Happy 75th to the ARF!

What is old is what is new again!

Imagine the world of advertising where new forms of media are being invented; advertisers have no commonly accepted way to measure the effectiveness of their communications; people have more places that they can encounter advertising at home and away.

That’s right — imagine the 1930s and 1940s.  Radio, talking pictures, an explosion of magazines and the birth of television.

2011 is the 75th anniversary of the founding of The Advertising Research Foundation.

1936 — seems like just yesterday — the ANA and the 4As co-created a new organization dedicated to improving advertising effectiveness with the skills and techniques of market research.

Last Friday was the Founders Luncheon, one milestone in this milestone year, where many of the leaders of advertisers, advertising agencies, media and market research gathered together to toast the success of the ARF.

The work that the ARF is doing is essential.

The internet, mobile media, digital media — the opportunities for advertisers are multiplying, outrunning the ability of advertisers to evaluate them.  How do you measure the effectiveness of an ad when I’m reading The New York Times app on my iPad?  How do you track the way I follow a brand from print to tv to online to retail to my mobile phone to online again?  After all, that’s how I buy almost everything these days, in a non-linear plunge through media that completely up-ends the traditional Awareness Interest Desire and Action model.  The ARF has been a gathering place for the most inquisitive, practical and forward-looking people who are working together to discover answers to those questions and more.

If you are interested in the future of marketing, then you can’t go wrong by attending the next milestone of the ARF — the Re:Think conference this coming March.

Re:think 2011

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