×

Subway Teams With Foursquare to Measure TV Ad Effectiveness

Location-technology company Foursquare wants to get in on the race to devise a better yardstick to measure the effectiveness of TV commercials.

Sandwich-chain Subway has agreed to use Foursquare’s attribution technology that measures how effective TV ads are at driving consumers to stores, restaurants and other retail outlets. The partnership helps to illustrate the growing demand Madison Avenue is putting not only on how many consumers their commercial reach – typically gauged by data providers such as Nielsen – but also on whether those ads actually prod potential customers to consider a purchase of the product being advertised to them.

The technology “allows us to have even more accountability for every dollar spent on behalf of our franchisees,” says Melissa Sutton, Subway’s director of media. By attempting to tie commercials to purchase behavior, “we’re able to gain a more holistic understanding of the role TV ads play in our broader media plan, and identify the combinations of media, channels, and creatives that drive the most return on investment.”

It is something advertisers have long said they need: proof their many 6-, 15-, 30- and 60-second commercials result in consumer activity. As the linear TV audience has dispersed among streaming video, DVR playback and many other methods of consumption, the industry is struggling to count viewers in a way advertisers will support. Despite the rise of mobile tablets and subscription video on demand, most TV networks continue to derive the bulk of their ad revenue based on the number of linear viewers their TV shows attract.  Linking ad exposure to a purchase or response could give TV networks reason to seek premiums from sponsors, said several of the executives involved in the new effort.

Foursquare has offered the technology since 2016, but the field is crowding as more advertisers obtain more granular measures of their advertising. A+E Networks, for example, last month said it would measure such elements as foot traffic, sales and website traffic in a bid to tie results to a schedule of TV commercials. AT&T’s Turner has also begun to guarantee specific business outcomes as part of ad sales.

Foursquare matches exposure to TV ads measured by a partner, Inscape, to a consumer panel.

“TV is a critical part of the media mix and being able to measure it, alongside digital, is a necessity of any solution,” says Jared Hand, vice president of national sales of Foursquare.

More TV

  • Baldvin-Z

    Iceland’s Baldvin Z Crime Series “Black Sands” Added to All3Media Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  All3Media is to handle international rights on Icelandic crime series “Black Sands” which, currently in development, is to be pitched at the Göteborg Festival’s TV Drama Vision confab on Thursday. “Black Sands” marks the first crime thriller to be created by Icelandic helmer Baldvin Z (“Trapped”) since the hit series “Case.” Commissioned by [...]

  • Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the

    Ad Time in Fox's Super Bowl Was Sold Out. Until it Wasn't

    Fox declared in November that it had sold all the advertising time available in its looming February 2 broadcast of Super Bowl LIV. But just this week, it found a little more. After holding nearly two months’ worth of discussions, Fox and the National Football League have devised a way to add commercial inventory to [...]

  • NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe'

    NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe' From 'House' Alums

    NBC has given out its fifth drama pilot order for the 2020-2021 season. The broadcaster has commissioned “Ordinary Joe.” It explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Dazzler, Tigra, Hit-Monkey, and M.O.D.O.K.

    'Howard the Duck,' 'Tigra & Dazzler' Animated Marvel Shows Not Moving Forward at Hulu

    Marvel Television’s remaining slate continues to dwindle. Variety has confirmed that the animated shows “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” — two of four animated Marvel projects set up at Hulu — are no longer in the works at the streamer. The other two shows, “M.O.D.O.K” and “Hit Monkey,” are currently still on track [...]

  • Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi movie

    After 'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Delay, Is the Force Still Strong With Disney Plus?

    The issues on Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series are either a minor stumble or a portent of trouble ahead, depending on who you ask. It was reported on Thursday that series writer Hossein Amini was no longer attached to the project as Disney wished to overhaul the scripts. The move led to pre-production in London [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content