Live Commercials Work Because They're Entertaining

from the advertising-is-content dept

One of the points we've been making for years is that advertising is content. That is, as people have more and more media options, advertisers can no longer assume they have a captive audience who will watch ads because they have nothing better to do. Rather, advertisers have to make their ads entertaining, so that people will want to watch them. The latest example of this is a New York Times article about how TV networks are bringing back the live commercial. For example, Jimmy Kimmel has been doing amusing live pitches for Nikon, Pontiac, and Quiznos on his late night show, and Jay Leno hosted a silly American Gladiators segment on his show to sell Klondike bars. Hollywood executives have a bad habit of viewing commercials as the spinach viewers have to eat in order to get the content they're actually interested in. But these examples illustrate that commercials don't have to be boring. With a little ingenuity, and funny pitchmen like Kimmel and Leno, commercials can be made interesting enough that consumers are actually interested in watching them. Part of the reason people hate commercials is that they're so repetitive, but live pitches can help break up the monotony by performing the pitch differently every time. And once commercials are actually interesting, the TiVo "problem" goes away, because even most consumers who have PVRs with commercial-skipping functions won't use them because they're actually interested in watching the commercials.

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Filed Under: ads, advertising is content, commercials, entertainment, live commercials, television


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  1. identicon
    Art L, 23 May 2008 @ 2:03am

    Colbert Report

    The Colbert has been using this technique for Doritos for some months. The chips are brought in for segments of his show such as being thrown into a water purifying machine to test it and to mock (I believe) Ted Turner's cannibalism comments by having human flavored Doritos. I must say, the product placement is quite entertaining and not "hidden" in any way. Colbert actually highlights and even glorifies the fact that he is doing product placement. Its reminiscent of the placements in Wayne's World. Everyone accepted the tacky placement because it was integrated into the act. And I still remember most of the products in that scene!

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