How To Get People To Watch TV Ads: Don't Stop The Program While You Show Them

from the good-luck-with-that dept

TV broadcasters have long struggled with how to deal with DVRs and how they allow users to skip over commercials. Perhaps the favored approach has been to come up with technological responses to try and prevent people from fast-forwarding; fewer companies have figured out that advertising is content, and needs to be treated as such. Viewers need to be given a reason to watch ads, whether it's simply entertainment or because the content offers some other value. Another idea that's being tested: not stopping the show during ad breaks. On one show on CNN, when the ads start, the studio cameras keep rolling, showing "behind-the-scenes" footage in a small box in the corner. The belief is that if there's still some bit of "program content" going, it will be enough to keep people from flipping channels or skipping ahead, even if it is just paper shuffling and makeup being touched up. It's an interesting proposition, but once viewers realize they're not missing anything of value, won't they switch away or fast-forward? And if the program content actually is valuable, won't people just not pay attention to the ads? The problem here seems to be that this is just an effort to recreate a captive audience. But without offering anything of value to the viewer -- whether it's the ads themselves or this "program content" -- they're not going to stick around and suck up the ads.

Filed Under: advertising, dvrs, tv
Companies: cnn


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  1. icon
    Mark Strunk (profile), 4 Sep 2014 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Surely there can be life without ads??

    I agree about most of your Anti Ads sentiment and TV content, but your dismissal of News / Press as an Opponent to Government is Wrong.
    Press is the Only Business mentioned in the Bill of Rights.
    Press as opposed to Infotainment is necessary to maintain Freedom of Expression. You say the Free Public Access TV could only cover Government "community service announcements". This is only one part of the Government Propaganda. The Press covers: General, Community, Arts & Leisure, Business, and Opinion. They are different Sections of the news paper, another fading and failing Media. Free is Good on the internet, but as the Owners are fond of: "Nothing is Free". We only get Free Infotainment, NOT Free Expression, Liberty, or Pursuit of Happiness.

    We only have Freedom to choose Which "Person, Place, Thing" to associate/rent/lease/purchase.

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