Real-life responses to TV commercials

Date of publication: September 1, 1987

Author: Peter Collett


By concentrating on viewers' attitudes and opinions, and their behaviour under artificial conditions, research on TV ads has overlooked what happens in people's homes during the commercial break. This paper argues for the use of video. It shows how cameras can be placed inside people's TV sets, and how the material that is collected can be used to answer important questions about the state of the TV set, people's movements in and out of the room during the break, the amount of attention they pay to the screen, and their spontaneous comments about the ads.

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