Capture reactions to your ads: An overview of aytm's Xpert Ad Series

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Posted Sep 07, 2022
Julia Maier

The Xpert Ad series offers you a means to get feedback quickly and efficiently on your potential advertisements before launch. This family of solutions captures reactions to your advertisements through a mixed-method approach. Qualitatively, they enable you to receive ad feedback from respondents regarding likes or dislikes, as well as offer an unaided look at what they believe the message of the advertisement to be. Quantitatively, these solutions provide results for five standard characteristics that are commonly measured in ad tests: appeal, relevance, clarity, credibility, and likability. They also provide a composite of these five characteristics into an overall attitude measure. Each of the five solutions provides a slight variation to suit your individual needs. Keep reading to learn more about the core elements of the Xpert Ad series and how to select the solution best for you.

The core

For all solutions in the Xpert Ad series, respondents will work through the following flow of questions:

Survey question flow chart including advanced logic

Qualitative questions

There would be nothing worse than launching an ad campaign only to discover later that the message received is the opposite of that which was intended within your target audience. The first question immediately following the presentation of the advertisement is to describe the ad’s message in their own words. This unaided approach allows us to assess whether or not the intended message is actually being conveyed. 

Although there is no specific aided version of message testing, the Xpert Ad series allows for custom attributes to be measured on an agreement scale. An excellent use of these custom items would be to imbed some possible messages—ones the advertisement is trying to convey and ones it shouldn't—for respondents to react to. For example, respondents can rate on a 5-point Likert scale how strongly they agree or disagree with each statement, such as "The ad tells the story of a caring couple" or "The ad is designed to promote confidence."

The last of the quantitative questions directly asks respondents how much they like the advertisement, with responses ranging from "I love it!" to "I hate it!" Based on their answer, a follow-up question asks them to explain what they like or dislike about it. These questions can provide important details to complement the quantitative questions by identifying which specific elements of the advertisement may result in a high or low rating on characteristics like appeal, relevance, or simply likability.

Responses to these opened-ended questions are presented as word clouds in your accompanying Xpert Report to get a quick glance at the most common responses. When working with unaided questions, it’s also important to drill down into the individual responses. A single respondent may be particularly articulate and provide insight into your advertisement that might not be apparent when looking at the responses in aggregate.

Quantitative questions

The five standard characteristics chosen for inclusion in the Xpert Ad series were selected from researching the most commonly important attributes when conducting ad tests: appeal, relevance, clarity, credibility, and likability. Of course, there will be characteristics that are of particular importance to your specific advertisement, target audience, and industry. These can be included via agreement statements in the custom section alongside any aided intentional message questions you might want to include. For instance, respondents can indicate their agreement to statements like "This advertisement makes me want to learn more" or "This advertisement is rather unique."

In addition to viewing the five standard characteristics in isolation, the Xpert Ad series incorporates a composite score of these characteristics to represent an overall attitude. Appeal, relevance, clarity, credibility, and likeability are not necessarily correlated characteristics. Have you ever thought to yourself, "I don't really need this, but I want it" and then made the purchase? These individual components come together to shape our overall attitude, which in turn influences our potential behavior. By considering the composite of these separate characteristics, we can have a better sense of how the advertisement is ultimately received. For example, an advertisement can be very high in clarity and credibility, but very low in relevance for a particular target audience. Yet, if the appeal and likability are very high, there’s still a chance a consumer could be converted into a customer, despite low relevance. 

The differences

Xpert Ad Capturing Reactions

The Xpert Ad Capturing Reactions solutions provide the core questions in a monadic design: each respondent only views and reacts to a single advertisement. Xpert Ad Capturing Reactions also comes in two versions, one if you're using image-based materials and another if you're using video-based materials for respondents to view. This solution is best to use in two cases:

  1. You only have a single advertisement to test.
  2. You want to test multiple advertisements but are concerned about order effects.

Order effects

Order effects occur when the presentation of an initial stimulus influences responses to a later stimulus. For example, if respondents had seen X first, they would find it compelling, but because they saw Y first, X seems dull by comparison. In this case, X may be perfectly acceptable because in practice people would only see a single ad and, thus, in real life would find it suitably compelling. If X is less expensive to make, there is even the risk of a poor business decision by dismissing it for not being rated as compelling in this context.

There are two ways to control for order effects:

  1. Use a monadic, between-subjects design where each respondent only views a single advertisement, so there’s no risk of anything being tainted.
  2. Use a randomized presentation order. 

In all Xpert Ad solutions, advertisements will be presented in a random order when there is more than one ad, but randomization can only truly control for order effects when there is a large enough sample size. Unfortunately, what is "large enough" depends on just how much one advertisement can affect the ratings of another—which the Xpert Solution cannot know and which you may not know if you’ve never intentionally measured that previously. As such, if there are concerns about order effects, we recommend using Xpert. 

Ad Capturing Reactions solutions

The Xpert Ad Capturing Reactions report provides a summary of the reactions—and in the case of multiple advertisements, it provides a recommendation for which ones are best—based on which were most well-received according to the standardized quantitative questions. This recommendation should be combined with your own insights derived from the open-ended and custom questions to make your final decisions.

Xpert Ad Comparing Reactions

The Xpert Ad Comparing Reactions solutions provide the core questions in a within-subjects (sequential monadic) design, where each respondent views and reacts to all advertisements. Because respondents view all ads, there is an additional exercise where the respondents' favorite advertisement is derived from our side-by-side question, which presents the ads in rotating pairs, allowing respondents to select their favorite from the two. This information is incorporated into the Xpert Report recommendation as another metric used to determine the most well-received advertisement.

The Xpert Ad Comparing Reactions also comes in two versions, one if you’re using image-based materials and another if you’re using video-based materials for respondents to view. This solution is best to use when you want to test multiple advertisements and:

  1. You have a sufficiently large sample size to trust that randomization will control for order effects.
  2. The order effects are not a concern.

Xpert Ad Screener

The Xpert Ad Screener solution only comes with the option to upload images. While the Xpert Ad Capturing and Xpert Ad Comparing Reactions are designed for rigorous testing of more developed advertisements, the Xpert Ad Screener is considered more appropriate for quickly sifting through a number of ideas to understand which should proceed to the next stage of development. If you want to test ideas for a video ad, you could upload images of storyboards or sketches and combine them with text-based narratives in the description.

The Xpert Ad Screener gives you the ability to turn off some of the core features to better suit your needs, as opened-ended questions about the overall message may not be appropriate, depending on the stage of development. This method also uses a sequential monadic design where respondents may only see some (but not all) of the tested ads. This allows you to quickly get some rough feedback on your ideas before development. However, this precludes the ability to do some of the more rigorous analyses, which require either an all or one methodology that the other two solutions provide. As such, this solution does not provide an explicit recommendation. The Xpert Ad Screener is best used when you want to:

  1. Test a large number of advertisements at once (i.e. more than 10).
  2. Run a more scaled-down test that does need rigorous testing or qualitative responses.

Testing your potential ads

Are you looking to quickly and effectively get feedback on your potential ads before they launch? Head over to aytm’s Solutions Center and add any of these tools to your next survey. And if you’re looking for a hand setting up the tests, you can always reach out to us, take one of our Lighthouse Academy courses, or watch one of the video tutorials featured in our help center.

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