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Television Media

Pop-up Ads Coming to A TV Near You 877

Posted by Hemos
from the what-a-terrible-idea dept.
Muddie writes "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that television execs and advertising agencies think product placement and the 30 second commercial spot are not getting the respect they deserves from us consumers, so in order to combat us ignoring them, there will be pop-up ads taking up the lower quarter of your screen during normal programming. Not only that, but the ads will run during relevant portions of the programming (see a guy shaving in the mirror, get a pop-up ad from a razor company). Do "They" think we just don't see enough advertising in a day? If you aren't busy throwing things through your television yet, you can read the article over here (with no pop-up ads)."
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Pop-up Ads Coming to A TV Near You

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  • Done... (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:47PM (#3890327)
    Discovery channel does that with upcoming shows already. Though they take up more like the lower ninth, last only a few seconds, and only happen just after commercial breaks.
    • The Oxygen network already does this. They have a constant banner on the bottom much like an ESPN2 sports ticker, but they use it to give trivia, dumb comments, and information about whatever you're watching, sort of like a pop-up video banner. And then when commercials come in, they actually use that space to tie into certain commercial spots, like laundry detergent or whatever.

      Sometimes useful while watching Xena, but otherwise mostly annoying.
  • hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by pavelam (259218)
    I wonder if we'll get x10 ads during spytv? God help us.
    • probably. Not to mention ads for

      oil during Bush speeches

      plastic surgery during Cher videos

      flying lessons during reruns of 9-11 shots

      See it from the bright side. This could make way for some excellent political and satirical commentary.

      Oh, in case you're wondering: I'm not being serious.

  • Yeah and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Arminius (84868)
    Time Warner will be getting their digital cable box back too. Hitting these guys in the pocketbook is your only way to get a message to them.
  • Guh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mwongozi (176765) <`gro.revolgdivad' `ta' `eerhthsals'> on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:48PM (#3890337) Homepage
    Just you wait. If they do this, you watch millions of people stop watching that channel, and the amount of people downloading episodes of their favourite series from the net, illegally, skyrocket.

    I'm glad I live in a country with advert-free TV [bbc.co.uk].

    • Re:Guh (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sonarniche (514350)
      not if microsoft palladium and all sorts of other drm stuff comes out to try and stop it.

      i just love how consumers are getting blamed for all of business' woes these days. business isn't so good? its not because their business model is bad or maybe the execs are practicing shady accounting, its just that us damn people dont respect commercials and love to steal music all day long, because the people who support all these companies are evil!

      Gah is right. i swear in five years im going to end up a luddite.
    • Re:Guh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by skinfitz (564041) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:56PM (#3890419) Journal
      I'm glad I live in a country with advert-free TV [bbc.co.uk].

      Yeah - unfortunately TV is not FREE in the UK adverts or no adverts - can you believe we are expected to pay £107 a year for a TV license? I dont watch TV and so I dont have a license. This tiny detail doesnt stop them HOUNDING me - they just assume that I do watch it without a license (which I dont, I SOOO dont) and they automatically get granted search warrants to break into and search your property, however it is not illegal to merely OWN a TV set, just to "use TV receiving equipment to receive or record television broadcast services". Yes, this includes TV cards in computers.
    • Re:Guh (Score:5, Funny)

      by 1010011010 (53039) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:15PM (#3890604) Homepage

      No way. I'll just tape a piece of cardboard over the lower part of the screen. I also have a 12-gauge "remote control," if the need arises.
      • Re:Guh (Score:3, Funny)

        I'll just tape a piece of cardboard over the lower part of the screen.

        I'll just turn on my picture-in-picture and tune ir in to a competing network. I knew I got that feature for a reason.
    • by danox (232017)

      This will happen. People will be all pissed off, but it won't stop them watching their precious television. Their children will grow up with it, and in 10 years it will be standard practice. Theres nothing anyone can do except to get rid the their television.

    • I thought broadband TV was the haven for motion picture advertisments and ineffectual popups were the best that the web could come up with. Was someone really so impressed with the current online ad market that they had to say "Me too!"

