Will Scully-Power


Bringing Wall Street-like analysis to Madison Avenue

Wall Street

Darren Herman, left, and Barry Lowenthal are among those bringing Wall Street-like analysis to Madison Avenue. Wall Street-style data analysis is gaining importance in the advertising industry, a business that was once all about a catchy tagline or an arresting image.

ON a recent Thursday, Darren Herman, the president of Varick Media Management, was sequestered in his SoHo office. He wasn’t scrutinizing a television ad or images from a photo shoot. He was combing through graphs and Excel spreadsheets.

Mr. Herman had run 27 ads on the Web for his client Vespa, the scooter company. Some were rectangular, some square. And the text varied: One tagline said, “Smart looks. Smarter purchase,” and displayed a $0 down, 0 percent interest offer. Another read, “Pure fun. And function,” and promoted a free T-shirt.

Vespa’s goal was to find out whether a financial offer would attract customers, and Mr. Herman’s data concluded that it did. The $0 down offer attracted 71 percent more responses from one group of Web surfers than the average of all the Vespa ads, while the T-shirt offer drew 29 percent fewer.

And Mr. Herman didn’t just compare the messages in the ads — he also looked at the sites where they ran, when they ran and what groups of people responded.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/business/media/31ad.html?_r=1&ref=technology

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