Do you skip or watch commericals on a DVR?


In my last home town newspaper, the venerable Mercury News, there’s an interesting entry on the gmsv blog: “Next, we plan to send researchers to actually live among the TiVo people and study their mysterious ways” that cites this New York Times story: “People with digital video recorders like TiVo never watch commercials, right? Add that to the list of urban — and suburban — myths.”


This is something we supposed a few years ago, in that when you introduce a DVR into your home, you watch television differently. In some cases, you speed through commercials. In other situations, you may watch and replay commercials of real, direct interest, of ones that capture your attention.


“The story cites new data from the Nielsen Company showing that people with DVRs still watch, on average, two-thirds of the commercials — a reassuring finding for all stake holders in the ad business.”


That should really be a surprise to anyone with a DVR in their home… two-thirds? Really? In our home, we speed through many dull 30 second spots, but on occassion, we’ll stop and replay ones that hit the mark. But the dull certainly outnumber the ones that we’ll watch. As the article goes on to say, “Sometimes the commercials are so entertaining, you want to watch them.”


No kidding. I watch the TV to be entertained and informed — why should commercials offer anything less?


What’s the last commercial you remember watching again (‘rewind’ or back seven seconds on the old DVR)? For us, it was the trailer for the new movie “300” from Warner Brothers. It captures the dark and the frenetic nature of what promises to be a very good action film, and hopefully a good adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the few Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae.


That and a few commercials with anthropomorphic animals (like this one from Japan) or insurance commercials with a silly bent (I’ll admit, I enjoy some of Geico’s celebrity cameos).


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Comments (5)

  1. Dale says:

    Tivo has a 30 second skip feature (have to program this little gem into your remote), so that I not only fast forward thru them, I skip them entirely!  The 2/3 "findings" is just to keep the cost of advertising where it is, with hopes the poeple that actually pay for the ads won’t do their own research.

  2. mthree says:

    Thanks for the comment. Although I don’t have a skip-ahead 30 seconds on my Windows Media Center, I do have the ‘skip ahead’ stock on my Replay TV DVR remote controls that we have in the house.

  3. I watch a commercial if it is entertaining and use the 30 sec skip if it is not.

  4. Sushant Bhatia says:

    How do they actually know when someone watches a commercial. For instance, during a commercial I might get up and get something to drink and eat. By the time I come back, I may have to rewind a little to continue watching or I might just be back in time…or I might not care about what I’ve missed.

    Personally, I don’t watch commercials if I’m sitting in front of the tv. For instance, the tv is running right now while I’m typing this and the ads just played in the background. I didn’t forward it but I wasn’t paying attention to it either.

    2/3…thats a very "deterministic" claim. I would dispute this with much gusto 🙂

  5. Satisfy Me says:

    Last night was date night, where we (my wife, me) find a sitter and head out for dinner and a movie.