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by Greg Ness
Ball State’s Center for Media Design (CMD) released the results of a study last week that demonstrated the challenges of getting television advertising in front of viewers. The study sought to understand consumer behavior while viewing television and being presented with an advertising break in the programming. A summary of the results includes:
– The average ad break was 2.2 minutes
– Almost one-third of viewers watched the entire ad break
– Half the ad breaks were watched for one minute or less
– About 45 percent of ad breaks found viewers engaging in other attention-stealing activities: channel changes, cell phones, reading magazines, talking, leaving the room, etc.
It is important to note that these figures were compiled during prime time viewing, and it would be reasonable to assume that there is less engagement in non-prime segments.
This summer, the CMD also released a free white paper that challenged the way most traditional media is measured—including television. The CMD maintains we have gone from a media-centric metrics approach (measuring media output) to more of a consumer-metrics approach (measuring behavioral changes or actions). The report did not challenge the effectiveness of traditional media, it merely suggested the past ways of measuring media weight in a campaign may be subject to a great deal of error in today’s more complex media environment. In other words, caveat emptor.