PVR users still respond to ads

June 8, 2005

According to AdWeek, a recent study concluded that PVR users respond to ads featuring web coupons at the same rate as users without PVRs.

The PreTesting Company’s MediaCheck unit said initial results from its Project Wannamaker in Omaha, Neb., showed about 67 percent of households, with an equal number of those with DVRs, downloaded Web coupons tied to encoded TV commercials.

Project Wannamaker began in May with 1,700 Omaha households using the tracking technology. Of the test group, about 25 percent had DVRs, which enable them to skip commercials. MediaCheck gave participants’ a set-top box in which a green light would blink during a TV commercial to alert the viewer that it had a corresponding coupon offer online. Participants could then install a memory stick from the set-top box in their computers to see the offers.

This sounds like a rather complicated way to get coupons from commercials — I’m not sure how much I’d bother to pull the memory stick and go put it in the computer, whether I had a PVR or not.

Like many people, I may shop when I’m at a computer, but when I’m watching TV, I’m unlikely to get the urge to get up and go buy something then and there. On the other hand, if there was a service that allowed me to “flag” an ad with my remote for more information, that led to it updating a follow-up site (“My TV Stuff” or something) with information and coupons, I might very well do that.

I’ve always felt that PVR users do watch commercials — I’ve been using one since the early days of Tivo, and I watch plenty of commercials. Commercials that I fast-forward over are those related to products I’m uninterested in, or commercials that I’ve already seen plenty of times. I suspect I’m not alone in this.

Advertisers need to understand that the reason I’m not buying their widget isn’t because I fast-forwarded their commercial, it’s because I have no interest in their widget period. Finding a way to force me to watch the commercial anyway (as has been often suggested) isn’t going to get my business — just my antipathy.

(Via TechDirt)

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One Response to “PVR users still respond to ads”

  1. Micah Thomas on October 26th, 2005 4:40 pm

    The report is slightly off. You can access the coupons delivered via commercials anytime – they’re stored online once you’ve uploaded the memory stick. What you described, “…a follow-up site…with information and coupons, I might very well do that” is an exact description of what Project Wannamaker allowed the participants.

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