Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Combating The PVR Threat

It looks like a lot of advertisers are rolling out ways to combat TV viewers' ability to fast forward ads. The ABC network are increasing their distributing of some prime time shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty via video-on-demand, but with an important clause attached - that the viewer's ability to fast forward through the ads are disabled.

AdAge published an article that referred to a study which was carried out by an Australian professor called Duane Varan . The professor and his staff, along with a consortium of influential marketers, the likes of which include Kraft Foods, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, CBS, ESPN, Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, Starcom MediaVest Group and Omnicom Group's OMD, have run more than 6,500 viewing sessions in which members from a panel of more than 3,000 people are subjected to new TV ads with concepts that demand more concentration and involvement.

The research, code named Beyond :30", also sought to find out the exact commercial lengths and placements within breaks as well as how many viewings of a commercial it might take before someone clicks in response to a TV ad's invitation. Furthermore, the study aims to provide insights as to how consumers react to similar executions flighted across multiple channels, including video games, cell phones, websites and MP3 players.

As the backers have funded the project at a price tag of around $1 million a year since 2005, the results are not available immediately to the public. At least it gives some of us an excuse to watch more ESPN to see how it should be done!