Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Study: Ads make watching TV more pleasurable

It's not that viewers like commercials, we just have a better experience when they are included in our shows. This unbiased study, according to the article, does not jibe with current habits. Was it taken during the Super Bowl? For me, that is the one time a year where the commercials are their most entertaining and buzzworthy. All other times, viewers are avoiding commercials like the plague, using their DVRs more than ever as well as VOD. In fact, I have found that the same shows on VOD have far less commercial intrusions than on live TV. This study needs more analysis to determine its validity.

"So if the findings are accurate, why don't people recognize that ads make TV more fun? The study authors have a few ideas, but no firm answers. One is that people don't study themselves -- you don't watch one show with ads, then the same show without ads, and compare the experience. Another aspect is that the ads act a point of contrast -- compared to the commercials, the programs showed study participants can seem more entertaining. And finally, the effect isn't universal -- sometimes ads do not make TV more enjoyable (for instance, if the tone of the ad completely clashes with the tone of the show), and those instances can skew viewers' impressions of ads in general."

The Super Bowl demonstrates that creativity can make ads enjoyable. Too much repetition can kill them. And too many ads between shows can break down the whole ad model.

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