Advanced Television

NBC DVR ads recall test

February 27, 2008

NBC is running tests to see what viewers remember even when they watch ads speeded up on their DVR. The bottom line seems to be viewers still remember the spots — or at least some elements of them — even when they’re watching at up to six times the speed of live TV.

Tracking biometric measurements such as eye movements, heart rate and sweat, the study found that the ads people concentrated on the most and recalled the most shared several traits. The most successful ads concentrated the action and the brand’s logo in the middle of the screen, didn’t rely on multiple scene changes, audio or text to tell the an ad in fast-forward mode if they had seen it once before live.

NBC Universal President of Research Alan Wurtzel says the network commissioned the study to better understand why TV zappers still recalled ads, which many in the industry found counterintuitive. Part of the reason, it turns out, is that viewers speeding through ads are often paying more attention to the screen than live TV viewers, who listen for clues to turn back to the TV programme.

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