Prompt Research Insights Introduces 'Snapshot' Ad Testing Service

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Eye tracking firm Prompt Research Insights has introduced a system to assess how well print and billboard ads are recognised in a single glance.

South Africa's first eye tracking research company is launching ADGist™. ADGist™ measures the effectiveness of print and billboards in a single glance. It's a more realistic way to test ad effectiveness since most print and billboards get only a single glance when a person is flipping through a magazine or driving on the road. It is often thought that the money spent on the majority of ads that people don't pay much attention to is wasted, but is this really the case? ADGist™ assesses that.

People have opportunities to see several hundreds of print ads a day, according to some guesstimates. If people would look at all these ads for just a few seconds only, they would be exposed to commercial messages for several hours a day. Thus, the vast majority of ads can only be given a cursory glance at most, much shorter than a second.

Not only are exposures short for the vast majority of ads, but also only a coarse impression is obtained: exposures occur mostly in the periphery or in motion, in particular when quickly flipping through a magazine, or paying attention to the editorial rather than the advert. This begs the question of which meaning, if any, people can extract from the multitude of print ads that receive only a cursory glance, and whether companies' investments in these ads are completely wasted.

It turns out that in less than a second, people already know with certainty whether a visual image is an ad or editorial material and which product category is advertised: that is, they quickly grasp the gist of the ad. Such snapshot gist perception is based on coarse visual information in the ads, and differs widely between ads: some ads are more effective than others. The ADGist™ model assesses thecommunication effectiveness of ads in a single glance. The metric is based on a simple test that is easily implemented and quickly administered.

The higher the identification accuracy of an ad is, the better it conveys its gist under the short and coarse exposure conditions many ads experience in practice. Based on extensive pretests ads fall naturally into three classes from the test. Ads are a "Star" when their accuracy is uniformly high, a "Black Hole" when their accuracy is very low, and a "Moon" when their accuracy is in-between these two.

ADGist™ was developed by Professor Michel Wedel and Professor Rik Pieters. Michel Wedel is the Pepsico Professor of Consumer Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland. Prof Rik Pieters is a professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

"Prompt Research Insights is committed to developing cutting-edge solutions that measure real-life responses in real-world situations," says Lindiwe Matlali, MD Prompt Research Insights.

About us:
Prompt Research Insights (PRI),, is South Africa's First Eye-tracking Research Company. Drawing on a theoretical knowledge of Visual Attention and Perception, coupled with eye tracking expertise, we help our clients understand which aspects of their materials grab attention and get remembered, allowing them to produce designs with the most impact. We have sound models that go beyond the pretty heatmaps, we apply eye-tracking data to go beyond a mere description of the data and provide insights and actionable recommendations based on appropriate metrics and analyses of the data. The Chairman of our advisory board is Professor Michel Wedel who holds the Pepsico Chair in Consumer Research at the Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland in the US and the third ranked marketing professor in the world. Prof Wedel is closely involved in the development of our products and services. Our advisory board consists of the best minds in research and marketing (Barbara Cook, Dr Ivan May, Chris Moerdyk, Nick Green, Enrico Duplessis, Prof Nixon Kariithi, and Cecilia Khuzwayo). The combination of commercial experience, academic skill, and commitment to the delivery of results and recommendations means that PRI can provide you with a real, trusting partnership that delivers real business results cost effectively and faster. Our clients get their results within seven to ten days.


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Lindiwe Matlali
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