Closely, related to promotion testing, ad testing (a.k.a. advertisement testing)refers to various methodologies that focus exclusively on gauging the, perception, effectiveness, or targeting of advertisements in a market be they single adverts or a series. The major difference between ad and promo testing is that promo testing is usually carried out on a larger scale to measure the reaction to a campaign.
Ad testing can deal with adverts of all types across the spectrum and can be employed at any stage throughout the advertisement development process.
The most frequent use for ad testing is to identify the most effective advert(s) at the prototype stage which helps in turn to eliminate the likelihood of expensive and ineffective campaigns. Furthermore, it tests the appropriateness of an advert to its audience.
Some use the method to measure an advert’s competitiveness against a major competitor’s. In this case researchers ask respondents to read magazines or papers or ask them to watch a television programme with an advertisement break and then ask the respondents to recall the adverts that caught their attention or ask them for key information that the adverts contained. A deeper way of using this method is by conducting face-to-face interviews or using focus groups to gain consumer feedback to potential adverts or advertising campaigns.
Researchers aim to analyse the ability of the respondents to recall information, the affect that the advert has on a respondent, its persuasive power, whether respondents identify with the given setting in the advert, understanding of the appeal, and the respondents’ perception of the brand in question.