Frankly I think pieces of research like this are faintly ridiculous. NBC Universal has conducted a study which concludes that TV viewers can recall some ads even when they are fast-forwarded six times normal speed. The study went further, showing that the ads which people remembered most had common features including few scene changes, visual rather than audio storytelling, use of familiar characters and having the brands logo in the middle of the screen. The example used was a trailer for The Bourne Ultimatum which apparently acheived high recall because ‘viewers were already familiar with the film franchise’
TV ads are designed and created to be viewed at one speed: normal. How can you possibly expect there to be any kind of decent communication or story-telling or take-out from something which is watched at a minimum of six times that speed. It’s a bit like the picture above. The rubiks cube is only any good when it’s lots of different colours. It was designed to be that way. Make it one colour and you remove the entire point of it.
I get that NBC are no doubt trying to better understand the implications of time-shifted viewing, but instead of trying to attribute some kind of value to fast-forwarded ads wouldn’t it be more productive to spend that time researching how to
encourage people not to speed through ads in the first place? Or (controversially) howabout reconsidering the deployment of your media weight for the benefit of media which can’t be fast forwarded? I understand the assertion from some parts that the ability to time-shift TV viewing acts to increase rather than decrease viewing, but this kind of research does TV no favours whatsoever.