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Tracking an industry’s ads to evaluate our client’s advertising as well as those from the competitive set


Working in a highly competitive industry, our client wanted to ensure that their advertising was effective. At the same time, they wanted to understand the strengths and weaknesses of competitors’ advertising. This would allow the client to learn from others in their competitive space, and also give them a ‘heads up’ if the competition had a significant win on a certain campaign.


Up to six ad campaigns were tested per month in a monthly tracking study among consumers, and up to 12 campaigns are tested among Canada’s businesses in a separate tracking questionnaire – six among small businesses and six among large companies. The research tracked TV, radio, OOH, digital and social media ads. In addition to recall, main message recall and brand linkage, diagnostics relating to likeability, fit with the brand, relevance, being different and increasing interest in the advertised service were also tracked. Over the course of more than four years, approximately 200 campaigns have been tested. This has allowed The Strategic Counsel to create normative data, which can be cut by type of advertisement, such as branding or promotional advertising; type of product or service being advertised; or by brand.


The results of this extensive research were used frequently to answer numerous business questions: How did the advertising perform? Where was it strong, and where could it have performed better? What changes do we need to make in future advertisements to strengthen their performance? What can be learned from competitive advertising to make our ads better?

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