Fox Punishes Non-DVR Users With Static Image Instead Of A TV Commercial

from the won't-that-piss-off-everyone-else? dept

It really was just last week that we talked about a guy who got a patent for putting a static image in TV commercials that could be seen as you fast forwarded with your DVR. It seems like the patent holder might want to call on Fox, who apparently is now running commercials that are a single static image for 30 seconds, with the goal of reaching DVR users. Of course, you have to imagine that's only going to bore the regular viewers to tears (though, they do include audio for those folks). Of course, none of this matters if you happen to have a DVR that has a "skip forward" feature anyway. Either way, it seems like the TV execs are still focused on the wrong thing: figuring out how to force DVR users to watch traditional commercials, rather than figuring out ways to deliver advertising that doesn't piss people off so much that they want to skip it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    wraeth, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 8:58pm

    Again

    Another example of big-time capitalists pushing unwanted refuse down it's clients' throats.

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

     

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      identicon
      AMP, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 12:13pm

      Re: Again

      RE: "big-time capitalists pushing unwanted refuse down it's clients' throats" What the hell does that even mean? What is a big-time capitalist? Are there small-time capitalists? Would this be more acceptable to you if they were socialist putting static images in the ad space? I don't see what one has to do with the otther.

       

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    tharog, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 9:10pm

    Get Real

    I admit that this bores people to tears, but the post's summary they TV execs miss the point is off base. Has advertising ever really been created that makes people want to watch the commercials on a consistent basis? Sure there's the Superbowl and an occasional funny ad, but that's the exception. Nothing is as funny/enticing the second time around. The DVR is fantastic. I couldn't live without mine, but it is a massive threat to TV revenue. The workaround is these static adds, DVD sales and online episode sales (iTunes etc). Saying they're missing the point misses the point: TV advertisers are trying to make the most out of a bad situation. Their main revenue stream and entire model is in jeopardy. Changing advertising is not the answer. Changes to the business model are needed and they are dipping their toes in those waters.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 10:01am

      Re: Get Real

      the dvrs are not "a massive threat". vcrs have had the ability to fast forward through commercials since their release. you still can't fast forward live television.

       

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        Flamsmark, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re: Get Real

        yes, they are. in practice, once *can* fast-forward through 'live' tv. i own a dvr, and just reat all programs as strating 15 minutes past when they do. i start to watch then, and have enough 'saved time' to skip all the adverts and catch up with live by the end of the program.

         

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    identicon
    Diogenes, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 9:57pm

    As long as the images isn't goatse...

     

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    Jon, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 10:45pm

    PVR's in South Africa

    iPod have been doing the same thing for a couple of months in South Africa already.

    All the advert is is a static image of the iPod on the right of the screen with a voice over about the great features for those without PVR's. As a PVR user, it doesn't make that much of an impact.

     

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    Rick, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 11:13pm

    I hate commercials, but I do watch ENTERTAINING commercials. The Citibank commercials and a few foreign car commercials come to mind right off - I watch those often. In fact I have a Citibank card now because of the humor in their commercials and the services I learned of from them.

    What I hate more is the NEWS which is biased by the very commercials I hate. What I would like to see is a 24 hour news channel without commercials - in fact I'd pay $4-$6 a month for it - I'm sure millions of people would.

    Imagine an independant news network that doesn't care what the news is, just that it's news. Oh wait, thats what the news channels all say they are.... NOT.

     

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      Mark, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 6:53am

      Re:

      "What I hate more is the NEWS which is biased by the very commercials I hate. What I would like to see is a 24 hour news channel without commercials - in fact I'd pay $4-$6 a month for it - I'm sure millions of people would.

      Imagine an independant news network that doesn't care what the news is, just that it's news. Oh wait, thats what the news channels all say they are.... NOT."

      Here you go, this has been around a while, from what I hear: www.pbs.org/newshour/

       

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    identicon
    beejay2, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 11:39pm

    No TV

    I'm a DVR devotee who skips through commercials but I'm also a realist. TV survives and thrives based on ad revenue. If everyone is skipping through the commercials, there will be no financial reason to produce TV shows. Not that TV programming is of the highest quality today, but imagine the programming we'll get if coke and pepsi, etc. aren't paying the bill. (Or alternately, what our monthly cable bills will be).

     

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    melosborne, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 11:57pm

    Revenue Alternative?

    Here's a thought...

    Rather than forcing us to watch commercials between segments of our favorite sit-coms, etc... Why not build in the revenue stream by having paid product placements?

    Imagine Chandler, from "Friends", drinking his Diet Coke. Coke would pay for the product placement... As might GE for allowing their refrigerator to be the product that the Coke was taken from... And so on, and so forth...

    I can just hear Jerry Seinfelds reply to Kramer as Kramer asks...

    Kramer: "Hey, Jerry! Can you give me a ride in your BMW (paid ad) to Starbucks (paid ad)?

    Jerry: KraAameeer! Can't you see I'm running my Hoover (paid ad)? You'll just have to hustle your Nike's (paid ad) down there on your own!

    /shrug

    Idea Patent/Copyright, melosborne
    -All Rights Reserved!- LOL

     

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      identicon
      Thomas, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 4:04am

      Re: Revenue Alternative?

      I'm sorry but it's already happening , has been for years.

       

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      identicon
      Rob, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 8:34am

      Re: Revenue Alternative?