      All goes to prove my theory... people in advertising are stupid.
    • And where will anyone get an ad-free version to upload in the first place? My first thought on hearing this was "Well, if they expect me to by a season's episodes on DVD with embedded ads, they're crazy." I mean, if the ad takes up the bottom quarter of the screen, how can they not plan for this and include the ad from the start, when they tape the show? Otherwise they might cover up a character or important plot element. Or will the DVD version just have a black stripe where the ad was when originally broadcast? (you know damn well the ad won't subsidize the price of the DVD)

  • Who needs high def? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Might as well save my money if this is what television will become.
  • I probably wouldn't mind the "pop up" corner ads if it meant I wasn't subjected to the same horrible sounds of 30s commercials over and over again.

    Hell most sports and stations already have things in the corner that move around and my mind's already learned to ignore them.
    • Users have already reportedly thwarted this brilliant new marketing scheme, by placing black construction paper, and tape, over the lower half of their screens. NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, WB furious. News @ 11.
    • Ignoring Commercials (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jacobjyu (583486)
      The article talks about how people have become accustomed to ignoring commercials, and yeah, we really do train our minds to ignore ads, it's just natural. I don't really understand how they are going to achieve a goal of the consumer respecting ads and actually pay attention to each and every one: that is totally unrealistic.. face it advertisers, no one likes ads while watching a tv program. period.
  • OK, I mean it is somewhat ok if you do not display ads between parts but I am pretty sure these greedy bastards are gonna do both.

    Target marketing is probably the best way to "trick" viewers to buy stuff, I mean, it's probably far more effective and more likely for you to buy a product that way than just normal adage (does anyone actually pay attention to ads anymore?)

  • by Dijital (74753) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:49PM (#3890347) Homepage
    Captain Taronga Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century? Philip J. Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games..and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.
  • by damiam (409504)
    I'm really starting to think we need subscription TV [kuro5hin.org].
    • Re:Ads (Score:4, Interesting)

      by kevin@ank.com (87560) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:59PM (#3890460) Homepage
      I'm really starting to think we need subscription TV.

      Ok, how about Netflix [netflix.com]. Subscription TV starting at $20/mo; no ads, and a great movie selection. Plus, you only have to watch what you want to. ;)

      I know it isn't exactly what you were asking for, but for the last few months my wife and I have been using Netflix almost as a replacement for broadcast TV. With the exception that it can be kind of difficult to get shows that are in heavy demand (the PBS Poirot mysteries for example), it works quite well that way. At least for our viewing habits .

  • Just imagine what this is going to do to the Playboy Channel and Spice TV....
  • another reason (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GoatPigSheep (525460)
    many people record shows and skip the commercials, having pop up ads would effectively force you to watch ads no matter what, as long as it was a part of the broadcast signal.
    • Re:another reason (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dizco (20340) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:11PM (#3890568)
      many people record shows and skip the commercials, having pop up ads would effectively force you to watch ads no matter what, as long as it was a part of the broadcast signal.

      I bet I can think of a way around it.

      *click*

      Look! No ads!
    • I am not that starved for entertainment, so I have no problems waiting for it to come out on DVD.

      Also, having pop up ads would force you to subscribe to HBO, et al, simply to get more crap free content. I really do find commercials irritating as it is...
    • many people record shows and skip the commercials, having pop up ads would effectively force you to watch ads no matter what, as long as it was a part of the broadcast signal.

      This must be the reason for HDTV. As the screen narrows down squashed on my conventionals TV, I know that someone somewhere is seeing more pixels. More real estate to polute. When the old fashion barker appears on those shiny new screens in home theaters all over the country, I'm sure that the Booming stereo or quoad will have enough space for his voice to be heard clearly underneath the bigger placement advert that is the program. Wonderful! E-U-Toe-Peeeeee-Ahhhhhhhh! ha ha ha.

      TV provides nothing of value.

    • "having pop up ads would effectively force you to watch ads no matter what"... assuming they don't make hardware that blocks 'em out. Sure, you'd have a fucking annoying black rectangle on your screen, but it's certainly possible.
  • I'd have to say that if this comes to pass, it will probably cause me to watch less TV than I do now. I've seen programs in airports with those stupid popup trivia windows - totally distracting.

    Granted - nothing will keep me from watching West Wing and Law & Order - but beyond that when I just want to veg and watch TV - having popups in teh corner would be over the line for me - I'd do something else or watch a cable station.

    I'd take brief ads screens during the pause in sat channel changes before I'd accept this type of advertising. Its too intrusive. I know the TV stations need to make money - but at some point ads will take over the show and I'll stop watching.

