Interactive Online Commercials
Although I used this example for the in-class activity on Thursday, I think it's worth coming back to in terms of advertising I'd like to see researched. The advertising that I'm talking about are the commercials that often come up on sites like Hulu. They are usually copies of commercials played on television but have been adjusted slightly to have an interactive component. At school I don't have cable but like to keep up with the shows that my parents and I used to watch together so I end up watching a number of them on Hulu. Recently it seems that any and every show I watch on there I get this one Verizon commercial. The TV version is pretty bad in the first place- it's supposed to appear that Verizon did some focus groups and that we're getting a look at what these other confident individuals thought about their charts but there's just no way it's real. The interactive version goes through the same plot lines but once they show the graphs they stop the ad with writing on the screen asking you to choose which company you'd choose for 4G LTE coverage. The choice is made pretty obvious. Whether or not you click on a part of the graph the commercial continues after a few seconds and goes on to another graph for you to choose and finishes up as the TV version does. This Verizon interactive ad isn't the first one of its kind that I've seen on Hulu. It's sort of neat, I guess, but I wonder if it really does prove more effective in increasing recall or if these ads are used because they seem like they'd be less annoying because it's not something you're just being subjected to but you're given the chance to do something while you wait for your show to return. If I was to research the question, "Do interactive commercials on TV websites such as Hulu increase recall and decrease watchers' annoyance with the interruption?" I'd first use random sampling to get a control group and an experimental group. The control group would just see the TV version of the ad (still while watching a show online) while the experiment group would get the interactive ad. I'd conduct post-tests on both groups to see who seems to have better recall and who was less annoyed by the ad. I realize this research may be a little bit flawed- I think I'm still getting the hang of how to properly conduct research on communications topics. Firstly, I don't know for sure that my question is valid- perhaps I should only investigate one aspect first - such as only looking into the recall. Secondly, because "annoyance" seems like a sort of difficult thing to strictly measure among a wide variety of people. Anyway, I'm just curious as to if there's a real purpose behind interactive ads or if it's just a technologically cool thing to do for companies. I wouldn't be surprised if I could dig up some research on this already.
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