by Carlo Longino

Yes, Ads Can Be Content Too

from the they-want-your-eyeballs dept

While consumers have embraced DVRs, some broadcasters and advertisers haven't reacted quite so well, focusing on devising ways to prevent people from skipping commercials, rather than doing more to make people want to watch them. There have been some attempts at creating so-called "Tivo-proof" ads, with marketers doing things like embedding messages that can only be seen in slow motion, but on Wednesday night's Lost, the show's producers interspersed content in commercial breaks. While there were some doomsday predictions before the show aired, this is actually a really smart idea -- because it includes extra content that's not central to the show's storyline, but rather material to go along with the teasers and games its producers put online. Obivously deeply intertwining the actual show and the ads in an attempt to force people to watch would be annoying and self-defeating, but using ad breaks (or even ads themselves) as a way to offer additional content to those users that want it, is pretty smart.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Lance Lavandowska, May 4th, 2006 @ 11:56am


    I watched the entire episode - LIVE - and mentally glossed over the ads (thought about something else, talked with my wife). Neither did I notice any LOST content in the ads nor did I feel I missed anything. I think you could have safely TIVOd and skipped the ads.

    But then I'm not a serious enough viewer to be participating in any online LOST activities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    mmrtnt (profile), May 4th, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    "Yes, Ads Can Be Content Too"

    Egads! Don't tell them that! Next thing you know, the 'rightsholders' will be petitioning Congress for the right to look for their ads on our computers.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    matt, May 4th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    not a new idea

    actually, if you watch cartoon network, this is why they are so popular. They've been entertaining this idea for the better part of 3 years

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Logicbomb, May 4th, 2006 @ 12:58pm

    dammit, why do marketing agencies feel compelled to hammer the general public at every waking moment of their lives with so-called advertisements?

    Is it so fucking wrong to ask that 42 minutes of my life NOT be spent by someone trying to convince me to buy brand X?

    I FF through the commercials on TiVo... BECAUSE I DONT WANT TO SEE THEM. If I wanted to, I would not FF through them.

    I understand advertising as a general principle, but shit man - stop trying to shove your bullshit commercials down my throat already.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2006 @ 1:11pm

    I think me watching the ads in fastforward is better than me leaving the room entirely during the ads, but that's just my opinion. Honestly if you want to get your point across in a commercial just buy 30 seconds and put up a black screen with white letters saying


    That way at any speed the viewer still reads it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Buzz, May 4th, 2006 @ 1:14pm


    I hate advertising too, but it must work or advertisers wouldn't continue to make commercials. On the other hand, according to this article maybe it's NOT working so well anymore. As was mentioned, companies just need to be more innovative. Forcing ads only loses everyone's respect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    eduardo, May 4th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    The answer

    If you want people to view your advertising, focus on entertaining advertising. It's been done before! Superbowls, olympics,Saturday night live.. oh wait, those are fake. . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Agonizing Fury, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:12pm

    Case in point

    This post instantly made me think of the superbowl as a great example of what you are claiming. I'm not a really huge fan of sports, but there is one sporting event that I always watch, and that is the superbowl. My friends and I will be up getting food and taking piss breaks etc, then hear someone shout "commercial" and everyone runs into the room. With the amount of money spent on commercials for the superbowl, it only makes sense to make a lasting impression.

    Another thing they can do to stop people from skipping over, is to stop the repetitiveness of commercials. I don't mind seeing a commercial for something maybe once a night, but when the exact same commercial is played every single commercial break (or sometimes twice during one break) it tends to get pretty annoying. How about commercials that tell a story (not necessarily show related) as the show goes on so that you want to see what happens in the next commercial break?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Erich, May 4th, 2006 @ 5:53pm

    TV Advertising with Shows

    As a way to maintain the viewers attention, instead of having regular commercials inserted into the regular tv show, why don't the advertisers get together with the film makers and make a 60 minute show where the advertiser message is a part of the show, to appear as fluid and essential part of the show to generate viewer enthusiam to continue to watch the show, while also presenting the advertising material for the corporate sponsers. A kind of blending.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    AdmNaismith, May 4th, 2006 @ 7:49pm

    I skip most commercials because they are for products I would never buy. I can tell what they are even as I zip past them on tape.

    I spend hundreds to thoudands each year on pro audio gear, which I never see advertised on ABC. On the other hand you can show me all of the lexus ads you like, I would still never buy one.
    I watch movie ads and clever fast-food ads (I downladed the new Burger King 'Manthem', it is very entertaining).

    You want me to watch commercials? Entertain me and how me something worth buying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2006 @ 8:38am

    If you watch a show live, you usually get up for bathroom breaks, talk to spouses, yell at kids, get a snack. If the show is TiVo'd, you FF thru the commercials or 30 second skips and see the commercials. TiVo is good for the advertisement industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Rick, May 6th, 2006 @ 12:04am

    I pay over $100 a month for cable television, and I feel ZERO obligation to watch the commercials.

    IF a commercial is ENTERTAINING, it may grab my attention, once. That's the trend I see 'content wise' not the Lost teasers, those just tick people off if they miss it or are forced to watch commercials to see it.

    More advertisers need to realize this. Consumers are paying to watch the content already, they want to be entertained. If you want to sell me something in your ad, entertain me first and I'll take a look - otherwise bugger off and I'll fast forward to the show I PAID for already.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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