Promax &BDA study reveals content & emotion keys to grabbing viewers' attention

MUMBAI: PROMAX&BDA has commissioned Frank N. Magid Associates to execute its third annual study, to explore new and traditional methods of promoting television. The key findings, as revealed by the television and new media research and strategy company president and CEO Brent Magid throws light on promotion executives in today’s changing media environment.


The national survey probed several important areas of marketing communications and revealed the following -


DVR (digital video recording) usage

Of those studied, 55 per cent of the DVR users stop on occasions while fast forwarding, to watch an advertisement that catches their attention. Magid concludes that in order to get the viewer to stop fast-forwarding, the spot or commercial must make an emotional connection (with humor, riveting video, etc.) and provide strong and compelling content or products that the viewer is interested in using.

The study also states that spots need to be produced for the eye, with less cuts and stronger visual elements. Producers need to understand how each DVR system differs such as how the fast forward bar intrudes on the TV screen and the impact it has on graphic placement.

Magid surmised: “DVR will not be the death of television advertising -- it just means marketing executives have to be smarter about how they produce their messages.”

Promotion spot length

The study also talks about the effectiveness of local news and the fact that promotional spots has little to do with the length of the spot. What matters most is compelling, relevant content and brand linkage. This proved to be true with snipes as well.

Based on viewers’ responses, Magid reasons that the frequency is crucial in developing message recall and that location bears equal significance. In order for the message to connect with the viewer, there must be a better context between the spot and the programs in which it airs.

“While on-air promotion is still the most valuable tool to compel viewers to watch, today’s rapidly changing media environment makes the marketing executives’ job even tougher and now requires even stronger brand building skills,” points out Magid.

Wireless technology

Magid’s study shows that text messages about severe weather or weather forecasts for the next 36 hours have universal appeal. the study also discovers that 18 to 28-year-olds participating in the survey were more receptive to receiving text messages or short video clips about their favorite upcoming program. This may be an effective way to start communicating with this generation of viewers.

Marketers should avoid randomly feeding news content and promotions to people’s wireless devices. Instead, they must understand that people are using different devices, under different circumstances for different reasons.

Magid said: “We are continuing to research the “Millennials,” those 8 to 28 year old viewers who are more connected to new devices and technology, and suggest that marketers learn everything they can about this group.”

Lower third promotion snipes

Of the 1,000 viewers between the ages of 18 -54, 51 per cent report using the information contained in these elements to make viewing decisions, including what not to watch. Again, viewers reported that compelling content is more influential than technique and that the most valuable snipes are those promoting something coming up soon.

The study also found that viewers do not like it when lower third messaging leapfrogs newscasts; rather, it needs to be as close to the point of entry as possible. Snipes should be used to sell unique values of coverage or content that is tied to the brand.

Magid stated: “We can snipe ourselves out of business because viewers will use these as permission to tune out if the content.



In delivering the study findings to participants at the 50th annual PROMAX&BDA conference here in New York City, Jim Chabin, President and CEO of PROMAX&BDA, adds: “Magid’s findings are influential in reaching today’s audience. We have now confirmed that the quality of promotion has to be held to the same standards as programming. The bar has definitely been raised and our members have to be able to convey value to viewers in their messaging if they want them to stick around and watch the programming. ”

Founded in 1957, Frank N. Magid Associates has provided strategic insight and direction for clients in 37 countries around the world including Fortune 500 companies.

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