up with her kids, and moms responded to the tune of a 28% incremental sales lift, driven primarily by increased store trip frequency. The campaign simultaneously succeeded in extending the brand’s equity and driving in-store sales, with a Kellogg’s overall return on ad spend (RoAS) surpassing 62%.

28% Incremental Sales Lift

The 28% incremental sales lift was realized through NCS’ industry-leading test-and-control methodology, analyzing over 500 variables to extract the consumer dollars influenced by the campaign, above and beyond what dollars would have been spent independent of the ad.

NCS Test-And-Control Mobile Measurement Methodology

Rice Krispies® success came at the expense of its primary competitors, which not only serves as a short-term win, but informs future campaigns of the potential for competitive conquest. Download the full case study for more details.

Rice Krispies Competitive Share Shift

Learn more about measuring mobile campaign performance at the register:

How Campbell’s Swanson Cooked Up 4x Return On Ad Spend

Most metrics in the advertising world suffer from being bland and uninspiring. In other words… tastes like chicken.

Campbell’s Swanson wasn’t satisfied subjecting their holiday campaign to such a grim outcome, and so they cooked up a much bolder recipe for campaign insights with the help of Millennial Media and Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS).

What’s the secret ingredient, you ask? Well, if we told you, then it wouldn’t be a secret… but you look like a trustworthy person, so perhaps we can let it slide this just this once. The secret ingredient is: people. More specifically, the actual incremental sales dollars generated by those people at the cash register.

NCS and Millennial delivered Swanson a 7% lift in incremental sales and a 4x return on their ad spend, outperforming CPG campaign benchmarks by 43%. These sumptuous insights were the result of a measurement methodology which isolated the behavior of buyers exposed to the ad vs. the control group of unexposed buyers.

Check out the full case study here.

Pandora & Pop Tarts Groove to the Tune of 3X+ ROAS

Campaign Goal:  Increase sales of Pop Tarts by delivering relevant content to teenagers of a household so they consider Pop Tarts as a breakfast option.

Campaign Result:  Pop Tarts saw a 7% lift in incremental sales and a whopping 3X+ return on advertising spend. Yes, that’s right, 3X+ ROAS.

And now you’re wondering how’d they do that?

Pandora ran this campaign across multiple device types (tablet, mobile, and desktop to be specific).   Pandora’s unique ability to deliver on demographic segments and lifestyle preferences for every individual login allowed NCS to measure the total sales of the household and the incremental sales specifically related to Pandora’s delivery, in addition to what the household would typically spend.

Which device performed the best?

Cross-device measurement showed that households only exposed to the ad on mobile devices contributed to 70% of the total incremental impact.

poptarts graphic

How impressive are these results though?

Not only did Pop Tarts see amazing incremental lifts and ROAS, they also outperformed the average benchmarks when compared to similar campaigns.


Want to know more?

Download the full case study here.

The Drink Up Campaign Is Improving America’s Health, One Drink of Water at a Time

Drink Up Campaign delivers 4 percent increase in bottled water category sales among viewers of the ads.

While fragmentation has become quite the buzzword across the media landscape, it’s just as prevalent in some key retail categories. Take the refrigerated beverage aisle at your favorite convenience store, for example. Chances are you’d need to walk a good 10 steps or so just to evaluate all the options behind the frosty glass doors.

From fizzy to energy-boosting to classic cola, beverage makers have their work cut out for themselves if they want to catch the eyes of busy, fast-moving consumers. With so many options, where does that leave water? While it doesn’t have the flair of an option that’s infused with super fruit nectar, water is after all, the drink of life. And with the right marketing campaign, research shows that water can stand out.

But that doesn’t mean that water can’t leverage the same eye-catching marketing tactics that others use – and successfully, too. NCS has confirmed that the Drink Up campaign in its second year of work has boosted sales of bottled water and filtered water products 4% among those who were exposed to the ads compared with those who did not see the ads. The campaign has also yielded a return of $6 in estimated incremental sales for every dollar spent on advertising. The NCS study release today – the second in two years – shows that by focusing on the best-performing audience segments and adjusting its media plan along the way, the Drink Up campaign was focused and successful. It also helped meet Drink Up’s overall objective: get people to drink more water.

It wasn’t too long ago that the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and First Lady Michelle Obama collaborated to form the Drink Up initiative encouraging Americans to drink more water. The premise was simple, but tracking the results was critical in understanding if Drink Up’s messaging was resonating with consumers. During the initial phase of the initiative, Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) found that the Drink Up campaign drove a 3% lift in incremental sales of bottled water among people who had seen the campaign’s online ads. That equates to almost $1 million in incremental retail sales of bottled water. As previously stated, this year’s data showed a 4% increase during the same period of time a year later.


For the recent study, NCS focused on the purchasing habits of households that were exposed to online Drink Up ads during the 13-week period between Oct. 2 and Dec. 31, 2014. To measure the impact of the campaign on in-store sales, NCS used a single-source methodology to determine the incremental retail sales lift of bottled water and water filter products among the households exposed to the ads. NCS then compared the purchases from those households with those of a control group that did not see the advertising.

In looking at the results from the second study, the Well Beings and the Fence-Sitters both responded favorably to the online advertising. The Well Beings were more responsive, however, as they drove more than 51% of the incremental retail sales, generating $143 in sales for every 1,000 impressions served. Comparatively, the Fence Sitters contributed 14% of the sales volume and generated $16 in sales for every 1,000 impressions.


So where did the increase in water sales come from? The study found that as bottled water, water filters and sparkling water increased, carbonated soft drinks, milk and juice lost market share. The study also found that the increased sales were driven by people buying more water per shopping trip and buying it more often rather than by growing the number of new purchasers.


To measure the effectiveness of the campaign, NCS identified two groups of nearly identical households that were matched on hundreds of variables, including the mix of category and brand purchases, during the 12 months before the campaign:

  • Households exposed to the ads.
  • Households not exposed to the ads.

NCS then measured the sales differences between the two groups during and after the campaign. In addition to the total sales, key metrics such as penetration, buying rate, occasions and purchase amount were determined to see what factors drove the sales results.

About the Partnership for a Healthier America

PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information, visit