Impact of PVRs ‘not as bad as expected’

The negative effect of PVRs on advertising recall is not as bad as first feared, according to the latest research on the technology by Starcom.

When Starcom initially conducted research into PVRs it estimated that PVRs would lead to a 30 per cent reduction in commercial impacts in the home.

But this latest research, which measured advertising awareness levels across 58 brands in 1,400 Sky homes, half of which had Sky Plus, showed that the differential between awareness levels those with Sky Plus compared to those with just Sky Digital was a mere 17 per cent.

This suggests that, so far, decreased exposure has not reduced awareness to a corresponding degree. Awareness levels of sponsorship, as expected, held up, with a negative differential of only four per cent.

However the research showed that advertising awareness levels of some product categories dipped more than in others in Sky Plus homes, with the fall being most marked in household goods (down 23 per cent) and grocery (down 22 per cent). In the telecoms and entertainment categories, awareness levels were down eight per cent.

Contrary to expectations it was also found that longer ad lengths do not significantly help increase recall in Sky Plus homes. In addition, campaigns which use a high proportion of programming in genres that are likely to be recorded do not suffer more.

However, the research also showed that advertising awareness fell less on Channel 4 and the top ten digital channels than it did on ITV1 in Sky Plus homes, compared to Sky Digital homes.

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