War of the Worlds.jpg
“With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter”. H.G. Wells
Only a year ago we were all getting hot under the collar about PVRs and the threat they posed to television advertising.
Now one talks about the PVR peril anymore.


I guess this is partly because PVRs (Personal Video Recorders or Digital Video Recorders) are an accepted and established part of life in the US and UK, and because we are all busy worrying about other stuff.
It is also of course because the plannersphere has given TV advertising up for dead even though many of our clients still depend on it. They need help to build bridges to a new marketing future and by and large the online conversation we indulge ourselves in ignores this.
In this context I want to regurgitate a presentation I wrote a while back on precisely this subject.
I want to do it for three reasons.
1) Although 40% of you are in the UK and another 40% are in the US, many adliterate readers come from territories where PVRs have just or are yet to be introduced. I understand, for instance, that they are about to be launched in Poland and so I thought it would be helpful to revisit some of this PVR stuff for those people for whom this is not old news.
2) It remains the case that we overestimate the short term impact of technology and under estimate its long term impact. We all got terribly excited about the effect e-commerce on retail back in the late ’90s, got bored and forgot about it and then woke up to find people had migrated huge amounts of their purchasing online. And so it is with PVRs. We have got bored with them at just the point where they actually might have some effect on the efficacy of brand’s activity.
3) While we develop a new marketing orthodoxy we still need to improve the performance of the outgoing approaches. Chatting to Russell recently he likened it to the allies in the Second World War continuing to improve conventional weaponry while simultaneously developing the H-Bomb – a rare militaristic metaphor from the bearded one.

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