Study: Viewers OK With Lots of Free-VOD Ads

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Viewers have high recall of
video-on-demand ads in ad loads comparable
to linear TV — and
VOD ads actually deliver
slightly higher purchase
intent than traditional
commercials, according
to a new industry-backed

The study by the Advanced
Advertising Media
Project (AAMP) coalition
measured viewing behavior
of about 1,000 consumers.
A key finding was that
aided recall of advertised
brands was statistically
the same (63% to 64% for
“light” ad loads and 58%
and 59% for moderate and
heavy loads, respectively).

In addition, VOD ads
generated higher interest
in finding out about a
particular brand, and purchase
intent for an advertised
brand, of between
three and five percentage points across all ad
loads versus linear TV, according to AAMP.


“Consumers have said loud and clear that
they’ll accept advertising,” said Nick Troiano,
president of BlackArrow, which was a
founding member of AAMP.

The caveats: The study was conducted in
a media-lab setting and included 10 major,
recognizable national advertisers (AAMP
didn’t identify them). In addition, all the
consumers who participated had used VOD.

The second phase of the AAMP study
came after an initial qualitative study gauging
industry executives’ perceptions of dynamic
VOD advertising.
Troiano said AAMP’s third
phase will comprise a
market trial to be conducted
in the first half of 2012.
That research, developed
based on the results of the
first two studies, will be
designed to deliver a more
“real-world” test of VOD ad
effectiveness, he said.

Still, the most recent
study confirms that programmers
can feel confident about packing more
ads into on-demand TV
content, according to

“You can potentially put a
lot more ads in these highvalue,
popular shows,” he
said. He added that the
study didn’t include targeting
capabilities of any
kind — e.g., advertising
beauty products in shows that over-index
on women — which should increase effectiveness

The study found between 31% and 38% of
participants across all ad loads rated the TV
viewing experience as “excellent,” and between
65% and 75% rated the experience as
“excellent” or “very good.” That’s comparable
to “excellent” (29%) and “excellent” or “very
good” (66%) for linear TV.

“At the highest level, consumers emphatically
look at VOD as TV,” Troiano said. “It’s
not a ‘digital’ experience,
it’s a TV
one. They look at
VOD as a ‘TV plus’
maybe a little better
or different.”

The AAMP study
also found consumers
are more
receptive to longer-
form ads on
VOD than on traditional
TV, with
viewers expressing
64% higher interest
in a brand featured in a 90-second VOD
spot than the same 90-second ad in linear
television. The 90-second ad generated twice
the interest of a 30-second VOD ad.

The study, conducted by Ipsos OTX in New
York and Los Angeles, tested four different
VOD ad loads within 19 primetime TV shows
or segments of 30 minutes each. The test formats
included: a “light” load with three minutes
of inventory; a “moderate” load of five
and a half minutes of advertising; and a
“heavy” load which contained eight minutes
of advertising. In addition, the study tested
a second version of the “light” load that included
a 90-second ad unit. All groups were
benchmarked against the standard eightminute
linear ad load.

The test used a set-top box VOD interface
that was custom-built by NDS. Consumers
used a mobile handset app to record their
experiences while viewing; the study also
incorporated follow-up interviews with 30


The AAMP study did not measure consumer
perception of disabled fast-forward in VOD.
However, across all ad loads, less than 20%
of participants used the fast-forward feature
across VOD and DVR.

Members of the AAMP research consortium
include the 4A’s, A&E Television Networks,
ABC, AMC Networks, BlackArrow,
CBS, Comcast, CTAM, Digitas, Discovery
Communications, Horizon Media, Intel,
NBCUniversal and NDS.

Among operators, Comcast has deployed
dynamic ad insertion for VOD across much
of its footprint.

“The AAMP findings mirror our own customers’
favorable response to increased choice
and control with their entertainment viewing,”
Marcien Jenckes, Comcast’s senior vice
president and general manager of video services,
said in a statement. “Our ultimate goal
is to provide our customers with the best programming
content available, while providing
opportunities for sponsors and advertisers to
benefit from the On Demand platform.”


Key results from the Advanced Advertising Media Project’s lab-based consumer tests:

63% of respondents had aided recall of the advertised brand on a
“light” VOD ad load (3 minutes per half hour)

59% had aided recall with a “heavy” ad load (8 minutes per half hour)

• VOD viewers were 3 to 5 percentage points more likely to be “very interested”
in finding out more about an advertiser than linear TV viewers

18% responded negatively to the VOD ads, mainly because they didn’t
like the product or the creative

6% expressed the unprompted opinion that there were too many ads