Owning a tivo and myth pc means that I don’t see a lot of ads on television these days. It’s a boon in that I don’t suddenly get blown away with loud voices and music saying “sale sale sale” but at the same time it is often handy to know about sales. I’m also one of those people who enjoy good ads for the entertainment value and have been known to stoop to the lows of watching those “greatest television adverts ever” shows. Although I don’t see a lot of ads, they still manage to muscle in to my life somehow.
Broadcasters are concerned about time-shifting devices as it means that their income could be compromised if people are able to jump past the ads making those ads ineffective. The only thing they haven’t considered is this:
- If you watch live television, you usually use the ad times to get up and go to the toilet or make a cup of tea or something. So you aren’t in the room to see the ads
- If you do stay in the room, you usually flick to another channel and watch what is going on there, so you don’t see the ads
- If you have a tivo, myth or vcr you stay in the room and FAST FORWARD the ads, actually seeing them because the downtime between breaks is so minimal there is no point going anywhere.
So the obvious solution is for advertisers to take advantage of this “captive audience” and come up with new ideas to captivate them. Maybe they could do simple text adverts that send the message across while fast forwarding?
Alternatively, there is a phenomenon that occurs when an ad is good. Take for example the current advertising blitz by an insurance agency. The premise is that the insurance company will ring you and you force them through a series of painful hopes to achieve their objective i.e. you make them fill out a pallet load of forms just so they can speak to you on the phone. The catchline is “you wouldn’t do it to us, so we don’t do it to you”.
This ad was smart and funny enough for people at work to discuss it thus making me interested in seeing it so that I ended up looking out for it. Similar ads like that were the nike ad with Elvis’ “a little less conversation” song, the ANZ ads with the “many rivers to cross” song by Toni Childs and the “Go Go mobile” yellow page series.
Even printed ads can become a cultural phenomenon. You know brand infiltration has worked when people dress up as an ipod advertisment for halloween. You also know a company is confident in their brand recognition when they don’t even put their company name on the ad. The current sizzler ads depict the word hunger where the word sizzler would normally be in their logo. The rest of the ad is just a white background, no other explanation.
I believe for tv they just have to find a balance. We are educated viewers and realise we don’t get tv for free so are happy to put up with a few ads if it means we get to watch our favourite tv show. SBS does it the best of the australian broadcasters (not counting ABC) – they show ads at the beginning, middle and end. NOT every five minutes like channel 9. If all the channels would follow SBS’ lead and put good quality ads at reasonable intervals without repeating the same ads we saw in the last ad break there would be less animosity towards this godforsaken entertainment interupter.