The FINANCIAL — 55% of those interviewed in Tbilisi switch to another channel when TV commercials come on, according to a recent survey by The FINANCIAL.
30% of respondents watch TV commercials fully, while 15% lower the sound.
The FINANCIAL interviewed 100 individuals between the ages of 18-35 about their behaviour when watching TV, specifically – how they respond to advertisements.
During the 2008-09 TV season, Fox experimented with a new strategy, which the network dubbed “Remote-Free TV”. Fox stated that shorter commercial breaks keep viewers more engaged, reducing channel surfing and fast-forwarding past the ads. However, according to the New York Times, the strategy was not as successful as the network had hoped and it is unclear whether it will be continued into the next season.
The target group of The FINANCIAL was asked what made them watch a TV commercial. ‘Concept’ was named the first motivator for watching an ad by 46% of those interviewed, followed by ‘well-known soundtrack’ – 28%, ‘celebrity endorsement’ – 20%, and ‘graphics’ – 8%.
‘Creativity’ affected 55% of those interviewed in their ability to recall an advertisement, 35% admitted that ‘frequency of watching’ influenced their ability to recall an ad while the remaining 10% said that ‘likeability’ was an important factor.
“The results of the research are quite obvious, and they represent human behaviour very well, therefore any marketer should take into consideration customer behaviour while taking any marketing step,” said Tinatin Gugberidze, Director of Marketing and PR Department at Caucasus University. “Every company which advertises its service or product on TV should know beforehand that not only the target group will watch it. Customers are very often bored by ads, and they are much more educated, therefore it’s becoming more and more difficult to influence customer behaviour. It’s not like it was some time ago, when customers were taking everything which was offered to them by the marketing executives of different companies,” Gugberidze said.
“The durations of commercials on Georgian TV channels are so long, especially during popular shows, that one can even forget what he or she has been watching,” said Givi Khachapuridze, Executive Director of Terra Media.
“Good confirmation of this is that the Georgian National Communications Commission fined Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV 2,500 GEL for breaking the law about broadcasting, as the total sum of ads exceeded the norms set by the law,” Khachapuridze added.
“In order to attract customers’ attention the marketers should propose to them creative advertising which will be interesting for them, as the standard ads are not interesting for them anymore. The marketers should leave something to the imagination for the customers, or the subject should be unclear till the end, or it should represent something special. It’s better to take into account marketing researchers and marketing scholars’ idea regarding the fact that advertising with a sexual accent is very interesting for customers,” Gugberidze advised.
Creativity is vital for making an interesting and attracting advertisement, believes Khachapuridze.
“Before presenting an ad to mass-society it’s first of all important to test the concept as well as the video via focus groups. It’s possible for a manager’s or group’s ad concept to fascinate top management, however this is more subjective and businesses do not develop based on subjective ideas. Entities offering something to society should be clear and in parallel visually attractive so that an ad has maximum effect,” Khachapuridze added.
35% of the audience interviewed said the maximum times they can watch a commercial is 10 times, while 45% said less than 5 times, 10% admitted that they get bored by watching an ad for even a second time while the remaining 10% said that they can watch a commercial more than 10 times if they like the ad.
“The modern authors of ad theory believe that ad frequency is not effective in today’s reality, as one or two contacts increase the share of potential clients by 8%. Despite this, the frequency of ad broadcasting is still one of the important components of ad campaign effectiveness,” said Khachapuridze.
“Everyone can recall the Love Card ad by Bank of Georgia. Such types of ads create effective contact and are the least irritating and boring. The research also proves that one or two contacts are defining whether the clients like firstly – the offered ad, and later – the product,” Khachapuridze added.
“In general, if the customer is not obliged to see the ad, and if it’s interesting, they can watch it 5-7 times, this is the maximum amount. However if the advertising represents a particular interest, or if very famous or good looking people are shown in the ad, then in that case, it’s quite possible that they will watch it even more often,” Gugberidze explained.
“There are such types of ads which are totally unacceptable for consumers. Several companies faced losses due to broadcasting such types of ads. Based on our ad monitoring analysis I can say that such companies have quickly replaced their ads. Such types of mistakes oblige the entities to make campaigns to combat negative effects. To sum up, creative, visually acceptable and tested ads do not lose their effect,” Khachapuridze added.
A survey by Ohio-based BIGresearch found that people are multi-tasking more than ever while watching TV and especially TV commercials.
“Technology is creating new media options faster than most people can assimilate and is causing more multitasking,” said Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch.
Specifically, TV’s influence on consumers to purchase products has declined, whereas new media options such as web radio, satellite radio, instant messaging and blogging all increased. Consumers seem to be seeking information from digital platforms while TV has traditionally been viewed as a brand building medium, which isn’t providing the requisite information,” said Drenik.
Other interesting findings:
• Channel surfing remains the #1 regular activity engaged in during TV commercials with 41.2% doing so followed by:
• 33.5% talk with others in the room or by phone
• 30.2% mentally tune out
• 5.5% regularly fully attend to commercials
European Union legislation limits the time taken by commercial breaks to 12 minutes per hour (20%), with a minimum segment length of 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the programme content.
France is the only European country to not use the system clock time. The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel allows up to 9 minutes of advertising per hour on average in a day. Private channels can only broadcast one commercial break if the show is less than an hour and two commercial breaks if the show is more than an hour. For public channels, advertising is forbidden after 8 pm and will completely disappear in 2012.
The introduction of digital video recorders enabled viewers to fast-forward or automatically skip through advertisements of recorded programmes.
There is speculation that television advertisements are threatened by digital video recorders as viewers choose not to watch them.