Cautiously Optimistic: Lessons in Criticism

Nielsen's first-ever Super Bowl ad review panel

On February 3rd, the loudest, most critical, and most enthusiastic members of the "Hey! Nielsen" community will participate in Nielsen's first-ever Super Bowl ad review panel.

As a beta member of the ratings-fan community, I was invited to join.

This panel of critics will rate the ads live. The reviews will be shared with curious (dare we say "anxious"?) advertisers and Nielsen customers to help them understand whether their ads are fumbling or scoring. At $2.8 million for thirty seconds, you'd probably want to know too!

Friday, I participated in a test run to make sure the site was working and we all understood what we're supposed to do. As part of it we had a test question. Keep in mind, we didn't watch a commercial or anything - they just wanted us to test the technology.  

So, they posted a question and we were given one minutes to pick an answer between four choices. To me, the results were fascinating.

Statistically, one would expect that 25% would be likely to pick each answer. Instead, psychology is needed to interpret the results.

4% chose to rate at the bottom.
15% at the second lowest.
15% at the top.

59% chose to rate it as second best.

Remember, we weren't rating *anything,* and yet almost 2/3rd of the 46 people in the room chose to be cautiously optimistic.

But, maybe the recession won't be as bad as they say.

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