Your news story “Thinkbox plans joint PVR research with LBS” (MW June 8) was rather misleading. While Thinkbox has invested &£500,000 in its own study to interrogate the depth of brand engagement on television, we will not be working with the LBS on a PVR-specific study. And while we think there are some very valuable learnings coming out of the recent LBS research, it is important to explain that ours is an entirely separate project to the jointly funded Ofcom, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Initiative study by LBS.
Firstly, Thinkbox’s research will investigate engagement with TV advertising as a whole, not just attention levels and not just the impact of viewing technologies. We are also carrying out our study in homes representative of the UK as a whole – analogue, cable, Freeview and Sky (including PVR and non-PVR homes).
Thinkbox’s aim is to provide the market with a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between the viewer and TV output across a variety of content types, from traditional spot ads, to programming and branded content. Similarly to the LBS study, we will be using a methodology called ethnography, working with research company ACB. Thinkbox will also be working with Holden Pearmain sampling 3,500 homes to scale up our ethnographic insights. Our research is underway and we will be presenting later in the year, and we believe it will provide an understanding of all the different elements of TV engagement, their relevancy and how they can be best utilised to optimise TV expenditure.
Your article also mentions the launch of Thinkbox’s TV Bites initiative. TV Bites is a series of in-depth TV audience profiles, packaged as bite-size ten-minute movies and distributed on DVD. Again, while the content for TV Bites is based on focus groups and expert analysis, it is a separate initiative to Thinkbox’s engagement research and one of the many tools, alongside our website, thinkbox.tv, that Thinkbox has been developing. TV Bites is specifically looking at the behaviour of audiences that are difficult to reach and exploring the misconceptions around how and why they watch TV.
Despite the above points, Thinkbox is pleased that Marketing Week has reported on all these initiatives and recognised our dedicated focus on dispelling the myths surrounding TV as a marketing channel today.