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Adult Swim Advertising
Monday, June 02, 2003
A common complaint I've been hearing recently is that Tivo (and other PVR products) will kill free television, because few people bother to watch commercials when they can fast forward through them.
I'm not sure I buy that. I think that the problem with current advertising is that people don't want to watch them. I fast forward through commercials the tenth time they appear, but if there's a commercial that I find interesting, I'll stop to watch it. IBM has run a series of interesting commercials, and I'll usually drop the Tivo out of fast forward when a new one comes on for the first time.
Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block has taken this to an extreme. Instead of running the same few promos over and over, they're running these ads consisting of black text on a white background. As they're cheap to make, they made a lot of them, which keeps things interesting. By varying the advertising and making it funny, they get people to watch.
So, in the end, Tivo isn't really a problem, but a blessing in disguise, as it forces advertisers to make advertising people want to watch, which is good for both sides.
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