King of Beers Defies TiVo Timeshifting

When you say Bud, apparently you have said it all. TiVo timeshifters sat through ads from the brewer more than any other brand on primetime broadcast television, according to the Alviso, Calif., maker of digital video recorders. TiVo measured timeshifting from January through November 2008. Although Bud was the overall champ, none of its individual spots made the top 10 among DVR-viewed commercials in broadcast fare. Those went to movie trailers, a Toyota truck ad, one for AT&T and one for the Guitar Hero video game.

The trailer for “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was No. 1 with a 12 rating during a recorded episode of NBC’s “The Office.” “American Idol,” “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy” also lent themselves to sticky commercials during timeshifted viewings. An ad campaign for Alltel swept eight of the top 10 spots on cable; the cell phone service provide ran a series of ads connected to the characters in “Psych,” a comedy-drama on USA Network.

Todd Juenger said the “Psych” tie-in model is one way advertisers can keep from getting fast-forwarded during timeshifting. Juenger is vice president and general manager of TiVo audience research and measurement. Nearly half of all primetime shows on broadcast nets were timeshifted during the 11 months measured.

“As timeshifting increases so, too, does the likelihood that commercials will get fast-forwarded,” Juenger said. “This means that despite the fact that the most highly rated programs garner the biggest audiences and the heftiest advertising price tags, the reality is that ads that run during these programs are the ones getting fast-forwarded the most. In short, not all advertising is created equal, and DVR viewing does not impact all programs equally. The programs with the biggest budgets, biggest audiences, and highest priced advertising are exactly the same programs that are timeshifted the most, and therefore experience the most commercial fast-forwarding.”

Least Fast-Forwarded Brand Ranking*
Broadcast Networks** in Primetime
Brand # of Spots
1. Budweiser Beer 88
LibertyMutual VAR Insurance 23
3. Bank of American Consumer Services 29
4. McCain for President 28
5. Diet Coke Soft Drink 121
6. Coca-Cola Classic Soft Drink 29
7. Glaceau Flavored Vitamin Water 46
8. Online 34
9. Ford Auto & Truck 30
10. Ford Focus Leasing 79

*Minimum 20 spots
**ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox