Ad ratings points have to be recalculated, based on new research that shows audience exposure to urban outdoor advertising and digital signage installs is higher for non-residents than residents in Canada’s largest cities.
Following a two-year investigation into how Canadian consumers’ mobility affects exposure to outdoor media, the Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau (COMB) has released results of its research designed to increase the precision in measuring outdoor gross rating point (GRP) metrics.
The research involved GPS travel studies conducted by Forum Research between September 2011 and June 2012 within the census-metropolitan-areas (CMA) of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and 100-kilometre surrounding areas.
The studies’ key objective was to understand how both residents and non-residents travel within Canada’s three largest urban cities and specifically, to determine whether the OOH industry should continue to exclude non-residents’ exposure to outdoor advertising when calculating outdoor GRPs. This exclusion was established decades ago when the Canadian outdoor advertising industry began to calculate and report campaign delivery based on GRPs.
“GPS technology has been able to demonstrate that non-residents of Canada’s major cities have heavy exposure-opportunity to the cities’ outdoor advertising due to their frequent travel within city boundaries,” explained Karen Best, President of COMB. “OOH is an out-of-residence medium making both residents and non-residents legitimate and valuable potential customers that together make up the real audience to be measured in a modern, media metric.”
Passive and accurate, GPS technology captures movement every two seconds and was therefore selected as the tracking device to be carried by 600 study participants for a period of nine days.
This GPS-study approach is a first for outdoor advertising measurement in North America, and its use shows a rowing use of technology in the creation of new measurement data and insight into OOH audiences.
People living outside of the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver CMA boundaries travelled into the major markets an average of four days per week, driving more weekly kilometres within the CMAs than residents of those cities.
During a nine day survey of some 600 people, each carrying GPS devices to track their movements, data was gathered that shows people living outside the citiy (but within a 100 km distance) typically travelled into the cities four days a week, and actually drove more miles within the cities than residents did.
COMB says it will study other major Canadian markets as well.
As much as 92% of the traffic occurring within the Toronto CMA is comprised of residents and non-residents who traveled four days or more per week into the CMA boundary. The figure for Montreal is also 92%, while for Vancouver it is 91%.
The study data was analyzed, discussed and debated amongst research and media experts from six OOH companies and ten leading advertising agencies that comprise the COMB Research Committee and COMB’s Board of Directors.
There was unanimous approval to allow non-residents who travel into Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver CMAs a minimum of four days per week to be included in GRP calculations. Additional markets will be studied by COMB in 2013 and beyond.
Richard Ivey, SVP Customer Service at Media Experts and Chair of the COMB Research Committee, reinforces that “the new research methodology for determining ‘percentage of non-residents eligible to contribute to outdoor GRP calculations (known as the in-market factor)’ is derived from current and reliable COMB research that advertisers and their agencies can trust. This research is vital to accurate reporting of campaign reach, impressions, and GRPs reported in COMB’s media planning tool, COMBNavigator.”
The new data has now been updated to COMB software. The impact and implications of the changes to the Buyer community will be addressed in COMB communications to its members.
The Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau (COMB) is a national non-profit, independent media measurement organization. It provides vital, unbiased measurement and auditing of out-of-home audiences for the benefit of the Out-of-Home (OOH) media industry, advertising agencies and advertisers. Since its inception in 1965, COMB has advanced OOH measurement and reach-frequency methodologies, proof-of-performance and verification procedures to unparalleled standards in Canada.