TNS and Ipsos ASI have launched online tools for testing out ad creative.

TNS’s Mercury tool, which has been in development for the past 18 months, tests campaigns on members of TNS’s 130,000-strong online panel. The firm said that an advert would typically be tested by 300 respondents across the space of a week, before delivering the results back to the client within nine or 10 days of the ad being aired.

The tool measures respondents’ recognition, message take-out, branding and viewer involvement. Paul Baker, the project’s director, told Research it had proved so popular that TNS has appointed a dedicated sales director.

Baker said: “The beauty of Mercury is that it is very fast, robust and yet low-cost. It lets users respond to competitor ads or make changes to their own creative quickly, based on early consumer response. By testing and then comparing against ads that have already aired, advertisers get really meaningful benchmarks – not just some anonymous norm. A ten-day turnaround gives them the flexibility to respond far more easily than with traditional tracking.”

Meanwhile, Ipsos ASI has a new tool called Next*Connect, which aims to measure the effectiveness of ad creative “across all areas of the advertising spectrum – from emerging digital media to more traditional forms”.

The online tool aims to showcase ads “as they are experienced in media, creating an abundance of noise, and carefully masking the actual test ad”. Recall is then tested by recontacting respondents the following day.

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