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Tech Needs TV

More Research Shows DVR’s (e.g. TiVO) Increase Advertising Impact!

Posted by Doug Garnett March - 2 - 2011 - Wednesday

Unless you’ve been isolated on a 15 year space mission, you know that the ad business has spend 15 years telling us that DVRs will destroy ad viewing.

But those who pay closest attention have long suspected this isn’t true. And there has been data showing that DVR’s haven’t decreased TV effectiveness. Now Nielsen’s detailed DVR tracking confirms what other studies have shown (click here for the MediaPost summary of the study).

It turns out that DVR’s actually help television advertising succeed: “Contrary to fears that DVRs would wipe out the value of commercials because of viewers fast-forwarding through ads, DVRs actually contribute significantly to commercial viewing.

Guess that makes it sorta too bad that the coolest of the cool agency creative directors have been writing off TV ads for over a decade. Instead, they’ve put their energy into “content oriented non-advertising that captures consumer attitude and turns it into osmosized action that results in higher revenue” or some such gobblety-gook.

What is TV’s Future? So it has turned out that TV advertising isn’t really that bad. Does that mean agencies will drop their new media follies?

Probably not. Since too few ad people had enough savvy to see that DVR’s weren’t actually destroying TV, technology is moving aggressively to change TV – and it’s doing so without the guidance of the savvy teams that really, truly understand what consumers want from TV.

So this effort labors under two mis-perceptions:

…First, they believe there’s some advertising free way that enough great TV content can be developed to get people a good 30 hours a week of viewing…without government funding.
…And secondly, they believe that consumers absolutely hate advertising and will always skip it.

It probably doesn’t matter that these are mis-perceptions. We’re seeing tremendous support for media approaches to television that very well might kill TV ad effectiveness.

It’s too bad. Because this study suggests that the consumers pretty easily put up with TV advertising as a trade-off in order to get the programming they like.

Copyright 2011 – Doug Garnett – All Rights Reserved


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Doug Garnett, DRTV and Technology Industry Expert

Doug Garnett is founder and CEO of DRTV agency Atomic Direct and a leading expert on innovative uses of DRTV, infomercials and other in-depth TV and non-TV messages to build brand and drive sales.

Doug has been working in and around the technology field for 27 years. After starting in aerospace, he spent 5 years selling and marketing supercomputers. Since shifting to advertising, his clients have included AT&T, IBM, Apple, Disney Mobile, Ugobe, Presto, and Netpliance.

Doug sits on the editorial board of Response Magazine, is an adjunct professor of general advertising at Portland State University, and is a member of the Jordan-Whitney Greensheet Panel.

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