Going to ARF's Audience Measurement Conference

For a recent experiment, we divided respondents into two groups. To both groups, we showed a trailer for an upcoming movie. One group was given two different descriptions for the trailer (as if there were two different trailers) and asked to chose one or the other. We have found that the presence of this "choice" had a significant effect on recall of key facts from the trailer. We are doing some follow-up work now to clarify a few things, but what we found was pretty interesting.

My colleague Rob St.Louis and I are going to the ARF's Audience Measurement conference in New York in June to present a paper with the results. Come say hi if you are there.  Our thing starts at 1.50pm on Monday June 11 in Majestic on the 6th floor of, I think, Marriott Marquis.

Oh, and we have also just published the results of another study that showed how fiddling with smartphones distracts people from TV and what could be done about it

A Cheat Code in Halo 4 Box Art Puzzle

Microsoft unveiled the box art for the upcoming Halo 4 game by emailing Xbox community members one of the 32 pieces of puzzle that when assembled together reveal the image.  The puzzle was cracked in about an hour, probably helped by the fact that the remaining 31 pieces could be seen by changing the last two digits of the image URL before the ".jpg" part, a fact that wasn't lost on the fans:


Google's Screenwise Project Listens To TV Habits

Google's Screenwise research project announced back in February is designed to collect data on more than just Internet behavior. In addition to custom wireless routers that gather information on participants' browsing and downloading habits, the recently mailed recruiting brochure describes a device "a little bigger than a smartphone" called Screenwise TV Tab. TV Tab "captures audio signals that enables the study to identify which TV programs are being viewed."

The information TV Tab collects includes:
  • Identity of person logging into the Screenwise TV Tab
  • Timestamps indicating time of log-in and log-out
  • Duration of television usage per session
  • The total amount of time a television is used in the household
[source: Screenwise Select privacy policy]

I haven't seen the device, but I think it could be based on Android and powered by this TV Tab app developed by Mobile Research Labs.  Android market lists the number of installs for this app at between 10 and 50.

In addition, a different Screenwise app (which looks like a version of Lumi's AnalyzeMe) captures participants' smartphone habits. Among the more interesting things the app collects are:
  • Frequency of use of device calendar
  • Battery status
  • Whether you are using your smartphone inside or outside your home
  • How long music is played, and the title and artist for each song
  • Timestamp and duration of any video viewed on smartphone
  • all URL's and advertisements viewed
  • When a Panelist opens or closes an application
[source: Screenwise Select privacy policy]

Google, who is conducting this research together with GfK, is offering a sign-up incentive of $100 with up to an additional $50 for each month the participating household stays in the study.

Some people who were randomly selected to receive a recruiting mailer (accompanied with a crispy two-dollar bill), are concerned it might be a scam, or worse: "The money is real too! A $2 Dollar bill? SO weird man... never heard of anything like this."

In Case of Emergency, Eat This Book

Land Rover in the United Arab Emirates printed 5,000 edible copies of a desert survival guide. Twenty-eight pages of potato-based starch paper have a slightly sugary taste from the glycerin-based ink and are bound by a spiral that can be used as skewers. The book comes in  a reflective cover that can be used to send help signals.
-- Y&R Dubai; thank you, Guillaume

Pinnable Ads

Saw this page on AdKeeper, the company that is trying to make online advertising bookmarkable. This could be an interesting way for Pinterest itself to make money: becoming a network for ads that people will want to hold on to. Won't be a huge stretch for them, most of the pins are already very ad like. You will easily find pins for a book, iPhone app, music, movie posters and trailers, and even payday loans.

And I already see people pinning coupons. Here's one from Jiffy Lube someone has pinned after filing out a satisfaction survey.