Monday, July 3

the downside to TiVo

TiVo makes watching regular TV oh-so-tedious.

When I was in Houston last month, I spent one night in a local hotel. During my TV viewing, I kept reaching for the remote to FastForward past the commercials. {sigh} Then I read that some Rocket Surgeon at ABC wants that button removed from future DVRs (yeah, right). And then this gem (from April 2006) caught my eye: DVRs: Consumers Avoid Ads. Well, duh.

Okay, okay. There are times when I will stop and watch an ad; I admit it. Often, that's when it's one I don't recognize. There's a chance I might enjoy the ad, learn something, maybe even buy the product. It's the repetition that drives me crazy. After I've seen an ad once, I seldom want to watch it again. And again. And again. Ditto for movies, TV shows, books, you-name-it. Sure, there are times I want to Wax Nostalgic, but .. not often.

I don't remember when I started, but I like to play a game with TV ads. Once the ad starts, if I can recognize the sponsor, I get to bypass the ad. Sometimes the ads are so absurd - unrelated to the product being sold - that I have to watch the whole bloody thing. And even then, I may not remember what the ad is about. Some advertising genius (!) may say that is the perfect ad; I disagree. Several times a year, someone calls me about a survey where they ask if I've seen any recent advertising for a set of products (cars, cameras, whatever). Those ads that I watched all the way to the end, where I was left scratching my head .. well, they don't do well for me. Maybe they'll win a Clio. But odds are they won't win my business.

Sure, the ABC Genius (President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw) is welcome to take away my TiVo. He'll just have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Unrelated: here's my Must Read Recommendation for the week, so you'll know what to expect this fall in the political races: TomDispatch - Tomgram: Chernus on Karl Rove's Bedtime Stories for Americans

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