Relo Metrics is the Measurement Menace of the Month

Calling Earned Media Value actual “value” is the measurement equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. It is no more “value” than the discredited Ad Value Equivalency ever was.

In this over-the-top fake evaluation of the worth of on-screen logos during a football game, Relo Metrics uses an “artificial intelligence (AI) powered platform” to calculate the number of minutes each sponsor brand could possibly have been seen by someone watching a football game. And then sticks a dollar value on those minutes and calls it “media value.”

There are so many things wrong with this…

1.) Media Value is a metric based on deeply flawed assumptions.

Media Value, also known as Earned Media Value (EMV), is the on-screen big sibling of Advertising Value Equivalency. EMV represents what the time on screen would have cost if it was bought as an ad. But, think about it. If Nike was going to buy ad time, would they waste it on just a glimpse of their logo on a player’s shoulder? No. But that’s what EMV assumes. Sure, logo placement on a player is worth something, but not as much per second as an actual ad that contains key messages and persuasive language. EMV vastly overstates whatever value might be there. And who doesn’t like huge numbers? They are so impressive. (See lipstick and pig, above.)

2.) Wow! An “AI powered platform!”

AI, huh? Relo Metrics must really be doing something smart and cutting edge. Nope. AI or not, they are using a last-century metric based on last-century thinking. (Again, see lipstick and pig, above.)

3.) Chances are pretty good that if Nielsen provided the eyeball count for these calculations, then it’s a pretty sketchy number.

For one thing, Nielsen’s ratings are no longer accurate enough to be acceptable to the MRC. Secondly, the calculation assumes that those eyeballs are glued to their TV at all times, and don’t ever leave to get another beer, more chips, and/or pee. Or check Instagram. A highly unlikely scenario.

This is a perfect example of what is so terribly broken about using Earned Media Value to calculate the effectiveness of video placements. Sure, it’s a convenient way to put a dollar sign in front of a number and call it success. But it ignores our current reality: People consume sports on a variety of devices while doing any number of other things at the same time.

At the very least, they should only count the last 5 minutes of the game, since that’s the only time anyone is really paying attention.

4.) More importantly, calling it “value” assumes that it contributes in some way to Bose, Gatorade, and Nike’s bottom line.

Does it? We have no way of knowing from this analysis. OK, it is perfectly possible that the folks at Bose have done their math and know that X number of eyeballs on a football helmet translates into Y number of visits to a website and, ultimately, to a Z% lift in headphone sales. But I am skeptical.

It is much more likely that they are buying into a myth, based on a model invented decades ago, that no longer reflects today’s reality.

And so, for their role in hoodwinking numerous marketing managers by perpetuating outdated measurement, we name Relo Metrics our Measurement Menace of the Month. Congrats! ∞

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