Staff Writer
Apr 5, 2017

Nielsen makes its mark on Hong Kong

A new age of ad metrics dawns on the city’s digital landscape.

The Nielsen team holding a panel discussion on emerging data measurement trends in Hong Kong
The Nielsen team holding a panel discussion on emerging data measurement trends in Hong Kong
Nielsen has long been a player in the audience measurement sphere. Being the forebear of TV ad ratings, the company has over the years expanded its reach through digital. The latest milestone in that timeline came on March 7, when they launched Digital Ad Ratings in the solution’s newest Asian market, Hong Kong.
In a nutshell, Nielsen provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. The company offers media and advertising clients total audience measurement services across all devices where content is consumed.
Its digital expansion in Hong Kong has further broadened the solution’s global footprint, and its collaboration with Facebook on the project speaks volumes about their long-term plans for the industry.
Nielsen's Angel Young at the March event
“Until now, Hong Kong marketers have had no means to measure whether their ads were being effectively delivered to their audience,” said Angel Young, managing director of Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau, of the launch. “By combining massive, privacy-friendly third-party demographic databases with gold-standard calibration, Nielsen provides an unmatched view of standardised audience demographics and behavioural preferences.”
In the current industry climate, advertisers desperately need not just comprehensive, but accurate tools to measure their digital audience. Digital Ad Ratings, powered by aggregated, anonymous information from third-party demographic databases, as well as Nielsen’s own sources, provides complete audience measurement data for digital. With like-for-like reach and frequency metrics across screens, users can get a deeper understanding of the connection between online and mobile.
“Nielsen has developed a measurement solution based on people, not cookies,” said Bryan Wang, head of marketing science at Facebook, Greater China. “It also provides cross-device measurement, which is much desired by the market and by our clients.”
Cross-device capability is perhaps the single greatest asset that sets Digital Ad Ratings apart from its earlier TV ratings incarnation, and it’s easy to see the greater purpose it serves.
Single viewers across multiple screens can often and easily give advertisers a skewed view of their audience and performance. In response to such issues, Digital Ad Ratings ‘deduplicates’ inflated data sets to ensure numbers are accurate, and that third parties are accountable for their reported results.
The result is a new digital campaign measurement standard for Hong Kong marketers, ad agencies and publishers alike, and in Hong Kong’s heavily mobile market, this data transparency is imperative.
“Nielsen has the credibility and expertise needed to establish a common standard, especially for something across traditional and digital media,” said Alan Choy, marketing director of Specialised Nutrition at FrieslandCampina Hong Kong. “I think the entire market will be on board.”
Nielsen first launched Digital Ad Ratings in the US in August 2011, and in May 2015, Nielsen teamed up with Tencent and Sina Weibo to launch Digital Ad Ratings in Mainland China. Stepping out of the experimental stage in the platform’s 29th market, the platform has now developed into a model ripe for replication among clients in Hong Kong, and the company believes that the sky is now the limit.
Carina Yip, GM of digital sales at Next Mobile, said of the software: “Digital Ad Ratings has provided valuable insights in the US and other markets where it has been launched. It will further drive our confidence in the credibility of digital performance in Hong Kong.”
The platform’s expansion signals a major shift in the expectations set forth for ad metrics. The region is a powerhouse in providing revolutionary technology, but there has long been a weak understanding of the consumers behind this tech’s propagation. How do you measure an individual’s viewing habits, for example, when they’re constantly swapping devices, casting screens and taking their media on the go?
Fully comprehending this behaviour is a tough task to say the least, but Digital Ad Ratings is drawing a detailed map of these tendencies, and its expansion into Hong Kong is a big step in the right direction for the industry. So where is this compass pointing us?
Angel Young’s vision for the not-so-far future of ad metrics is telling: “Digital Ad Ratings is just the start. Our goal is to provide both programme and commercial ratings across all screens, covering in and outside of the home.”

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