Grayson launches evaluation service for cosmetics ads

By Guy Maontague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Advertising

A newly launched assessment system pledges to solve the
problem of creating effective personal care print ads with smaller
and smaller budgets.

The marketing consultancy and beauty specialist, Grayson Associates, has developed the AdAudit system, which breaks down an advert into four categories of analysis and provides a weighted quality evaluation. Scores are awarded for the headline, visual impact, copy and consumer appeal of the print advert before an overall impact figure is given. A panel of three to five marketing experts will be brought in to assess the ads using this scoring system. As money is diverted away from print media and readership figures for individual magazines fall, the challenge for marketing professionals is to create ads that draw in the consumer but cost less to produce. The inventor of the system, Suzanne Grayson, has worked in marketing and cosmetics throughout her career and is offering this system to marketing companies, advertising agencies and in-house agencies in all industries. Grayson said the system should be used early in the game to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of potential ads before publication or consumer testing. The highly analytical approach rejects the idea that the informed personal opinions of marketing professionals are enough to successfully filter through ad ideas. The system refers panel members to 31 points of analysis within the four analytical categories. According to the creators, this ensures that everything known regarding cognition, motivation, dissonance, context, imagery, buyer behavior and emotional appeal is accounted for. "The system is bigger than the panel because even if there are weaknesses in the ad the members are forced to consider all aspects of the ad so that total impact is easier to improve,"​ Grayson said. "Using the AdAudit avoids the potential pitfall of coming back from expensive consumer testing and having to totally re-work an advert. It can even replace the costly consumer testing stage." ​An AdAudit will cost between $750 and $1,000, which is significantly less that the price of consumer testing. However, as it remains to be seen whether AdAudit is as reliable as its creators claim, it is unlikely that marketers will decide to abandon consumer testing in favor of the new system. However, the AdAudit is not entirely untested. It is being launched on the back of the success of the BrandAudit, which uses a similar evaluation system to measure the market potential of new product ideas. Although print media faces tough competition from other media providers to attract advertisers, the cosmetics industry continues to invest heavily in print advertising. Cosmetics is the number one magazine advertising category in the US, according to a recent Publishers Information Bureau survey.

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