Tuesday, February 23, 2010

VivaKi Says Pick Your Poison, Ooops, I Mean Interruption

The big news out of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Leadership Conference yesterday was that consumers would prefer to select the commercials that they are forced to watch online rather than just being forced to watch what has little or no relevance to them.

I know, it seems to be common sense, but nonetheless, Pbulicis’ VivaKi conducted a very expensive, 16-month study to tell us just that.

What they revealed yesterday was just how much more effective giving viewers a say actually was. According to the executive who oversaw the project, unaided awareness rose 386% over conventional pre-roll ads.

386%!

Specifically, according to this executive, when people select the commercials they’re forced to sit-through, they have an unaided awareness of 68% vs. only 14% for a standard pre-roll exposure.

My question is, why in heaven’s name does this seem to be so surprising to these people?

We all know how pre-roll works. A commercial starts, we have no control over it, 15 or 30 seconds later, the commercial ends and we can start to pay attention to what we came to see in the first place.

In this new model, a viewer needs to click on a brand and/or commercial in order to start the process. In other words, they get to pick their poison by physically clicking on “Tide,” or “Ford”, or “Nike.”

Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t one expect that clicking on something to choose it would increase unaided awareness? In fact, it’s not really unaided awareness, is it? The only way the commercial runs is by being aided by the viewer.

What’s surprising is that only 68% of viewers can still remember a brand after clicking on that brand. Shouldn’t that be somewhat higher? Shouldn't that be a lot higher?

And, what’s even more surprising is the little piece of data that no one seems to be talking about. Unaided awareness of standard pre-roll ads, you know the type that media agencies will tell you are the most effective, is only 14%.

14%!

Now, that’s a number that I think most media agencies should be explaining. Then again, I'm sure that VivaKi has a very expensive 16-month study you can sign up for.

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