SBS Clutter Research – Really Short Advertisement Breaks

On March 24, 2012

SBS has recognised the clutter problem in the current media landscape and created SBS Really Short Breaks to achieve greater results for all brands on the network. In 2009, they stated that just 5 minutes of commercial content an hour and a maximum of just two 60 second commercial breaks in each half hour program delivers the clients the opportunity to stand apart.


In a really short break consumers are delivered commercial messages in an environment where they can stand apart from their competitors to achieve that much desired cut through. This is the opportunity to deliver a campaign strategy that will achieve the best results for a brand. These results are supported by a range of studies (Effect of clutter on consumer recall of advertising (Nielsen/CAB) (2006), Consumer ad avoidance behaviour triggered by ad clutter ( (2007), Measure of impact of low clutter environment on consumer engagement and return on investment (2008)).

Quantificable Benefits
SBS continues to collate the best of local and international research on clutter to continue to provide through leadership to the industry in the benefits of this unique advertising environment. Studies ensure that the results, while making logical sense, are quantifiable to both media professionals and their clients.
SBS has also undertaken a series of research projects to progressively extend the depth and scope of research about the benefits of the advertising environment. The results of the research have illustrated and measured how the SBS environment delivers a range of key benefits to advertisers including higher recall, more attentive consumers, better engagement and more effective sponsorships. Each of these studies have been undertaken by market leaders in their area to ensure there is a full picture of the benefits of using SBS in any media plan.

Neuro Insight uses a scientific technique to measure consumer response directly from the brain while watching television in a normal environment. The study participants wear a helmet and visor with sensors on the scalp that measure the electrical activity in the brain while watching a television program with the associated ad breaks. This  process delivers a wide range of advantages to advertisers as it can scientifically measure consumer reactions to content at a level that the individual will not be aware of consciously. This is a high quality method of research due to the process of measuring brain activity without any human questioning that may unintentionally influence participant response.
The Neuro Insight method delivers results on four key areas of brain activity most valuable to advertisers. These are attention, emotional response, memory encoding and engagement.
As a result, this research delivers a range of performance metrics to illustrate the impact of low clutter in consumer engagement and brand equity.
In order to illustrate the value of SBS Really Short Breaks SBS created two versions of top rating program Top Gear UK. The first version was one episode exactly as it would be broadcast on SBS including the sponsorship billboards and advertising breaks. A second version was created as the program would be broadcast on another network including their advertising breaks for a one hour program. Both versions included identical sponsors with the same billboards and number of advertisements. Sponsors in the high clutter version were given premium position in break and 100% category exclusivity.
This program was then played to two different groups of viewers: a Top Gear viewer sample and a general audience sample. All of the viewers had their response to the program and advertising measured using the Neuro Insight methodology. In addition to measuring the electrical brain response during the program, Neuro Insight also measured sponsor brand salience before and after each program.
Engagement Transfer and Clutter
The benefits of the unique SBS Really Short break ad structure in delivering handoff of engaged viewers to your commercials is clearly illustrated in the Neuro Insight research. In a big pod of ads there is a 40% reduction in engagement between the first and last commercial in the break.
All media professionals are faced with the difficulty represented by the traditional commercial structure and how best to overcome the clutter. SBS Really Short Breaks provide a powerful solution, greatly increasing the effectiveness of advertising.
Source: Neuro Insight June 2008

Source: Neuro Insight June 2008

Emotional Brand Equity
Neuro Insight provides the method to measure the changes in emotional brand equity before and after viewing a campaign. Emotional brand equity measures the strength of favorable emotional memories and responses in the brain associated with a brand – directly from the brain. In order to provide a clear result the emotional brand equity response was tested both the sponsor brands and a basket of their competitors.

Sponsorship Performance
The study showed that sponsorships are a powerful way of leveraging consumer engagement with a program. The Neuro Insight research demonstrated that the combination of high engagement, plus frequency, billboards and category exclusivity are greater than the sum of their parts.
Source: Neuro Insight June 2008

Source: Neuro Insight June 2008

The study confirmed that sponsorships are a highly effective way of cutting through clutter, delivering the brands in the study 3.5 times greater increase in brand salience compared to a single spot. The study demonstrated that a choosing a low clutter environment, such as SBS Really Short Breaks, sponsorships are 155% more effective. Removing the white noise of ad clutter allowed consumers to engage more deeply with the sponsor brands, supercharging the effectiveness of the sponsorships. Enhancing the results of your media spend with sponsorships is incredibly valuable but sponsorships also deliver additional benefits in relation to the brand equity of your competitors.
Source: Neuro Insight June 2008

Source: Neuro Insight June 2008

Neuro Insight clearly illustrated the benefit of sponsorships in a low clutter environment – demonstrating that they not only increase brand’s emotional brand equity with consumers, but do so at the expense of the competitors, doubling brand advantage.
Low Clutter Environment
Research continues to prove that regardless of consumer engagement, the longer an advertising break, the less effective the advertising campaign. SBS Really Short Breaks delivers quality to all brands by offering a low clutter environment that will reach more highly engaged and more attentive consumers who will remember the campaign. As consumers are bombarded with ever increasing numbers of commercial messages and their media options constantly expanding SBS offers the chance to cut through the clutter and reach engaged consumers.
Delivering Results
As pressure increases on media professionals to deliver not just reach but cut through with their campaigns SBS has proven that Really Short breaks deliver. They connect with 45% more attentive consumers, deliver 83% higher recall, 40% better engagement and sponsorships which are 1.5 times more effective. Overall this delivers the reassurance required to media professionals and clients alike that they are booking an efficient campaign when choosing SBS to deliver their message.

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