The reason people skip commercials and the reason people watch them is the same.
The reason I fast-forward through a commercial on TV with my DVR is time optimization. I can get back to my program much quicker by fast-forwarding through the commercials.
Ironically, the reason I might choose to watch a commercial is also time optimization. If I’m in the market for a new car and a commercial comes on regarding one of the cars I’m considering, I’ll watch it in the hopes that it will help shorten my decision making process.
Are most commercials written with this in mind? Of course not. The objective of most commercials is still to break through the clutter. A way of thinking that I believe is quickly becoming outdated.
After all, the clutter issue is being eliminated with DVRs. Viewers just zap the entire commercial pod. Ten seconds later, four commercials have bit the dust and the viewer is back to their program.
At some point and time the industry will realize that there are now two types of video advertising – intrusive and non-intrusive.
And while the number one of job of intrusive advertising will continue to be to break through the clutter, the number one job of non-intrusive advertising will be time optimization.
Viewers will subconsciously be asking themselves as they watch if they are optimizing their time by watching this commercial. If the answer is yes, they’ll continue to watch, regardless of length. It could be thirty seconds. Or, three minutes.
But as long as they’re in control to leave when they want, they’ll exercise that control and stay as long as they’re involved with the message.
As we’ve said in the past, people don’t mind investing time in a commercial as long as they can control the time invested.
On the digital platform, control equals time. The more you give, the more you have the chance to get.