Julian Clover looks at new research that suggests the recall of advertisements viewed at top speed may be better than previously thought.
As a happy Sky+ user like thousands of other DVR households I am familiar with the breakbumpers, those shorter advertisements that sit either side of the commercial break, as the point at which to fast forward or restart the playback.
More and more advertisers are looking to take the spots with companies like HSBC sponsoring ITV Drama, or the annoying, but memorable, 118 118 directory enquiry service’s attachment to Sky One’s Lost. There are some dubious ones too; were Weightwatchers aware of the Neighbours’ character who is patently starving himself when they signed up to the Five soap or holiday firm Haven conscious of monsters lurking in the undergrowth of a theme park in ITV1’s Primeval?
But it’s not just the breakbumpers that have seeped into my consciousness during DVR playback, at least according to NBC, which the Wall Street Journal reported this week has produced research showing that viewers are able to recall the ads in between or at least certain elements of them.
It is of course in the interests of the linear broadcaster to convince its advertisers that their advertisements are still being viewed – even at six times the speed – given the penetration of Sky+ and other similar devices I wonder how long it might be before a company buys the entire slot and plays their ad really slowly.
NBC says people are more likely to remember an ad if they have seen it before. Familiar characters help too, so there is an advantage in celebrity endorsements and licensing cartoon characters.
The study, made by Innerscope Research, traced biometric measures including eye movements, heart rate and sweat and found the most successful ads would concentrate on a single piece of action without the need for text or audio description and featured the brands logo prominently. So forget car advertisements that no longer feature the car.
The consequence is that advertisers may premier their ads during a live event and then re-run them during programmes that they think are likely to be recorded for future playback.
Innerscope found viewers who watched a live transmission were more likely to recall an ad. According to the study, some 69% if viewers were able to remember the ads next day. But 25% of the viewers who were zapping ads at top speed were also able to recall them 24 hours later.