    At some point overbearing ads will drive people away - I'm already ready to stop readnig NY Times because their ads pop up constantly, even using the Lizard.

    • Totally agreed. This will eliminate what little "suspension of disbelief" is required to watch, for instance, "Scrubs". The popups are bad enough in the credits, but once it comes in the middle of the show, the show itself will begin to feel like nothing more than a commerical.

      Nobody respects or values a commercial.

      This will certainly do it for me. Any show, no matter how alluringly brain-melting, will be off my list instantly if this kind of crap starts up.

  • this isn't meant to be annoying.

    sure, i like to watch a movie now and then, but honestly people, you'll be better off and enjoy life more if you turn of the tele, or get rid of it altogether. why not?
  • by Fragmented_Datagram (233743) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:51PM (#3890367) Homepage
    I've been without a TV for about 8 years now and it's been really nice. Oh sure, I can't chuckle along with my coworkers about last night's Friends episode, but somehow I still get by. The best part is that after coming home from work I actually have to find something constructive to do with my time instead of wasting the next 5 hours watching sitcoms. Toss your TV. You'll like the results.
    • by s20451 (410424) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:57PM (#3890429) Journal

      I actually have to find something constructive to do with my time instead of wasting the next 5 hours watching sitcoms

      What, like posting on Slashdot?

    • Once again, the onion [theonion.com] teaches us all a valuable lesson.
  • by loosenut (116184) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:51PM (#3890371) Homepage Journal
    Not to sound elitist, but I'm glad I've cured myself of the TV addiction. I watch 10 hours per year, tops.

    Now, if they start inserting pop-up ads in video games, I'm screwed.

    (Product placement in video games is bad, but I can tolerate it. Actual ads are a different story ENTIRELY).
    • Re:Too bad for you (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sebastopol (189276)
      Whoa now! Don't go giving them ideas! I could totally see the Quake iii screens flashing ads for Pepsi, rather than just static!

      • Re:Too bad for you (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fesh (112953)
        So in the future if you get brutally gibbed, your first instinct should be to type.. "Woulda had you if it hadn't been for that stupid pop-up..." Or "Between the lag and the popups, I'm getting 0wn3d!"

        Wow. A whole new exuse for noobs. *chuckle*
  • They really don't talk about the fact that many now have 29"+ tv's in their homes. With a larger screen, losing part of it to ad's won't seem like such a horrible deal to many. We've already been conditioned by ESPN with it's sports ticker and CNN/et al with their news tickers. The shrinking of the content really sucks on 19" and smaller tv's, but with more and more people watching on their 51" projectors, this should help the networks and advertisers out a lot.
    • The 51" projector doesn't give you any more resolution, though. The pop-ups will still have to take up a certain amount of screen real estate to be legible. I guess we'll just have to wait for HDTV [wired.com] before this can really be viable.

      Or, you can be like me. I refuse to order cable in my apartment. I get all my TV via rabbit ears. If it isn't viewable, I don't watch.

      Fortunately, among the channels I do get are three PBS stations -- KQED out of San Francisco, KTEH in San Jose, and KCSM from Santa Clara. And, yes; I do support them with my pledge dollars.

      • I realize that the resolution doesn't change (hence my careful wording that the screen size changes). People are less likely to notice a reduction in quality of picture do to information loss, than they are loss in portion of the picture (i.e. better to squeeze the image vs overlay it).

        Since you mention legibility, todays tv's with their comb filters and what not are also better at displaying smaller text clearer than the tv's of yore (just look at the small fonts that the dtv and cable co's use for their systems).
    • I'm sure that the resolution won't change, so the same percentage of screen real estate will get eaten. The question is whether or not the ad will cover up the programming or whether the programming will simply get resized (smaller) to make room for the ad.
    • by zerocool^ (112121) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:35PM (#3890768) Homepage Journal
      With a larger screen, losing part of it to ad's won't seem like such a horrible deal to many.

      I disagree. If I'm shelling out the bucks for a huge TV, I don't care what your excuse is, I want to watch programing on it. Now you're telling me I need to buy a 32 Inch TV to get the same effect as a 19 because the rest is ad space? Screw that.

      It is a horrible deal. Even with a large TV. And what about tivo?

