Television spots may have a “variable advertisement shelf life” among DVR audiences depending on the genre of content they appear in, according to a study published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Authors Bob Kent (University of Delaware) and Buffy N. Mosley and David A. Schweidel (Emory University) compared the fast-forwarding of ads by DVR viewers during reality shows, sports programming and dramas.

Prior research, they asserted, suggests that around “70% percent of all advertisements may be zipped” – that is, fast-forwarded – when played back on a DVR by consumers.

Their analysis found that “more than 15% of all advertisement views from the dramas were day-shifted” and “more than 5% of all advertisement views in the drama programs were shifted by more than three days.”

Another insight: “Performance reality programs had approximately half as many day-shifted advertisement views as dramas and approximately half as many advertisement views that were shifted by three or more days.”

In line with previous studies, Kent, Mosley and Schweidel also found that “live sports watching was heavily skewed toward real time,” they added in Advertisements in DVR Time: The Shelf life of Recorded Television Commercials in Drama, Reality, and Sports Programs.)

Reflecting this trend, the paper reported, “more than 60% of all DVR advertisement views from the reality shows and more than 40% of all DVR advertisement views from dramas, respectively, were same day. More than 90% of all DVR advertisement views from sports were same day.”

An implication for marketers: “The delayed advertisement views in dramas may dampen advertisement effects for time-sensitive messages,” such as those related to limited-time sales and promotions.

“For more general or less time-sensitive messages, however, the delayed advertisement views carried by drama programs may retain more value.”

The scholars also suggested that advertisers “could benefit from use of show-specific ratings that include live and delayed watching information” as they seek to understand where to place their TV spots.

“Advertisements in DVR Time” appears as part of a special “What We Know about TV in the Digital Age” section in the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research.

Sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff