Zipped Commercials, Zapped Memory? Not Necessarily

Robert Rouwenhorst, Liang Zhao


As digital-video-recorders (DVRs) become more popular, an increasing number of television commercials are being zipped (fast-forwarded).  This paper examines how memory for brand names, products and attitudes toward commercials are influenced by zipping at the speeds used by the popular DVR manufacturer, TiVo (300, 1800 and 6000 percent).  Experimental results show that compared to ads shown in real-time, memory for the advertised brand names improves when the commercials are zipped at 300 percent of normal speed.  However, brand name recall dramatically declines as the commercials are zipped at faster speeds (1800 and 6000 percent).  Speed of zipping had a significant effect on the ability to recall the advertised brand for all commercials except those at the end of a commercial pod.  This suggests that all else being equal, ads placed at the end of a commercial pod are more likely to be recalled at all zipping speeds.  Viewers of zipped commercials had more neutral attitudes toward the ads compared with those who saw them in real-time. 

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Business and Management Research
ISSN 1927-6001 (Print)   ISSN 1927-601X (Online)

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