Is it possible to attribute in-store sales directly to advertising?

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Since its inception, advertising has struggled to answer a simple but elemental question: How do we know if any of this works? For decades, brands, their agencies and research firms conducted studies to try to prove advertising had a tangible effect on sales. But those studies merely showed a correlation between advertising and buying behavior — it was nearly impossible to prove, definitively, that advertising caused an uptick in sales. Project Apollo sought to close that gap.

Project Apollo studied several CPG brands, including Kraft, Pepsi, P&G and Unilever. To conduct the study, Media Trust (led by NCS Chief Research Officer Leslie Wood) tapped into a trove of data about household TV viewing habits, and paired it with data on those households’ purchase behaviors. The results allowed marketers to predict advertising ROI with unprecedented accuracy, and produced a revelatory insight: 65 percent of sales lift can be attributed to a brand's advertising creative.

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