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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So who do you believe in the DVR wars?

According to a recent study conducted by Millward Brown on behalf of the TV networks here in the US, DVR ownership and usage does not significantly decrease ad recognition. This is being touted by the networks as proof that advertising effectiveness has not declined in the last 2 years. The problem is that this flies in the face of research conducted by Ipsos that showed 90% of DVR owners skip ads.

Admittedly the Ipsos research was conducted in the UK vs. the US but it seems unlikely that viewing habits would be that different. I looked into the MB study and found that their POV was based on two facts: 1. even at 30X fast forward, ads are still recognizable and generate an emotiona reaction. 2. Fast forward viewing is a lean forward experience and therefore, attention will be greater (presumably compensating for the fact that ads are whizzing by at 3x normal speed).

I know which one I buy, any other opinions?


AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

i prob buy Millward-B's perspective.

i still recognise ads in fast-forward. doesn't mean i like them worse or am inclined to buy more or less (but that was the case before dvr, too). but i certainly recognise them, prob more now than ever before, as i am paying more attention.

to that end, it comes down to whether an ad is INTERESTING ENOUGH to stop me and compel me to rewind and play it in normal speed. or not.

the fact is, most ads are still boring. and slowing them down is almost unnecessary cuz they are saying a predictable message and you got it at :05/:10. i just have a choice to not endure the full :30 (a sort of vote of no confidence, or punishment).

but even if i punish the ad for not being interesting enough, without a doubt, i still saw it and recognise it.

what is on the horizon for all of us now is how to make iconic ads that have great impact, and just as much cohesion in fast-play as regular play. which soon validates the old "make the logo bigger" client advice. or at least create ads that are more disruptive and unexpected which force u to slow down and smell the ad roses. brand linkage will become our core challenge at fast-forward (not that it wasn't at normal play) - finding ways to convey that was MY beer brand, not just A beer brand.

A. said...

fast forward viewing on a dvr is a lean forward activity because you have to be aware enough to know when to stop. usually you stop when the show you're watching comes back on, but sometimes if an ad has an eye catching visual appeal you'll decide to stop there and rewind to watch the ad. i watched the oscars on a 15 minute time delay, skipping the ads, but we stopped and rewound when we saw that new tab energy spot come on. not because it was for tab energy, but because it had a look to it that seemed worthy of devoting 30 seconds to.

eferch said...
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eferch said...
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eferch said...

TIVO proof commercials are becoming more prevalent, and I see them as appearing in one of two ways:

1) Hoping you have DVR but aren't using it / or that you're caught up to real time. The coke spot that says something to the effect "we're going to reveal the secret coke formula after all these years" and an unintelligible formula pops up for a few frames (not long enough to make anything out of it unless you can slow mo). It's just enough to pique the interest, and calls for a find Tyler Durden style pause and rewind. The KFC "hidden message" spot is another example.

2) Getting you to stop DVR fast fowarding in your tracks. Red Zone is a great example, where they show 27 seconds of a hot chick dancing in a club, followed by 3 seconds of buy Red Zone shower gel. For many guys, that commercial is better content than what they're watching and worth the :30 seconds (or :60, or :90...I may have said too much).

I think the MB study, to the extent true, speaks to the ineffectiveness of bad TV advertising pre-DVR more than the effectiveness of it post-DVR. The reason that :30 spots are "just as effective" post DVR is because moving through a :30 ad in three seconds is better than not seeing the ad at all when flipping channels.

I do buy leaning forward = hightened attentiveness theory, as you don't want to be the guy who "gives away" what happens next on 24 because you fell asleep at the DVR wheel.

I'm waiting for someone to embrace it entirely, and use it like an OOH board, where you literally have three seconds and seven words to capture someone's attention.

Lachlan said...

F-ing cool! We can just do a 60second spot, speed it up to 2seconds... and still get the impact! God those reasearch boys are amazingly clever.. just like their published studies on how 15's are less than half as effective as 30's... oh, wait.. that screws up their argument here... Hmmm.. they can't be right on both issues.. but it's research! They have numbers! Both must be true!! What's happening?!? how can numbers lie???! ;-< weep! My world is coming to an end!

Adrian said... don't think that maybe this study could be a little self-serving for MB and the networks do you? (GASP)

No, I don't think they'd be as blatant as to try to foist something so obviously bogus onto us. There has to be another explanation (THINKING, THINKING...)