      ~Will
  • Blame TiVo? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gss (86275) on Monday July 15, 2002 @06:54PM (#3890398)
    I can understand why advertisers are looking at doing this. I for one haven't watched a commercial in months since I've bought my TiVo. We got some new Dell PC's in the office a while back and somebody was joking around "Dude you're getting a Dell" and I had no idea what the hell he was talking about until he told me about the commercial :) Of course if it's during the programming I won't have much of a choice to watch it or not, that's just how the advertisers want it.
  • Read somewhere on the 'net:

    If you can afford to advertise, you don't need to.

    • This is somewhat true and somewhat not.

      Most all of the people on /. know about Microsoft, Apple, Dell, etc., as well as other companies such as Sony, Nintendo, Lego, etc.

      However, the general population does not follow these companies regularly. So how does the company let you know they have a new brand/product/line/service/etc? Advertising. You watch a movie with trailers to other movies and items. You watch a TV and before it ends the station sometimes gives you info on other shows they have. Buy a video game and in the box comes a tie-in showing other video games they have.

      So even if you have the money to advertise, you still need to do so to keep the money coming in, unless all your products are well known and you don't need to change them or add to your brands and products.
  • We should not be so surprised. All the media will go through not one, but many revolutionary changes as digital media change the underlying assumptions.

    We talk about it all the time on ./ in music, soon in video, and of course TV.

    TV advertising used to be linked closely with the show, the actors would break from acting and endorse the product during a show called "G.E. Hour" or "Hallmark Hall of Fame."

    The PVR will make the 30 second ad not very useful, so they will move to other things.

    I have a proposal for one possible change that was featured on /. a few months ago. Time for another link to the future of TV advertising [templetons.com]
  • I mean, really. At what point would they stop, if they didn't have pesky laws, negative feedback and the like to get in their way? 12 hours of consumer commercial viewing, with another 4 hours for purchasing everything we've seen leaving 8 hours for sleep and personal hygiene?

    I can see it now. Some agency will ink a deal with a state gov, you don't get your unemployment check unless you prove you've watched at least 10 hours of commercials that week. Or maybe they'll just pull a Running Man, and make it illegal to turn off the TVs. That would be a hoot, wouldn't it?
  • Here in the UK (not sure about anywhere else) MTV have "Ad break tennis" where you can play pong super-imposed over the adverts until they end and save your game to continue during the next set of adverts ;-) I guess they think the ads will still get the message across submliminally or something.

    One thing I hate already with Sky is that the channels tend to switch to adverts all at the same time, so as you surf all you can find are more ads! Glad we have the BBC with no adverts. I mean why do the satelight/cable companies NEED 20 minutes of ads every hour (5 minutes after every 15) when I already pay 30 quid a month for the channels?? I only pay 100 odd quid a year for the BBC which has a lot of channels and no ads!
  • Interesting question, isn't it? There's a point where I couldn't possibly have the money I'd need to buy all the great products out there.

    Believe it or not, there is a hard-coded limit to how much revenue can actually be gained by advertising. Just because more ads are on the screen doesn't mean I'm going to free up more money to spend.
  • You can bitch and moan about how advertisers won't be satisfied until they can interrupt your dreams and put luminescent logos on the inside of your eyelids, or you can do something about it [syntac.net].

    Talk back! [syntac.net] Or find some other way to Interrupt Pathological, Media-Simulated Social Interaction [syntac.net].

  • So now can we start hunting advertising executives for sport? Please?
  • ... if they reduce, significantly, normal ads. I can ignore the banner/pop-ups and keep watching. I'd prefer the shows were not interrupted for a minute or two. Think how much better sporting events would be (ever watch the World Cup with it's 'pop-up' ads?).

    Think about it -- if the norm on TV was these banner ads, and then one day they said 'we're replacing the banner ads with 2 minute interruptions in the program', people would go bonkers. In fact, what if that became the norm on websites?

    I much prefer the banners.
    • So you don't think of the frame as being an art form?
      Or else you wouldn't mind if ads got placed on, say,
      impressionist paintings in a museum gallery, covering up part of the paintings?

      It turns my stomach, and I'm surprised some producers
      don't pull the broadcast rights for their content when they get wind of this.

      • So you don't think of the frame as being an art form?
        Or else you wouldn't mind if ads got placed on, say,
        impressionist paintings in a museum gallery, covering up part of the paintings?


