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The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) drew a record-breaking 900 attendees to its 2013 annual Audience Measurement conference, demonstrating that the ARF's mission to provide critical perspective on the future of advertising research is more relevant than ever.
"We're deeply gratified by the record attendance at Audience Measurement 8.0," said Gayle Fuguitt, the General Mills veteran who this year became the ARF's new CEO and the first female CEO in the organization's history. "Research professionals are searching for new approaches to marketing mix, cross-platform programming, and myriad of other challenges and opportunities. Our Audience Measurement conference is where the industry meets to find the answers."
Fuguitt noted a number of prominent reports released at the two-day Audience Measurement 8.0 event, which concluded yesterday at the Marriott Marquis in midtown Manhattan.
· Research on scalable, cross-platform measurement, the so-called "Project Blueprint" initiative, sponsored and presented by ESPN, using a hybrid methodology combining data sources from comScore and Arbitron, and demonstrating that the more platforms the consumer engages, the more time he or she spends with content.
· One of the first-ever studies on how social media usage relates to television viewing, presented by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) and Discovery Communications, identifying a phenomenon of actively-engaged viewers known as "super connectors."
· A study by Harvard University assessing how entertainment content in TV advertising affects brand recall, depending on when the brand is first introduced in the advertisement's entertainment narrative.
· A study by the ARF in conjunction with Temple University and New York University on how neurological measurement of consumer responses works in tandem with traditional advertising measurement tools to enhance predictability of purchase.
"Conventional wisdom has it that advertising is in a measurement crisis, and certainly we are challenged, like all industries, by the accelerating phenomena of mobile and multi-screen content consumption," Fuguitt said. "At the same time, researchers are moving aggressively into new spaces, measuring the previously unmeasured, and our ability to plan, direct and evaluate the effectiveness of advertising is more sophisticated and tied to our clients' growth objectives than ever."
As a sign of researchers' growing digital connectivity, Fuguitt noted that 90 percent of conference attendees had downloaded the Audience Measurement 8.0 app, up from 56 percent of attendees who downloaded the conference app at the ARF's Rethink conference just three months ago in March.
Keynoters at the two-day event included Laura Desmond, CEO, Starcom Mediavest Group; Bob Pittman, CEO, Clear Channel; and Bob Garfield, MediaPost columnist and co-host of NPR's On the Media. The conference kicked off Sunday evening with a "Mobile Meet-Up" session for the ARF's young professionals, who brainstormed ways to align the industry more effectively with the mobile revolution.
About the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)
Founded in 1936 by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the ARF is dedicated to aggregating, creating and distributing research-based knowledge that will help members make better advertising decisions. ARF members include more than 400 advertisers, advertising agencies, associations, research firms, and media companies. The ARF is the only organization that brings all members of the industry to the same table for strategic collaboration. The ARF celebrates more than 75 years as the industry's authoritative source of advertising knowledge. The ARF is located at 432 Park Ave. South, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 and on the Web at www.thearf.org
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