The New Face of Advertising:
Creative Approaches for a DVR World
By Peter Koeppel
approximately three million people use digital video recorders (DVRs),
such as TiVo. That may not seem like cause for concern, but in the
next five years, thirty million people, or thirty percent of American
homes, will likely use them. Why are these devices gaining so rapidly?
Because they empower consumers with control over how they view
television. That’s right; television viewers love these gadgets.
They can watch all their favorite shows whenever they want, plus they
can skip through all the commercials.
for advertisers, most statistics show that fifty percent of people
name the ability to skip commercials as their favorite DVR feature.
And even though viewers watch twenty to thirty percent more television
once they get a DVR, they tend to skip seventy percent of the ads.
CBS recently published a study on DVR use that explained how the
process of skipping commercials may actually enhance a viewer’s
ability to recall ads. They found that viewers who fast forwarded
through the commercials were able to recall twenty-three percent of
the commercials they skipped over, which is an outstanding figure.
Perhaps the recall rate is so high because the people fast forwarding
through the ads concentrate more on the screen in anticipation of
their program coming back on.
does all this mean for television advertisers? For many, it means
panic, although some aren’t so concerned. Essentially all
advertisers have two options: 1) use alternative media, and 2) offer
more compelling visual images in their ads. In other words, you must
get more creative with your advertising methods if you want your
prospects to see them.
following creative approaches to advertising in the DVR world have
proven successful for many corporate advertisers, and they may help
you come up with your own innovative ideas.
Use Video Billboards
fast forward your television ads, they’ll basically be seeing your
commercial for four seconds or less. Therefore, something has to make
it memorable. Try using a static image throughout the duration of your
ad or strategic logo placement to make your product or service more
Take Advantage of New Opportunities
has taken great strides to overcome advertisers’ challenges, has
created a feature called Showcase. This allows advertisers to store a
long-form ad for on-demand viewing. In the coming year, TiVo plans to
introduce an ad pop-up program. Then, when viewers fast forward a
commercial through a TiVo system, a static ad image will appear on the
screen. These images may offer ordering information, giveaways, or
links to other ads. They also plan to unveil a video-to-video feature,
which will bring web-like interactive advertisements to television.
ads with television content will likely gain popularity in the future,
and you can already see this method used in reality shows. For
example, Coca-Cola glasses are prominently displayed in front of every
judge of American Idol, and Warner Brothers’ Domestic Television
Distribution has recently started selling virtual product placements.
With this technology, everyday products from advertisers can be
digitally inserted into syndicated television sitcoms.
take advantage of captive movie-going audiences by running commercials
during theater previews. While these ads are longer, more dramatic,
and higher production than their television counterparts, the audience
has no choice but to sit and watch.
Boost Your Web-Based Advertising Efforts
online advertisements, such as banners, are usually so boring and
irritating that internet users completely ignore them. Therefore, you
should focus more attention on making them exciting and captivating to
people surfing the net. Techniques range from multiple images,
streaming videos, and interactive elements. Web tie-ins are also
useful for products that need to be demonstrated.
Create Advertising Video Games or “Advergames”
games have boomed in huge markets, from kids of all ages, to men and
even women, and advertising through them is a great way to expand your
online efforts. For example, Lipton’s website features an employee
searching through office cubicles to find Cup-a-Soups. This
interactive approach is not only creative, but it also involves
difficult-to-reach younger markets.
sponsorships can provide a number of unique opportunities for
advertisers. For example, The Apprentice regularly uses sponsored
products in the contestant activities, such as developing an ad
campaign for a toothpaste brand and prizes from car manufacturers.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, The Home
Depot has built their brand into a slew of reality shows by linking
with Mark Burnett Productions, a producer for a number of reality
programs. Their loosely structured, multi-program deal allows Home
Depot products and logos to appear in several shows, including The
Apprentice, The Contender, and Martha Stewart’s new show.
to a report from Avtrex on DVRs and the future of advertising, DVRs
offer advertisers some tracking and searching features that can be
extremely beneficial. For example, Cadillac recently ran a campaign on
TiVo using “telescoping advertising.” In this campaign, Cadillac
commercials seen on regular television broadcasts were “tagged”
with a link to request more information visible only to TiVo viewers.
Future of Advertising
advertisers will have to face the fact that the advertising industry
is changing. The convergence of television viewing and web browsing,
blurred lines between advertising and programming, and increased
consumer control over access to programming and commercials are trends
on the horizon. Because of new technology, the old way of producing
television commercials for thirty-second spots is not as effective as
it used to be at reaching consumers. Therefore, no matter whom your
audience is, you must make your ads more creative, image focused, and
compelling, especially as DVR popularity continues to grow.
are still relatively new to the market, their use is rapidly
increasing. And as consumer television viewing habits change, your
advertising methods will have to keep up. Use these eight creative
approaches to adapt your advertising methods and inspire your own
innovations to remain competitive in the DVR world of advertising.
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