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July 11, 2007

Are Two Second Commercials the Way of the Future?

We've mentioned in the past about Fox TV's experiments with "Fast-Forward" advertising, now it appears NBC is seriously studying this type of advertising. According to

In new experiments for NBC, people are hooked up to sensors as they watch television, and researchers observe changes in their heart rate, palm sweat, eye movement and breathing patterns.

But the panelists are not watching just NBC programs. They are watching commercials -- in fast-forward mode.

So far, the findings have been just what NBC hoped: judging from the biological reactions, the test subjects were just as engaged while watching fast-forwarded advertisements as they were while viewing opening scenes from the NBC show "Heroes" at regular speed.

And that conclusion -- which is still preliminary -- could have big implications for NBC and other networks as they negotiate rates for airtime with advertisers.

Now the next step is figure out what type of content for fast-forwarding will work. According to the article:

Innerscope is working on a second study for NBC that will try to pin down which types of commercials generate the most engagement in fast-forward mode. Innerscope will monitor things such as how often brands are shown during the advertisement, how quickly the camera cuts to new images, and whether audio is important in the storyline.

Of course, the big hurdle is going to be getting advertisors to buy off on this. Who knows if it'll work but I know I usually pay attention to commercials even if they are flying by at a million miles an hour.


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Posted by William Hungerford at July 11, 2007 12:34 PM

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