Ace Metrix Raises $8M For Smarter TV Ad Testing

Ace Metrix, a company promising brands and agencies a smarter, faster approach to testing their TV ads, has raised $8 million in new funding.

CEO Peter Daboll, whose resume includes time as Chief of Insights at Yahoo and CEO of comScore Media Metrix, says the idea behind Ace Metrix is to “apply what we’ve learned in digital targeting and evaluation to television, which is the big kahuna in terms of spending.”

The traditional process for testing the effectiveness of TV ads with an audience is full of inefficiencies, Daboll says — such as the approvals needed to release each survey, or the length of most audience questionnaires. Thanks to streamlining every part of the process, Ace Metrix can deliver survey data about an ad’s effectiveness within a day or two — something that previously took four to six weeks. And it’s not just doing that for its customer’s ads, but for every ad that’s hitting television, so advertisers can see how their ad stacks up against competitors.

As an example of why this kind of real-time data is important, Daboll recalls a controversial campaign for Kraft that ran last year, showing parents terrifying their kids in order to steal back their Jello desserts. The next day, 350,000 people had signed on to a Facebook page protesting the ad. But did that mean Kraft should pull it? Did those 350,000 represent the general trend, or were they just a small, unhappy minority? Daboll says Ace Metrix had analysis on Kraft’s desk the next day showing that despite making a few people unhappy, the ad’s edginess made it the most effective thing the company had done in ages.

“These guys had 24 hours to make an $80 million decision,” he says.

Daboll says the new funding is an extension of the company’s Series C, with investors WPP (whose involvement shows the interest from the ad world), Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Leapfrog Ventures, and Palomar Ventures. There are some big launches on the horizon, he says, including Ace Viva (for Spanish-language audiences) and Ace Kids.