Like many daughters, I keep in touch with my dad. It’s usually via text, but sometimes words aren’t enough so I opt for a picture message.

On this particular day in April, I was at work and preparing the new edition of Paine Publishing Insider. I was getting Buffy the AVE Slayer’s first blog post ready (including her first head shot). For those of you who missed that blog post, this is what the featured image was:


Now, since my dad raised chickens as a boy, I thought this would be the perfect picture to randomly send him. Sure enough (with a series of chuckles and smirks), I sent the picture with a simple sentence saying this chick’s name was Buffy the AVE Slayer. I personally found the image so hilarious that I didn’t expect him to ask me what AVEs were…except he did and all I did was pathetically Google the term, reread some of Katie’s articles from The Measurement Advisor, and texted him a definition.

Sure, technically I explained AVEs to him, but it wasn’t genuine because I couldn’t explain it without Google or without quoting Katie which got me thinking: how does one successfully describe AVEs to an everyday person?

I hereby declare this round 2 of explaining AVEs to my dad (hi Dad!), to you, and whoever else is interested in these 2 quick analogies:

Analogy #1

AVEs (advertising value equivalencies) do not paint the whole picture. Using them to measure is sort of like brushing crumbs under the carpet instead of vacuuming.  It technically measures something, but it’s not thorough and I would argue that by ignoring the crumbs, you are ignoring the details and not accurately addressing what’s in front of you.

Analogy #2

AVEs have a way of sounding better than they truly are. For example, let’s say I am buying a new house and I have two options: a house on 7 acres of land and a house on 50 acres of land both available for $300,000. The realtor tells me I’d be crazy to pass up the house on 50 acres of land, so I decide to meet him at the property and get a tour. Thank goodness I did, because this house he was telling me about is huge, but it has no running water and a raccoon infestation. When I share my disgust with him, all he says is that it’s 50 acres and it could be mine.

The next day, we visit the 1 bedroom/1 bathroom property on 7 acres of land, it has AC, and great bird watching.

AVEs are similar to this example because when a businessperson looks at a magazine spread and says “Holy smokes! Our company dominated 7 pages, and if this was advertising, each page would be worth $1,000, so I just generated $7,000’s worth of coverage for our company” it does not paint the whole picture. What this individual isn’t factoring is what each of those 7 pages contains. Like what if the article was about how the CEO cheated on her wife with another woman? According to AVEs, $7,000’s worth of coverage is $7,000’s worth of coverage no matter what the pages entail. Thus, the whole picture isn’t being seen for what it really is.

The point is you can’t judge a property (or earned media placement)  by its size alone. In theory, owning 50 acres versus 7 for the same price sounds like an easy choice. But, by not assessing the components of the acreage or the magazine article, you are being a buffoon.

How’s that? Is a third round of explanations required?

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