Advertising – Art Or Science?

Adweek has an article on the advertising industry debate over whether advertising is an art or a science. And, unsurprisingly, TiVo gets roped into the discussion as the best know market disrupter today.

“How do you make a TiVo-proof commercial? Everybody wants to know the answer,” says Todd Juenger, vp, general manager of research and measurement at TiVo, which introduced its Stop Watch measurement tool that gives clients access to second-by-second ratings of commercials and programming. Instead of a traditional focus group, the system pools information from the viewing habits of TiVo’s 4 million subscribers.

TiVo studies have shown that the context in which a commercial is surrounded plays a critical role in whether it will be skipped. “It’s like a restaurant,” he says. “Even if you have the world’s finest restaurant, if you are in a crappy location, you’re still not going to get the customers you would get in a good location.”

In some dayparts, direct response does well, in others automotive ads. “It comes back to the environment and the target audience,” he stresses. “It can sometimes be more important than how creative the ad is to begin with. If they are in the market for a home gym, they’ll watch that commercial, even if it’s not what is traditionally thought of as a creative ad.”

I thought the article was interesting overall, as a look into an industry (advertising) I’m only peripherally aware of.

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  • MHA

    There are certain ads that are going to catch my eye, and I’ll even rewind to watch them. The first time the MacBook Air ad hit, for example. :-)

  • Tom

    I have to second that. If I glimpse a product I’m already interested in that split second, I’ll watch the ad. Also if there’s something unusal going on, that might pique my curiosity to rewind. But I’m more likely to watch ads that are in HD, especially movie trailers.

    I think my habits are pretty much typical of an ad skipper. I’d be kinda surprised if the ad researchers aren’t aware of this.