As US consumers subscribe in their droves to digital-video recorders, marketers are busily developing new techniques to stalk their quarry.

Interpublic-owned media unit Magna Global reports that 6.5% of American households already own a DVR: penetration it expects to increase to 28% by 2010.

Ad agency BBDO Worldwide is not waiting to see if those figures meet expectations. It has teamed with sister firm OMD Worldwide to investigate ways of targeting ads to DVR viewers. And its findings are eagerly awaited by clients such as PepsiCo which says it is "always interested in hearing new ideas that will help us move the needle."

One DVR platform, TiVo, has already devised new attention-grabbing techniques such as 'branded tags' [WAMN: 20-Jul-05], whereby a brand icon will appear on the screen even if viewers choose to fast-forward through a commercial break. The icon offeres a click-though facility enabling consumers to find out more about the brand.

"Other DVR platforms will follow in lockstep," believes Tim Hanlon, who evaluates emerging advertising opportunities for Publicis Groupe. He believes new promotional methods are the key to ad success in a DVR world - for example automakers offering test drives to potential buyers via an in-commercial clickthrough.

Data sourced from: Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff