Pretend you settle into the couch at home and turn on the TV. You push the GUIDE button, scroll the listings and select a channel. The normal screen comes back, but…
…First, a commercial appears for the new Silverado pick-up. Surprised, you hit GUIDE again and choose a different station. You move fast, though, because the Silverado ad continues to play in the small upper right panel of the listings screen.
Your next selected channel takes over the screen. But…
…First, a commercial appears for the new Silverado pick-up. THE SAME ONE AS BEFORE.
What the f&ck?, you shout. You hit the MUTE button, so at least you don’t have to hear the dopey passengers’ dialog. You press GUIDE again, select another channel, keeping your eyes off the upper right panel. You quickly select another channel. But…
F&ck! Silverado again! You outfox the system by selecting a music channel. Hah!, you say, no video, no ad! You unmute the sound. But…
…Before the music starts, the Silverado ad plays – like a radio spot.
You jam the MUTE button, close your eyes, and count to 30. You unmute, and there is your music. Ahhhhhh. Now, let’s try a show again.
You key in your first choice again, and goddam*, hello Silverado.
This, of course, is not your real TV experience. But it does replicate what you will suffer through today if you go to the websites for The Weather Channel, ESPN, CBS News, et al. “This totally sucks” doesn’t do it justice.
Yet we are told by the digerati that video ads are the future for advertisers – that they should transfer all their spending on TV spots over to online video. And give the viewer a worse experience than TV could ever imagine.
While they are at it, they also tell us that no one – NO ONE – watches TV ads anymore. Further, they claim to have surveys and data tracking to “prove” that Internet consumers prefer pre-roll ads, and that most watch them to completion.
Yet the time Americans spend watching “regular” TV increases every year. And advertisers continue to plow money into TV spots.
That is a strange outcome for the theory that TV, and TV ads, are being ignored.