With larger numbers of digital video recorder users zapping through
TV commercials, advertisers are scrambling for ways to get their message
have two options - use alternate media and offer more compelling imagery
on TV," said Peter Koeppel, head of the Dallas-based agency Koeppel
His advice? Zap
the zappers with memorable messages.
and humor are the best ways to get that all-important top of mind,"
said Anne White, marketing director for New York Festivals, which sponsors
leading ad competitions worldwide.
White and Koeppel
offer these tips for putting your media reach in fast forward:
Create video billboards.
Counter DVR technology "with a billboard-type look in TV spots,"
Koeppel advised. "When businesses and agencies create an ad, they
need to keep in mind that if someone's going through this in four seconds,
there needs to be some visual components that will make it memorable."
The approach would
dovetail with TiVo's planned pop-up-like ads, to be introduced next
year. When viewers fast forward through an ad using TiVo, static images
such as logos will appear on screen, offering giveaways and links to
other ads. "Advertisers should underscore the pop-ups with imagery
and frequent logo placement in the ads themselves," Koeppel said.
Target product placement.
Reality shows from "The Apprentice" to "Blow-Out"
routinely blend products with programming content. On "Fear Factor,"
for example, advertisers such as NetZero sponsor timed events. The sponsor's
logo is attached to the timer in the lower left corner of the screen.
Merging ads with
content will likely spread into other program forms, Koeppel and White
agree. Their advice: Find new ways to make the medium your message.
Go captive. Run
commercials during movie theaters' coming attractions. "These tend
to be more dramatic, high-production-value commercials, almost like
a minimovie," Koeppel said.
to be a cut above," White said, "or you'll have viewers throwing
popcorn at the screen."
Punch up Web advertising.
Banner ads are so ubiquitous that people tune them out. Grab Web surfers
by telling a compelling story in a few seconds, Koeppel suggests. Techniques
range from multiple images to streaming videos.
banner ads so users' cursors prompt dramatic changes in music and imagery,"
White said. "Also, take a tip from American Express, which offers
interactive versions of popular spots with celebrities such as Ellen
DeGeneres and Jerry Seinfeld. Longer-form and interactive Web tie-ins
are popular with young audiences."
Web tie-ins are
also useful for products that need to be demonstrated, Koeppel says.
Compete with programming.
"A prime example is iPod, which is doing commercials that look
like music videos," he said.
Face facts. "No
matter who the audience is, you're going to have to make ads more creative,
more image-focused and more compelling - especially as DVR penetration
continues to grow," Koeppel said.