Last night’s meeting of the Media Research Group shed some useful light on how advertising fares on video-on-demand platforms - or, to be more specific, what Channel 4 has shared with the wider world about some proprietary research into advertising on its own service, 4oD.

I’ll be writing up a fuller report of the evening’s findings shortly but, in the meantime, here are some of the highlights from the joint presentation by Glenn Gowen, Group Head of Research & Insight at Channel 4, and Caroline Rushton from the broadcaster’s research partner on the project, Qmedia.

Awareness: The difference in brand awareness between traditional TV and VoD viewers was minimal but, for advertising awareness, there was a significant change. Aggregated data for some 30 ads reported 30% awareness amongst VoD viewers (15% spontaneous, 15% prompted) versus 13% for traditional TV viewers (8% spontaneous, 7% prompted).

Brand perceptions: 4oD’s popularity among younger viewers is clear and unsurprising (for example, the platform accounted for 18% of viewing of the opening series 3 episode of the teen drama, Skins). Less expected were the associations that brands advertising on 4oD accrue – 57% of respondents agreed they were modern, 58% said they were trustworthy.

Acceptance: It may be the novelty factor (or just the low number of ads), but viewers are very accepting of ads on VoD, in direct contrast to the avoidance techniques employed on traditional TV.

Creativity: For acceptance, however, strong creative and an affinity or congruence between the ad and the programming context was paramount. Two 30-second or one 60-second spot were the normal pre and intra-programme breaks, for which some advertisers had produced specific edits of commercials for the 4oD platform.