The advertising impact can vary greatly depending on the advertising contact. Many studies in recent years have either described differences in quality1 or provided comparisons of advertising impact between TV broadcasters2. With the fragmentation of media and channels, however, the question of influencing factors that generally favour the conveyance of advertising messages is increasingly raised.
The three factors of ad break length, broadcaster environment and advertising impression are characterised by easily observable differences between the various advertising channels. The Admeira study ‘AdRecall Uplift’ investigated these influencing factors on the impact of TV advertising:
- Ad break length: SRF broadcasters have significantly shorter ad breaks than comparable TV channels (Figure 1) .
- Broadcaster environment: SRF broadcasters and programmes are deeply rooted in the Swiss population and have high quality survey scores.3 The strength of SRF broadcasters has been particularly evident during the coronavirus crisis.4
- Advertising impression: the advertising impression (e.g. high ad acceptance, low ad avoidance, high certified advertising quality) is directly related to the broadcaster environment: the SRF advertising environment is characterised by high levels of advertising acceptance. In the 2018 Premium Advertising study, advertising on SRF channels was rated as 33% more credible than advertising on private channels (3+, RTL, ProSieben, Sat1).
- Creation: although the design of advertising material is an important factor influencing the advertising impact, the advertising impact contribution is independent of the channel and therefore separated from the study.
Thanks to new technical research opportunities, Admeira was able to experimentally investigate the three factors and measure the impact of advertising in collaboration with CreateXY. While the subjects watched a TV programme with an advertisement in five different settings (60 people in each setting), the laptop camera recorded eye contact and the subjects’ emotions. Subjects were surveyed in advance about their existing assessment of the broadcaster environment and subsequently on the general advertising impression and recall value of the TV spots seen in the ad break.
The five experimental groups were exposed to a nine-minute chunk of a TV programme. The programme was followed by the advertising trailer for the relevant broadcaster and a uniformly arranged ad break with different ad break lengths. The ad break lengths of each broadcaster corresponded to the real average ad break length shown in Figure 1. Depending on the length of the ad break, the programme content was either slightly shorter or slightly longer.
The programme selected for SRF 1 was «Ärzte gegen Internet», «Grey’s Anatomy» for SRF zwei, «Schwiegertochter gesucht» for RTL, «Atlanta Medical» for Pro7 and «Hawaii Five-0» for 3Plus.
The length of the ad break had a strong impact on subjects’ attention. Across all five experimental groups, the use of eye-tracking to monitor visual contact between the eyes and the screen decreased almost linearly with the length of the ad break (Figure 2). This means that shorter ad breaks, such as those planned in the SRF advertising environment, generate significantly more visual attention for individual spots than longer ad breaks.
The survey once again confirms the high-quality broadcaster environment and the high level of advertising impression in the experimental groups of SRF broadcasters. The results of facial coding can be used to identify the impact of the increased level of advertising impression in practice. The subjects who watched programmes on SRF 1 and SRF zwei in advance showed significantly lower advertising acceptance for the same TV spots. SRF ad breaks elicit around 80% fewer negative emotions. It is also clear that the initial emotional situation amongst the SRF experimental groups was much better at the very first spot. This is a clear indication of the advertising impact of the broadcaster environment (Figure 3).
Perhaps one of the most important impact criteria is whether or not advertising is remembered: the collected recall values correspond to the differences in the length of the ad break, the advertising impression and the level of attention.
A significantly higher level of unsupported recall was achieved in the ‘SRF 1’ and ‘SRF zwei’ experimental groups (Figure 4). The average advertising recall for SRF ad breaks is 56% higher than in the other three experimental groups. Differences were also observed when it came to the recall of details. The detail recall in the SRF broadcasters’ experimental groups was 63% and 51% in the other three experimental groups. As a final finding, it can be observed that the last spot in the break generates higher recall values (Figure 5).
The study shows that recall performance in the form of recall is closely related to the advertising impression of the TV channel and the length of the ad break. While the advertising impression affects the response, short ad breaks increase the likelihood that advertising messages will be consciously remembered. The two SRF broadcasters SRF 1 and SRF zwei therefore have important influencing factors that generally favour the conveyance of advertising messages.
1 Wissen, Werben Wirken, 2015
2 SBB Intermedia-Check Studie, 2019
3 Reuters Institute, 2020 & Publicom mediaBrands, 2019
4 Admeira study, Veränderungen der Mediennutzung infolge Covid-19, 2020