‘Don’t turn that di….”

It was a big deal some years ago when the standard length of a commercial on TV and radio went from 30 seconds to 15 seconds.

They might have to get down to 1 second, if a study released today is any indication.

The Time Warner study finds the most digital-friendly media consumers switch their media 27 times an hour.


All participants in the study wore biometric belts that monitored their physical responses as they used media throughout more than 300 hours’ worth of nonworking time. They also wore glasses with embedded cameras that kept track of what platform they used, and for how long.

Though hardly definitive, the research paints a worrisome picture for marketers in a world where consumers turn from screen to screen in search of something that captures and retains their attention, yet often cannot find it.

“What they are looking for is engaging content, and they dismiss so much stuff,” said Dan Albert, senior VP-media director at Chicago’s MARC USA agency.

One advertising exec says the industry is going to have change its messaging to “snack sized bits.”

“I’d be most alarmed about the challenging act of capturing the attention and emotional response of my target audience, because it’s almost like going from shooting fish in a barrel to little minnows,” study firm CEO Carl Marci concluded. “The target has become faster, and the window of opportunity for capturing them has become smaller.”

  • jon

    Go figure, when there are ads every where people get better about ignoring them.

  • http://www.skyseastone.net/jvstin/ Paul (@princejvstin)

    I remember “Blipverts” from Max Headroom.

  • http://www.bymaggie.com Maggie

    The trick is to find two shows worth watching with dovetailing commercial breaks. That way you can switch from one to the other without experiencing too many ads.

    That’s the dream.

    And failing that… check your Twitter during commercials.

  • http://ofbuckleyandbeatles.wordpress.com/ Drae

    I’d look for more product placement in programs. The daytime soap operas have already been working that angle.

  • kennedy

    Quaint notion, but reading a real paper book is generally an activity free from advertising. So is walking through the park, visiting with a friend over coffee, working in a garden…

  • Jim Shapiro

    Ever heard of subliminals?

    And if you think it won’t/doesn’t happen, I’ve seen a real nice POLLYANNA tattoo that I think you would love.