What always amazes me is how marketing consultants extrapolate their own behavior to the rest of the world. I was reading a story in Marketing Magazine in which Simon Bond (Proximity Singapore) explained that if your TV-ads were enticing enough, they’ll get seen, TIVO or no TIVO. This was based on the fact that there was once in his TIVO-enabled home, he found family members watching a commercial over an over again. Although I doubt the authenticity of the story (I mean: who would do that?), I certainly don’t think that you can project something that happened in one household (sample size = 1) could be projected over all people’s behavior. If you’re in the middle of a show, would you really care going through a commercial, even several times?
If I look at my own behaviour (I don’t have a Tivo, but do have a PVR), I don’t look at TV commercials at all. My PVR is so advanced that I don’t even have to fast forward through it anymore, it automatically removes the commercials at recording time. Even if I wanted to see the commercials, it’s too bad, because they’re not even recorded (if you want to know what I use, it’s comskip, which works very effectively in Singapore).
If you’d ask my opinion (without projecting my personal situation to the rest of the world), the marketing industry should be moving to other media instead of TV media. Instead of sticking to the conventional and pumping even more funds into it (because the ads need to be more enticing, more creative), try to be more creative in media choice. The world is changing quite drastically and people don’t seem to rely on just one media at a time anymore. Often they’re watching TV and browsing the web at the same time, or reading a magazine and listing to podcasts at the same time (and this is based on stats, not my personal behavior). This changing environment opens great opportunities, with great challenges that require a lot new kind of creativity in media-planning. These are going to be exciting times!