Lessons from Tokyo: The anatomy of BVOD viewing

Peter Pynta

  • CEO APAC, Neuro-Insight
Peter has worked in the media, advertising and research business for the past 30 years. Neuro-Insight is a global neuroanalytics firm that uses subconscious metrics that unlock how creativity and media works – empowering advertisers, agencies and media companies globally with solutions that optimise the effectiveness of contemporary marketing communications.

Every viewing environment brings with it a different complexion and context. Even with identical content being consumed, the device, screen and delivery mechanism has been shown to subconsciously change viewers’ perceptions. Making mental connections is the human brain’s most crucial learning tool and human intelligence constantly relies on forging links, seeing patterns and relationships. We thrive on context.   

The Power of Association  

In an increasingly fragmented TV landscape, with a myriad platform options and commercial models, not all viewing experiences are made equal. New research from our neuro-analysts has revealed viewers formed different perceptions of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics depending on whether they watched through BVOD or Linear TV.   

The Tokyo Olympics positioned itself around attributes such as ‘future’, ‘trust’ and ‘uniqueness’. The Olympic mascot was named Miraitowa, which is derived from the Japanese words ‘mirai’ (future) and ‘towa’ (eternity) was chosen to “promote a future full of eternal hope in the hearts of people all over the world”. Meanwhile, the harmonised chequered emblem brand design with three varieties of rectangular shapes, brought the message of “unity in diversity” to life. The next big Olympic event - the Beijing Winters is expected to deliver a similar message.  

Using the world’s first subconscious sentiment tracker built from nPlicit methodology, Neuro-Insight found viewers who watched the Tokyo Olympics via BVOD made stronger associations with the desired attributes of ‘future’, ‘innovative’, ‘trust’ and ‘unique’ than linear TV viewers. There lies the opportunity. This brand equity is more likely to be shared with advertisers via association in the BVOD environment.  

Contextual Leverage and the Subconscious Mind  

Those who draw upon these learnings from the Tokyo Olympics could start to infer what might happen at the upcoming Beijing Olympics Winter Games and BVOD will be the place for brands who want to build strong associations with ‘future’, ‘innovation’, ‘uniqueness’ and ‘trust’.   

The strongest attributes for both Linear and BVOD were ‘empowering’, ‘future’, ‘opportunity’, ‘innovative’, ‘trust’ and ‘unique’ and BVOD pulled in additional contextual clout by forging more powerful subconscious associations across them all. Brands pursuing this creative territory will have the strongest congruence and contextual leverage in the BVOD environment.  

BVOD brings its own contextual anatomy, infrastructure and unique attributes. The research shows that when a media environment creates strong subconscious attitudes in its audience, the same equity is shared with advertisers. Neuro-Insight has found for brands that do strengthen their associations in these studies, 65 per cent of the growth is connected to the media environment alone.   

These subconscious associations are powerful, yet incredibly difficult to surface in a survey. When the nPlicit methodology looks below the rational and obvious, the rich and subtle, yet powerful effects of brands on the subconscious mind are uncovered. Neuroscience research and validation has routinely proven that what is ‘claimed’ in focus groups and surveys versus what is actually committed to a person’s long-term memory are two very different constructs.  

Most people don’t know how and why they make the decisions that they do and this frontier of market research digs into the subconscious mind, beyond what consumers are willing and able to share to uncover what they truly think, helping to predetermine the outcomes of marketing campaigns.  

The Payoff for Advertisers: Creating Shared Equity  

The TV viewing experience is much more custom than it used to be, with a multitude of factors vying for viewers' attention: time, interest, recency, access, and more. Furthermore, the attributes associated with a media environment subconsciously transfer to advertisements placed there, colouring the way that brand messages are perceived.   

Looking more broadly since Tokyo, Neuro-Insight has tracked all four of the commercial networks’ BVOD brands and their contextual attributes. While there are some halo effects from the master brand, there are strong and distinct attributes on offer. Across the board, BVOD tends to be characterised by ‘future’ and ‘family’ with strong associations beyond the 120+ mark recorded. BVOD is ripe for ‘shared equity’ and the perfect environment for brands wanting to differentiate and strengthen their position in this space.   

Tags: advertising, Neuroscience, marketing

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