That’s a RaP

You may not think I have a lot in common with Busta Rhymes, but I do. You see, we’re both rappers. Different types of rapper, of course; Busta is a top selling recording artist known for his intricate rapping technique; I work in the Research and Planning team (aka RaP team) at Thinkbox.

The similarities don’t end there. Another thing Busta and I have in common is our passion for spreadsheets*. I’m not one to brag, but I suspect I’m a little more advanced than Busta in this department. (*There is no actual evidence of this.)

In fact, I thought I’d tell you about one of our most valuable spreadsheets. I can sense your heart pounding just that little bit faster…

You may or may not be aware that we have a Research and Planning (RaP) helpdesk and we log every question we get asked in something we’ve imaginatively named the RaP Request Log (you can reach us via [email protected] or [email protected] or on 020 7630 2320).

There are many ways to measure the health of TV advertising – investment is at a record high, there’s more and more proof of how it builds brands, tech companies are dashing into the TV space to try and get a slice of the action. The RaP Request Log is less headline grabbing than these admittedly, but nonetheless it can shed some light on how TV is faring and what people are interested in.

The types of requests or questions we get asked are hugely varied; from agency planners wanting to know their burst from their drip to advertisers wanting to get to grips with all of the latest TV innovations or, more broadly, asking for evidence of TVs effectiveness. So let’s do what rappers do best and break it down …

2014 has been a record year for RaP requests, up 130% so far on the same period last year

That’s 600 enquiries to date, which equates to around 3 a day.

Over half of requests come from media agencies

That probably isn’t surprising. We also get enquiries from advertisers, broadcasters, and students too. And sometimes members of the public  get in touch with requests. These include people who want to buy a Rabbit or get their dog in our ad, someone who wanted to buy some dairy products from us but couldn’t find out how, and a chap who wanted us to use a certain song in a TV ad in the hope the songwriter would become famous and fall in love with him (genuine requests).

26% of RaP requests are people asking for more information on our research

This year, the studies which have generated the most interest are ‘Payback 4: pathways to profit’ and ‘Screen Life: TV in demand’, the second in our Screen Life series. We launched the third installment last week, which you can devour here.

Planning and buying requests are next

TV planning and buying requests come a close second to research with 22% of our requests specifically about the nuts and bolts of TV campaigns. Of these planning and buying requests, 26% are from new to TV advertisers, which is another good sign of telly’s health.

On the case…study

There is also a significant demand for case studies showing TV at work, predominantly for examples of sponsorship and interactive advertising, such as campaigns that include interactive elements like second screen apps or campaigns that drive WOM online. To give you an example, we might point people towards the brilliant Playstation case study, which won the Grand Prix award at our Thinkbox TV Planning Awards earlier this year. If you haven’t seen it, why not take a look.

So that’s that. A quick glimpse into what people are after. The great thing about all of the questions logged on our RaP request log is that they provide us with insights that help us steer what we focus on and (hopefully) to improve our service, whether that’s helping to shape upcoming research projects or developing our Thinkbox training sessions (which you can find out about here). Every request is (RaP) music to our ears.

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