Sony commercial hopes to prevent ad skipping

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Electronics giant Sony is to encourage users of digital TV recorders to stop avoiding commercial breaks by launching a new, $13m advert that offers a number of alternate endings.

A large proportion of households with digital TV recorders—also know as personal video recorders or PVRs—prefer to skip ads, leading to broadcasters and advertisers fearing that brand awareness among viewers may fall significantly.

Now, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Sony Electronics is pushing its new range of Bravia liquid-crystal-display television sets with a campaign that allows PVR users in the US to choose one of several conclusions designed to appeal to either male or female consumers—in a move intended to underline Bravia's established sales point of being "the world's first television for men and women".

Viewers without PVRs will see the screen freeze for a moment shortly before the climax of the commercial, which will then continue with a randomly selected finale, says the WSJ.

The newspaper's article goes on to report Sony Electronics' director of corporate marketing, Chris Fawcett, as saying that PVR technology has forced advertisers to be more creative.

And Brad Brinegar, chief executive of McKinney + Silver, the ad firm that created Sony's TV spot, is quoted: "If you engage [consumers], they will reward you with their attention. If you don't engage them, they will dis you".

Lovelace Consulting  |  21.09.2006

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