Captivate’s Nielsen Survey Follows OVAB Guidelines

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based Captivate Network, which has announced the results of a major, in-depth survey undertaken by The Nielsen Company, is believed to be the first digital out-of-home company to offer both U.S. and Canadian advertisers audience metrics that are consistent with Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB) guidelines.

The Nielsen survey shows that Captivate delivers an audience of several million employed, high-income consumers who pay attention to the company’s elevator screens and use the content on them to help make buying decisions.

More than 1,000 Captivate Network visitors found that the company delivers more than 31 million impressions to over 4.7 million visitors in an average month – a reach that is larger than popular shows such as Mad Money, Larry King Live and Hardball w/Chris Matthewsv, combined.

The survey – Captivate’s first since year 2000 – also confirms that Captivate reaches a highly desirable demographic group composed of professionals ages 25 to 54 with an average income of $108,000.

“We had some surprises,” says Mike DiFranza, Captivate’s founder and president. “Up until now we had projected our numbers, but this new survey shows that we were understating our traffic numbers,

“Another surprise for us is that, rather than a 50-50 split between men and women, our audience is approximately 57% female, 43% male. Working mothers are hard to reach. This information can help us go after advertisers wanting to target working women with children.”

The survey involved employees and visitors in 46 buildings in 15 U.S. and Canadian markets.

“We didn’t see any difference between Canada and the U.S.,“
says DiFranza. “Our audience is not that volatile. And the income as shown in the survey is about what we expected.”

Unlike many other out-of-home research reports, Captivate’s Nielsen report provides brand-name advertisers with detailed metrics about how viewers interact with Captivate screens. Captivate asked Nielsen researchers to manually count people leaving the building and confirm if they went in the elevator; if they noticed the screen; how long they were in the elevator (the ‘dwell rate’); and demographic information. The methodology is consistent with OVAB guidelines that ensure uniformity and accuracy in audience reporting metrics.

“Advertisers want proof that their digital out-of-home campaigns are reaching the right people,” says Paul Lindstrom, senior vice-president at The Nielsen Company. “Captivate Network is providing advertisers with highly credible, best-in-class viewership and demographic metrics. Advertisers can rely on Captivate’s audience metrics with the same confidence they’ve grown to expect from print and broadcast

Captivate Network consists of more than 7,500 digital screens of varying sizes – usually 15” – in the U.S. and 1,500 in Canada. Primarily in office buildings, there is usually one screen per elevator but some elevators, such as those in Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) have two screens.

Through its screen network and interactive Web site, Captivate has shown a consistent ability to engage viewers with compelling content. The Nielsen survey confirms that Captivate consistently reaches an audience of ‘spend-ready’ consumers in office towers throughout North America.

Captivate’s DiFranza is also chairman of the OVAB board and has regularly advocated for industry standards.

“No matter how sincere you are or how much documentation you can produce to show your audience data is accurate, advertisers will always want an industry standard to verify your claims,” DiFranza says. “Between Nielsen’s research methodologies and the OVAB guidelines, we’re providing thorough, accurate data that shows advertisers we can deliver an audience comparable to a network television show at a fraction of the cost.”

Captivate is growing, both in the U.S. and Canada. In the latter, is has recently moved into Montreal and Edmonton office towers. Among its recent advertisers in the U.S. are American Airlines, BMW and Sprint. In Canada, recent advertisers include WestJet and Expedia. DiFranza says that Captivate has no plans to expand beyond Canada and the U.S. in the foreseeable future.

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