iTV Study Suggests TV Ads Overrated

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!, but please cite my ideas as (c) 2005, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein.

I remember as a student learning about those hot CBS shows in the 1960s that got great ratings and were cancelled anyway. These shows included The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres among others. They attracted the wrong crowd for advertising. As the theory goes, the older we get, the less likely we are to try new brands and, therefore, the more advertiser-resistant we are.

Well, now, I find this new study that used "interactive television" technology to be surprisingly unsurprising, yet it may be treated as a major development in the television advertising industry. Wait! No it won't! I remember AGB ratings coming to America with an arguably superior service to Nielsen's! Change the status quo? Not on your life! We're still using Nielsen ratings today.

According to Wayne Friedman, author of Interactive TV Spots Prove Less Than Activating, Viewers Grow Fatigued" (Wednesday, Aug 24, 2005), "TV consumers tire easily of traditional five-week-long TV advertising campaigns." Really? I'm shocked! Actually, studies like this are far overdue. It doesn't take a genius to note that most commercial cable television networks do almost everything they can to annoy viewers from blasting the same program promos ad infinitum to devoting ridiculous amounts of minutes per hour to advertisements. Oh, and one of these days I'm going to live up to my threat of hooking up an audio meter to the television and publish just how much louder the commercials are than the program content. If you don't know what I'm talking about, take the flu test: the next time you are forced home in bed with the flu (it doesn't have to be the flu, but...), try watching TNT or the USA network and see if you don't become more ill.

This is a very useful article as long as it's kept online. Here's a nice summary of the study:

Of the 2500 Omaha homes in the test, 22% had digital video recorders. Although DVRs have been viewed as a major threat to advertisers because of their commercial-skipping technology, MediaCheck discovered that DVR homes are not zapping commercials any more than non-DVR homes. Weinblatt said the biggest zappers were those in the older 25-54 demographic, which could be explained by the fact that KMTV is a CBS affiliate. CBS is known for having older viewers.

(By the way, if DVR homes are not zapping commercials any more than non-DVR homes, it suggests to me that those TV remotes are on fire channel cruising during commercial breaks in non-DVR homes.)

I'm told the cable industry knows it has a problem with overcommercialization. (By the way, so does commercial radio, for which Sirius and XM Radio are forever grateful. Nice going, Clear Channel and friends). It's not even a matter of "The Emperor Has No Clothes." Is it my imagination or does the National Geographic Channel sport fewer and shorter non-program breaks during prime time. Hmmmm....that might attract more viewers. What a concept!


Post a Comment

<< Home