MUMBAI: While digital video recorders (DVRs) and products like Tivo allow television viewers in the US to skip past commercials, Boston College researchers have found that fast-forwarding viewers actually pay more attention and can be influenced by brand images they view only for a fraction of a second.
Tracking the eye movements of viewers, Carroll School of Management professors S Adam Brasel and James Gips found that ads with brand information placed in the center of the screen still create brand memory despite a 95 per cent reduction in frames viewed and complete loss of audio. Their results are reported in the November edition of the Journal of Marketing.
Assistant professor marketing Brasel says, "In the age of DVRs, advertisers who place their brands anywhere outside the center of the viewing screen do so at their own brand peril. Even in fast forward, consumers can focus in on a product logo or brand and that fraction of a second can later influence their preferences."
Ads with brand information located on the periphery of the TV screen are of virtually no value, according to the study 'Breaking Through Fast-Forwarding: Brand Information and Visual Attention'.
Fast-forwarded commercials containing extensive central brand information can even have a positive effect on a consumer's brand attitude, behavioural intent and actual choice behavior, the researchers found.
The findings show that marketers can counteract the impact of DVRs by ensuring their ads are heavily branded and the branding is centrally located.
"Everybody is saying that TV advertising is doomed -- TiVo has broken it and DVR will kill it. But it's not like the advertising disappears when you use TiVo. We wanted to find out what happens when you fast-forward through these ads," adds Brasel.
Brasel and Gips found that people who fast forward through shows actually pay more attention to the screen than those who view at regular speed. That's good news for advertisers, as long as their commercials feature their brands in the center of the screen.
6 months ago