Comcast Trials BSOD For Politicians

from the worth-a-shot dept

With campaign season in full swing, there's no shortage of 30-second attack ads that offer very little substantive information about the candidates. Obviously, politicians must feel they work, or they wouldn't keep spending money on them, but as voters have other media options besides the TV and are prone to skip political ads, it's inevitable that the effect of traditional political advertising is wearing off. Comcast is now offering campaigns the opportunity to buy long-form advertisements over its VOD service, ranging in length from 2 to 30 minutes. Of course, these spots won't be viewed by as many people, but a voter who actively seeks out a political commercial is probably the type of voter that candidates want to reach. And remember the popularity of Ross Perot's hour-long infomercials in which he explained the national debt? People will pay attention to political ads that are heavy on information. If politicians just put regular ads on the VOD service, there is little to no chance that anyone will want to watch them, but if they put up content that's informative and interesting -- as other advertisers are learning to do -- people may actually pay attention.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 12:43pm

    I have to admit...

    if I came across political ads that actually cover the issues instead of the usual, "Candidate A is teh sux." nonsense. I would really watch an ad that may be longwinded but the candidate presents and explains an issue and gives recommendations on a solution. Silly me I didn't start paying any mind to politics until the 2004 election (I've only been able to vote since 2000) but now I'm ready for the forums, discuassions, and debates. But until the mud slinging stops I have no time for the 30sec. ads.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 12:44pm

    Why would politicians want a BLue Screen of Death?

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

  3. identicon
    Yet Another Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 12:52pm


    thats wat i want to know

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

  4. identicon
    xxl3w, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 12:52pm

    What are you talking about?

    Comment 2. What on earth are you talking about? I'd enjoy watching it if, like you said, they're not constantly bashing each other's campaigns or saying things like "Politician A raised taxes to pay of his gambling and weedage bill. Do you really know Politician A. Politician B will raise taxes to pay of your gambling and weedage bill. Vote for Politician B." If it was iformative I think it'd be a great idea + a money maker for comcast so maybe they'd upgrade their internet services.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward #3, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:08pm

    The anonymous cowards who posted comments 2 & 3 are referring to the standard meaning of BSOD, blue screen of death. It took me a minute to realize the author meant B*llsh*t On Demand...

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

  6. identicon
    br1an, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:15pm

    Re: BSOD

    Actually with comcast on demand bsod means both.

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

  7. identicon
    exitstageleft, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    hehe...yeah, me too. All I thought was Blue Screen Of Death. Weird, politicians and ms error screens...

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

  8. identicon
    Beefcake, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    While I agree with the raw information of this post, I disagree with the conclusion. Today, the purpose of political ads has changed. They are no longer trying to get someone to vote for Candidate A, they are trying to get Candidate A's supporters to vote. The people who would seek out and play the VOD ads are already pretty diehard and likely to vote.

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

  9. identicon
    Matt Bennett, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:37pm

    Here's a project for the class: Just as TV ushered this sort of thing in, how can modern technology be used to reduce the amount sound bites, buzz words and slogans used by politicians, and increase their incentive to actually try to impart information to the voters? The "world as they see it" at the very least?

    There's a candidate here in Mass, and all he uses is platitudes and Corp speak, he says nothing of a conrete nature at all. It's driving me nuts.

    How do we increase th incidence of things like Perots informercials?

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:38pm


    All I could think of (after reading the headline) was somehow the ISP was offering denial of attack services to the political candidates...?

    Wan't to take down Candidate("A")'s Website? Just order a DOS attack today, and we guarentee at least one BSOD/hour!

    and then of course, the actual posting never said what BSOD was supposed to infer... so none of it made sense.

    (now that I know its supposed to be about "on demand" I can say that I would actually "tune in" to go watch them. When you make knowledge convenient, you get my attention)

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

  11. identicon
    Shawn Lane, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    I am so tired of the bashing commercials. It is time that politicians told how they really feel on the issues and not what the opponent has done wrong.

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

  12. identicon
    Yet another Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 2:10pm


    But, how could get they get elected by revealing their true feelings? That would be a political consultant's nightmare.

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

  13. identicon
    Tom, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 2:27pm

    I must admit that I watched perot's programs on national debt. the man was intelligent just not enough charisma to get past his ears for regular John Q. Public to pay attention.

    oh and the BSOD jokes are great I thought it was Blue screen too and just had to stop and read. what a great way to get us MS nerds to open our eyes

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

  14. identicon
    Beefcake, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 2:28pm


    I don't care how they feel about issues, they're supposed to care about how I feel about them. You want my vote? Say "My interestes and opinions are my own, tell me yours and that's what I'll do."

    The way we do it today of picking someone who tells us they're just like us is like telling a pizza place that Driver A can't deliver your extra pepperoni pie because he doesn't like pepperoni.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 3:10pm

    We had a political campaign here around the issue of whether to recycle water. Unfortunately for the pro-recycling parties they opted to choose scare tactics rather than list facts about why the scheme was better and cheaper than the alternatives that the opposition was touting.

    Basically it backfired on them.

    They originally had support to go ahead with the scheme with a majority support in the council. After the referendum they had lost major support from everywhere, so now we face drought conditions and dam levels of under 20%.

    Facts would have made the difference IMHO. The vote went to a 40/60 split. I think some REAL information would have actually educated some of the stiffs in this place into voting for their future, not for the misinformation.

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

  16. identicon
    Shel10, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 5:28pm

    Re; Why Blue Screen of Death

    Perhaps if the politicians stare at the BSoD long enough they'll come to understand the "good" they do for their constituants!!!!

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 12:17am

    That's why they think that

    I think that the people who read techdirt and the like actually think, while most others just listen to the 30 second ads. Just take into account the results of the last election (any last election).

    I can't believe that people believe the bull shit on the tv ads without even reading the material published on the voting brochure...

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: BSOD

    RE: Anonymous Coward #3:

    Thank you, and goodnight!!
    Comcast sux!!
    Politicians suck!!

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

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