AUCKLAND: Usage of personal video recorders (PVRs) to watch TV programming has actually increased exposure to ads, new research from New Zealand has indicated.

TVNZ, the New Zealand television channel, partnered with Colmar Brunton, the market research agency, to run a 500-strong panel and used a local campaign for Tip Top bread to look at the impact of PVRs on ad effectiveness locally.

It found that 69% of households were able to timeshift their TV viewing, using MySKY, Freeview or a DVD recorder. Overall, 85% of respondents watched live TV, with 42% watching delayed TV, but just 11% timeshifted exclusively.

When data for TVNZ's on demand service was overlaid, the proportion found to be timeshifting exclusively fell further, to 8%.

Of those who did timeshift, 54% reported noticing individual ads while fast forwarding while 34% said they watched the ads within a recorded programme.

Awareness of the Tip Top campaign across live and delayed viewers was found to be identical for two brand metrics and slightly higher among delayed viewers for a third. The report concluded that ad recall and key message outtake rates were not impacted when comparing the two sets of viewers.

Commenting on the research, Jeremy O'Brien, TVNZ's head of sales, noted that the results backed up international studies showing that television remained the most effective media. "Countries may change, but people don't," he remarked.

O'Brien also argued that far from killing off television ads, the PVR had "done us a favour".

"All the evidence shows that people who own recording devices watch more TV, so PVRs are actually increasing viewers' exposure to more advertising," he said.

Data sourced from TVNZ; additional content by Warc staff