With online content delivery gaining more traction and diverting viewers of all ages from partaking in old-school TV time, the house of mouse has decided to dig more deeply into how audiences are responding to the rapidly proliferating newTubes of the world and the messages from their sponsors. To that end, Disney’s media networks division has opened up an emerging media and advertising research lab.
Under the guidance of professor Duane Varan, a global authority on the future of TV and advertising, the facility will conduct year-round tests to evaluate viewer engagement and emotional responses to advertising across media platforms.
A 3,000-square-foot lab is being built in Austin, Texas to test a variety of advertising modes, including interactivity, split screens, brand integration, sponsorships, addressable advertising, broadband video and mobile devices. The facility will also feature a small theatre and an adjacent observation lounge.
Professor Varan is the executive director of the Interactive Television Research Institute and holds the inaugural chair in New Media at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.