Friday, 3 September 2010

Skipping by the TV ads

Time shifted viewing has been on the cards since digital video recorders were invented with a fast forward button. So it’s unlikely to come as a surprise that time shifted viewing has more than tripled since 2006, from 1.7% to 5.9%, largely due to the growing use of DVRs such as Sky+ and Freeview+.

For the advertising industry, alarming figures are emerging - almost 90% of people skip through the adverts when watching recorded programmes. Despite this, Screen Digest upgraded its TV advertising forecast in March, predicting a 4.6 per cent year-on-year growth in the UK TV ad market during 2010.

So, why the contrast? TV commercials won’t die; they just need to get smarter. Shortening the length of the advert to adapt to the dwindling attention span should be the first port of call. And recognising that a good advert won’t just be watched on a TV screen. Think social - how can the advert appeal to networking sites and spark a viral phenomenon?

There is no doubt that the debate over the value of TV commercials will intensify as the digital television market expands. But, the simple fact is most of us can recall our favourite and most memorable TV commercials. What is yours?

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