Coming Up After The Break: A Test To Make Sure You're Paying Attention
from the good-luck-with-that dept
Advertisers are clearly growing disillusioned with that old standby, the 30-second TV spot. This was clear in the fall “upfronts”, where the networks sell off their advertising for the upcoming season, and marketers held back money to spend on new-media ads, while those that are buying are demanding lower rates because they believe DVR users are skipping their ads. That’s part of the bigger problem with TV commercials: it’s difficult to get an accurate handle on how many people actually watch them and pay attention to the messages, whereas with online ads, it’s much easier to track viewers’ behavior. Advertisers are demanding a bit more accountability, so Nielsen recently said it would begin counting how many people actually watch ads, not just the shows around them. Now, Toyota’s signed a deal with NBC where the broadcaster not only promises to deliver minimum numbers of viewers, but also that those viewers are paying attention. NBC will use “audience engagement” data to show Toyota that people are actually taking its ads to heart, and if they don’t meet certain thresholds, they’ll give the company free ad space. This seems more like a desperation ploy than anything, since it doesn’t appear that NBC is doing anything to work with advertisers like Toyota to make their advertising more compelling, so people might actually want to watch it, instead of just grabbing those viewers without DVRs or who can’t be bothered to flip the channel during breaks. Promising viewers will pay attention doesn’t address viewers’ changing habits and behavior; without evolving how they approach advertising, NBC could have a hard time hitting those metrics.