Friday, April 24, 2009

Replay And Regret: Rainbow COO Warns Of DVR Dangers

The DVR is a product of our own doing. Television's desire to grab more money from advertising resulted in not only more expensive ad spots but also more advertising minutes per hour. And it is this latter element that caused someone to innovate a solution - program copy and playback later so as to fast forward through ads to watch content. As Rainbow's research has disclosed, "70% of people skip because they are tired of the same commercials playing so often; 60% suggested pods are too long; and 65% said the commercials are 'boring.'" For me personally, I would have ranked them differently with pod length the biggest issue. Once I fast forward commercials, I am hard pressed to tell you what the commercial is that I skipped or whether it is boring or creative. How could I know. I've skipped the ads because the pod length is long. TV networks made their bed and now they must deal with the DVR consequences.

If commercial breaks were :60 or less, I might be less inclined to reach for the remote. Rainbow's COO suggests that "commercials might also improve effectiveness if addressable advertising got more wind at its back." At that point more creative ads targeted to me might work; but if pod lengths remain long, I won't see those ads either, even if it is "customized" for me; I'll be fast forwarding through the break to get to my show.

Now I know I represent a particular demographic. My children enjoy the ads with their shows. They inform them of new toys and games, movies to see and shows to watch. They are naive to the marketing behind the message. They see it as credible information. I see ads as a nuisance.

Frankly, I got the DVR to time shift my shows to watch them when they were most convenient to me; ad skipping was the added incentive. Reduce the number of ads per hour and more people will watch ads. Otherwise, I'm sure we will see a greater reliance on product placement in shows and perhaps even commercial overlays. We've already gotten accustomed to seeing these bugs on the corner of our screen promote what's coming soon; why wouldn't ads be next.

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