There is a growing awareness in advertisers of the impact of embedded logo advertising in TV programs. The advertiser in this case is called a sponsor who funds the TV show and in return gets his logo shown within the TV program. The viewers cannot turn off the ad as they will miss the show. The presence of the logo within a scene has a higher quality of association with the objects and theme of the scene and thus the quality of impact is significantly better.
However, leaving aside the better quality of the impact, let us examine the quantitative aspect of this form of integrated advertising or becoming a “Sponsor” to the show. The measure of eyeballs certainly depends on the viewership of the channel and is measured by the TRP rating of the show. This aspect is well understood by the advertisers. The grey area which I wish to address in this article is the how to assess the impact of viewing of the embedded logo in terms of the time duration in which it is visible on the show. What is the effective logo registration on the retina of the viewer if the logo was visible for 1 minute on the TV screen during the screening of an episode? Obviously the viewer is watching the characters on the screen and following its story or music and the logo is only a small part of the screen. The viewer is therefore is not watching the logo all the time.
We have therefore to find out exactly how many times the eye of the viewer catches the sight of the logo in a given time span. For this, we have to turn to research papers on eye movement while watching TV. There are several studies on this subject, the most thorough I found was by Michael Dorr and others, titled “Variability of eye movements when viewing dynamic natural scenes,” and can be found at http://www.journalofvision.org/content/10/10/28.full
There is a more simple-worded article on Wikipedia titled, “Eye Movements” which can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_(sensory)
From the perusal of these articles I found that the eye movements pertaining to watching TV are called “Saccades.” Wikipedia describes them as:
Saccades are the rapid movement of eyes that is used while scanning a visual scene. In our subjective impression, the eyes do not move smoothly across the printed page during reading. Instead, our eyes make short and rapid movements called saccades.During each saccade the eyes move as fast as they can and the speed cannot be consciously controlled in between the stops.The movements are worth a few minutes of arc, moving at regular intervals about three to four per second.
The eyes are constantly scanning the whole screen a few times every second! The duration on an object varies from 1 to 10 ms (milliseconds). From this information, if we assume that the eye visits the logo every second we would be right with near certainty. In other words there is over 99.9% probability that the viewer’s eye roves on the logo at least once every second.
We will therefore proceed on this assumption that the viewer has an eye contact with the logo 60 times in one minute. If the viewership of the program is 30 million, then one minute of logo presence will be equal to 1800 million contacts.
The measure of cost effectiveness of the advertising media is termed as Cost per Contact. Formal dictionary definition is: Statistical measurement of media efficiency in terms of the cost of reaching each thousand members of the target audience (viewers, listeners, readers) among a variety of media in order to determine the profitability of various media.
If we consider cost of contact at 10 paise per 1000 views, the cost per minute of logo sponsor for 1800 million contacts will be Rs 180,000 per minute!
Therefore the cost of Rs 50,000 (USD 950) per minute for the logo sponsor works out only to less than 3 paise per 1000 contacts (US 50 cents for a million contacts).
I conclude that as far as Indian TV is concerned, the sponsor arrangement for advertising brands on TV programs as embedded items is one of the most cost effective mass advertising medium as of date.
Dilip Dahanukar, 3rd July 2012