Advertising shapes consumer opinion and builds brand awareness. It can also help brands tap into consumer emotion, arguably the biggest driver of brand selection. One of the most iconic commercials ever, Apple's 1984, cemented the company's revolutionary status and cast rival IBM as an imperial villain. The message was clear: Apple had arrived to bring disruption and innovation to the world of technology.

Before you drop big dollars on anything from a local print ad to a Super Bowl TV spot, it's worth measuring your ad's potential effectiveness. That is, testing to see if its intended message resonates with customers, and whether anything can improve its performance. 

Copy test and ad tracking surveys are used to cover any medium, including radio, television, digital, outdoor, etc. These tests can help you answer questions like:

  • Are people noticing the ads?
  • How does the ad impact consumer perceptions of the featured brand?
  • Is the ad memorable, and what do people like or dislike about it?
  • Is the ad's main message getting through to consumers?
  • Does it convince the consumer to act in any way?

With these objectives in mind, let's go through the key elements of ad testing and review some recommended question types. First, we will cover the copy test, which is a way to evaluate the effectiveness of an ad. A copy test allows you to pre-test an ad, so you can gather feedback and make adjustments before rolling it out to the broader market. Then, we will discuss ad tracking. Once the ad is in-market, ad tracking allows you to measure the ad's performance on brand impressions and audience reach.