Valuing emotions felt for media and brands

November 09, 2012

The Lempert Report, CPG can target consumers who feel attached to their brands, and spend the most on them, using select media data.

Consumers feel emotionally attached to media they watch, especially TV shows, and the brands that advertise on them. CPG messages targeted to these audiences can measurably grow competitive advantage at the shelf and during trip planning.

A metric developed by NewMediaMetrics (NMM), based on academic theories of human behavior, correlates sales with relationships on an 11-point scale. “The more emotionally attached people are, the more they spend on a brand franchise, and the likelier they’ll be to try the next new product that comes out,” co-founder and principal Denise Larson told F3 in an interview. NMM tracks 380 brands across 48 categories in its database, and about 60% them are CPG; none are private labels. Data for CPG brands reflect sales in the supermarket channel only.

“If you understand who is emotionally attached to a brand, and the media environment they are also attached to, you’ll find the place where you’ll be able to generate the most revenue for the brand,” she adds.

NMM accessed the Kantar Retail U.S. household panel to survey 4,250 U.S. consumers between the ages of 13 and 64 for its latest annual survey in May 2012.  Its findings reflect full-price purchases without the influence of promotional deals or coupons to factor out people who may be emotionally attached to savings or retailer loyalty programs, notes Larson.

For example:
•    The most emotionally attached consumers to Tide are rated 9s and 10s on the 0 to 10 scale. They spend $34.58 each annually on the brand in U.S. supermarkets versus the least attached, who spend just $16.16. This highest-spending group represents $396 million in yearly Tide sales, far more than the $23 million spent by those rated 0 to 4. Customization of media-view data by zip code can help brands reach the highest-spending audience.
•    The 9s and 10s buyers of Pepsi each spend $33.88 annually on the brand in supermarkets, equating to $700 million in sales. That’s well above the $20.58 each, or $123 million, among the 0 to 4 audience.

NMM covers over 500 media platforms and properties which shoppers encounter before their trip to the store, so they affect the path to purchase. Among them: apps, broadcast programming, networks, websites, newspapers, magazines, out-of-home and mobile media, to name a few, but not in-store media.  

Also hot on the emotional scale:  spending on small indulgences during tough times.  The M&M’s brand, for instance, rose 5.9% in emotional attachment in 2012 over 2011, and Oreos jumped by 8.7%.  According to Larson, people are saying, “Life sucks.  I’m going to have a cookie.” On the category level, emotional attachment to beer is up 18.3% in 2012, coffee is up 12.1%, and candy is up 10.1%, the NMM data show.

Moreover, NMM’s seventh annual TV and programming study shows NBC’s Revolution is the #1 hit among males and females 18 to 24, who are also attached to McDonald’s. NBC’s The New Normal and ABC’s 666 Park Avenue draw high attachments from Burger King devotees.   

Emotional attachment is a predictive model. “It’s a right-brain approach. People start to feel and sense things before they act on them,” says Larson, noting that in late-2007 her company saw “emotional attachment start to go up among Walmart 9s and 10s consumers in the higher-income groups. That was a precursor to the recession.”