Monthly Archives: July 2015

Pushing the Advertising Envelope

With advertising at every corner, public restroom stall, and direction you turn your head, is it really necessary to have ads that take up an eighth to a third of the TV screen as you watch your favorite show or movie? Depending on the size of your television, these ads could be similar to having a small billboard in your living room. Advertising regulators banned subliminal messages several decades ago knowing that it was involuntary manipulation. How is this any different?

TV networks started the process of placing small ads, called “bugs”, for their other shows or network logos discretely in the corner of programs in 2001/2002. However, those same ads have expanded to the point that some of the more flashy ads take up so much of the screen that they interact with the actual show in progress, block subtitles, and interfere with the viewers ability to concentrate on the show or movie that they are actually interested in watching. For a viewer this can be extremely irritating and have a negative result to the network, by the ads causing viewers to more frequently watch competitors’ channels that do not have these distractions.

It is not surprising that paid commercial advertisements do not have these distracting “bugs”. Although, it is not difficult to foresee networks attempting to do this in the future, creating a double commercial to force upon the viewing public. Hopefully paid advertisers will stand their ground for a long while against the implementation of this idea. But, don’t count on it. If an advertiser can see the opportunity to get more of their products in front of the public for the same amount of money, it will happen.
Product Placement Ad Example3
In addition to these “bug” ads, companies, especially car companies, have put a new spin on an old advertising practice by working with program writers in order to have specific details about their products written into programming. Two shows that seem to have accomplished this practice well in recent months are “Bones” and “Rizzoli and Isles”. In the past couple of seasons there have been several dialog interactions about items such as Temperance Brennan’s car’s ability to park itself.
 Product Placement Ad Example
Product placement ads are nothing new. They go as far back as 1873 with Jules Vern’s “Around the World in Eighty Days”. However, more recent versions of this type of advertising have hit a new level of intricacies. This type of advertising effectively presents a product’s details without being overly distractive, and as such is much less intrusive to the viewer as long as it is brief and does not take away from the shows story line.
Product Placement Ad Example2
Advertising is never going to completely go away. However in a commercialized society of gadgets and must haves, there has to be a balance of when advertising is appropriate and when the saturation levels have gone too far. Consumers deserve to be able to escape from mass marketing and relax without feeling inundated at every turn with marketing material, especially in their own homes. At a certain point viewers and consumers become numb to the ever growing influx of sales pitches, making it the marketing communities responsibility to monitor the amount of advertising being done, and focus ads where they produce the most return for their money instead of using a blanket marketing method. One such area of advertising overkill that marketers need to carefully reconsider are the over sized “bug” ads, before viewers say, “Enough is enough,” and simply turn off their TVs.
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