      Plenty of prior art. Why do you think they're called soap operas?

       

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      cdwatters, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 8:37am

      Re: Revenue Alternative?

      I believe there's some of that going on now - I seem to remember that one of the cop shows, in their "behind the scenes" showed their chromakey soda machines.

      They could CGI over the machine so in one market it might be Coke, in another Pepsi, depending on who's paying. That technology can push down to the locals, so they'd get a syndicated version with the chromakey, and push their own ads. Same could be done on "background" TV screens in shows.

      Heck, if Funniest Videos can blur out all of the non-paying product placement on t-shirts, how long before they are adjusting those same images with sponor product.

       

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      identicon
      whatever, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 8:52am

      Re: Revenue Alternative?

      They already do this on MANY shows and in many movies. Everytime you see a logo in a tv show or in a movie that company paid to get that logo there.

      The real problem the networks are having with that model is how to structure reoccuring payments.

      Companies a, b and c each pay for a product placement spot on a particular episode of a show. A year (or two or ten) down the road the network wants to rerun the episode, but doesn't want to give out free advertising to the original sponsors
      . They ask companies a, b, and c if they'd pay a smaller ammount when the network reruns the episode. Companies a and b agree to the fees, but company c doesn't. So now do they air the episode and give company c free ad time, or not run the episode and lose the revenue from companies a and b? Will they cut out the scene with company c's product and air an altered episode?

      What if company c didn't like some aspect of the show and refuse to ever pay for the ad time again, will that episode ever be shown on tv again?

      That's the nice thing about the ad model, they can get new sponsors each time they air the show.

      I'm sure they'll figure it all out in due time, then we can watch Homer drink Budweiser and eat PizzaHut pizza...

      ...mmm... product placement...

       

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      Geri Mydske, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 9:10am

      Re: Revenue Alternative?

      Witty yes, bright idea HELL YEAH..... made me laugh PRICELESS! :)

       

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    Sohrab, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 12:05am

    is this for real?....wow. I hate fox even more now

     

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    Divva, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 12:21am

    The internet is to blame...

    It's all about revenue generation. Quality content leads to viewers whose eyeballs and ears the media "sells" to advertisers.

    The problem is, advertisers have other options available to them to reach their target audience. As a result, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox have to compete not only with 800 other channels piped into your DVR enabled home, but also with Lonely Girl 15 and The Evolution of Dance on You Tube.

    Their response to the threat? Obviously abject panic. If a show doesn't take off immediately, it's killed. If a show does take off, hang on for 15 different derivations. (How many Law and Order/CSI clones must we endure?)

    Television is seeing the beginnings of the same troubles newspapers are facing... a declining market. They think Tivo is the problem but it's only a symptom.

     

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    Ben Robinson, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 1:16am

    Is this down to Fox?

    Fox just rent advertising time between their programs, surely it is the advertisers that are doing this not Fox?

     

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    Tom, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 2:40am

    This is why the BBC kicks ass

    BBC News 24 is a 24 hour, unbiased, ad free news channel. No commercials on any of their 8 (I think) TV channels, countless radio stations or website. Independence from both government and business means they can present a properly unbiased news service (unlike the rabid Fox) and also don't have to pander to the lowest common denominator by making reality TV drivel and crap talent shows like everyone else.

     

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    identicon
    Creative thinker, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 4:16am

    Commercials makers

    Need to actually design commercials for both DVR and non DVR users. This is an easy concept and should show the product well at both speeds. Why is this so hard for them to think about?

     

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    identicon
    Jake, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 4:46am

    What Commercials...

    I use a home brew DVR from www.gbpvr.com along with a utility called comskip. Record the show, go back to watch it and *poof* ALL commercials gone automatically. I don't have to "skip" or "FF" through them.

    TV fades out to commercial and fades right back into show. Of course this doesn't work on "live" TV but the few shows that I want to see I don't watch when they are "on"...

     

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    Chris, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 5:58am

    Commercial Wraps

    I was listening to NPR the other day and they were discussing the new WB (not sure what the new call letters are). Anyway, they are experimenting with "Wraps", in which each commercial is a small (2 minute) tv show. At least they are attempting to be more creative....

     

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    G-Man, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 5:59am

    This is great

    Great technology for the advertisers. It does not affect most of us though - thank goodness.

    If you are willing to pay $6 to have a dedicated news station, why not go pay $6 per month for the DVR service and be able to watch all stations with the convenience of skipping commercials if you do not want them?

     

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    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 7:26am

    I don't know...

    about you other DVR users but the point of FF is to skip the ads. Therefore I really dont care if what I'
    m skipping over is a still image or a standard ad, I'm still skipping it. Do the ad agencies think they are clever for finding a way to "make us watch their ads"?

     

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    identicon
    satan, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 9:59am

    It's simple

    don't watch their shit programs. Write them or email them that you are not going to watch their shit programs or their ads.

     

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    identicon
    D, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 10:22am

    I'd rather watch static...

    ...then that damn "Head On - apply directly to your forehead" commercial again...

     

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      identicon
      astarre, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 10:49am

      Re: I'd rather watch static...

      Yeah...they're same company that makes FreedHem...a hemmorhoid cream. I'm eagerly awaiting the commercial..."Freedhem...apply directly to the ass. Freedhem...apply directly to the ass. Freedhem...apply directly to the ass."

       

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