Origin, an initiative launched by British advertising trade body ISBA, announced today it has completed proof of concept evaluations for its proposed cross-media measurement solution, with results exceeding expectations. The results mean Origin will now move ahead with further testing and building a working product which will go to market.
Origin was launched in 2019 in response to the World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) call to establish the basic principles for working cross-media measurement, allowing advertisers to measure deduplicated reach and frequency across different media channels. This work has gone on at both a global and local level, with Origin feeding into global developments while also translating these top level frameworks and technical standards into working measurement tools.
After consulting with advertisers, broadcasters and tech companies to develop a proposal for how a cross-media measurement solution might work, Origin has been undergoing proof of concept tests to see if such a solution would actually work in practice. Origin signed up independent measurement and research company RSMB to conduct these tests.
The first proof of concept test, completed last August, showed that Origin’s methodology was effective when used with TV panel data, which was provided by IPSOS. This meant that variations in reach across channels, as demonstrated by panel data, were picked up accurately by Origin’s methodology too.
The second test was to ensure that Origin’s methodology holds up for measuring cross-media campaigns across TV and digital – obviously an essential test for a cross-media measurement tool. And Origin says these tests have also been successful.
“The independent and trusted work conducted by RSMB is yet another validation of the approach we are taking, and a stamp of reassurance to the industry,” said Joe Lewis, Origin’s research director. “The proof of concept has successfully tested and validated the application not only to TV data but also in explaining cross media campaigns across TV and digital, successfully preserving correlations across both. There can be no denying now that, as a concept, it works, it is tested, and validated by independent third parties.”
Still seeking TV support
This latest announcement marks another significant step towards Origin releasing a working product to market. But the work ahead for Origin doesn’t just involve product testing and technical developments. Winning the support of broadcasters and UK TV panel BARB will also be on the agenda.
After a promising start to the early discussions around Origin, broadcasters largely bowed out of the conversation – concerned in part that such a solution might undervalue their inventory. UK broadcasters have instead turned their attentions to CFlight, a cross media measurement solution developed by US broadcaster NBCUniversal. Unlike Origin, CFlight doesn’t measure ads across social platforms – a concern for advertisers.
Origin has long said it is holding the door open for broadcasters, expressing the view that broadcasters are potentially leaving money on the table by not getting involved in conversations.
Origin will also be keen to win the support of BARB, in order to be able to license its trusted panel data. BARB chief executive Justin Sampson said last year that, despite reports to the contrary, BARB has not yet given Origin’s methodology its seal of approval.
“A failure to insist on consistent inputs in cross-media planning systems undermines a principle that’s important to both the WFA and BARB — namely the need for consistent audience building blocks that allow comparable evaluation of media,” said Sampson.
Sampson reiterated that BARB’s approval will be required before Origin is allowed to integrate BARB’s data into its own measurement solution.