        It depends on the painting ;-). A good point and it depends on the show. I'd have no objection to sporting events or news with banner ads.

        In fact, for movies, we could actually watch in letterbox! Only made-for-TV film would be a problem.
  • Plenty of huge ugly banner ads on Slashdot yet sure enough they complain about the ads on TV. Go figure :)
  • as long as they are pop-under. (grin)

    TNT already does banner ads - adding black bars to the top and bottom, then logos, then 'what's next' info, and more as time goes by. If the user has to actually interact to get the bloody thing off the screen, there is going to be a peasant revolt.

    My dish has several channels that have an 'info' button. I keep disabling it, but since I won't run a phone line unless I can't see the video I loose the settings every few months. I think I pressed it a couple times - now I wish I could just make it go away. There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth if I have to actually click to make the add go away. Actually, it would drive me to make an automatic cancel remote... more hardware... I'm sure the appropriations committee will approve the funding.
  • Anyone remember Ed TV [imdb.com]? Remember when Matthew McConaughey was about to get lucky with Elizabeth Hurley? Trojan had the Pop Up ad for Little Ed's "popup", at least until he fell on the cat.

    Poor Elizabeth Hurley, she shoulda had a Bonzai Kitten [bonzaikitten.com].
  • Zoom function (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyberformer (257332) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:07PM (#3890533)
    We can beat this with a zoom function. This is already standard on almost all widescreen TVs, so that regular (3:4 format) pictures can either be viewed complete or cut so that they fill the screen.

    It's also fairly common on regualr TVs, VCRs and DVD players, for people who are watching a widescreen-format movie and would rather crop some bits off at the sides than see the bars along the top and bottom. Sure, zooming loses a bit of resolution, but that's preferable to seeing continuous banners.

  • Make sure that you write down any 800 numbers that are displayed. Call them up and tell them that they ruined your show, and you will never buy anything from them.
  • "None of this might be happening if traditional 30-second commercials got more respect. "

    Oh wait, so its MY fault that your commercials SUCK? I'm to blame for the fact that I'd much rather prefer reading blinky-text html than watch nearly every car commercial?

    Let me get this straight, I watch a movie, and then its temporarily obscured by your stupid advertisment... Is Blockbuster sponsoring this?
  • Man shaving: Gilette
    Small children: Bayer aspirin
    Car on a sunny road: Honda or GM
    Car being destroyed: Ford
    Computer in cheesy series like V.I.P.: Red Hat, IBM, Sun or Mandrake
    Computer geek with personality problems: Slashdot
    Computer being broken into: Microsoft
    Bob Dole: Viagra
    Sarah Michelle Gellar: Trojans
    Powerful, cynical villain: RIAA
    George W. Bush: Hooked on Phonics
    Dick Cheney: Arthur Anderson

    Others?
  • I pay about $40 a month for cable subscription with just basic+extended offer. And since I watch like 10 movies a month at most, I feel like just dropping it entirely and rent the movies. I'd save well over $10 a month this way and stupid ads. :)

    But the point is, pop-up ads like this would drive me over the line to do it right away.

  • Sweet! I'm going to make a ton of money selling people a hitech piece of cardboard to slip over the bottom of their tv...

    1. fashion piece of cardboard
    2. ?
    3. profit
  • Add this line in your TV's tvprefs.js file (remember to shutdown your TV first before editing the file):

    user_pref("capability.policy.default.TVOwner.pissO ff", "noAccess");

  • If all the local channels start pulling this sh*t?

    I can't be bothered to pay for cable -- I hardly watch any television right now as it is... maybe 2 hours a week at most. If local stations started doing this, I'd probably just sell my TV.

    I know that the shows are there to draw the audience into watching the commercials, which actually pay for the air time that the shows take up, but if they make a show less entertaining by causing ads to interfere with the picture it's just going to lead to people turning off their TV sets for good.

  • EdTV, anyone? (Score:3, Informative)

    by barzok (26681) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:18PM (#3890640)
    This is exactly what was done in the "TV show" in EdTV [imdb.com]. I'm surprised it took them this long to "invent" it for real TV.
  • Seriously, how long till someone creates a hack that circumvents this baloney? Like, perhaps, putting a pillow in front of the tv where the ads appear (this is what I do when having to watch a movie subtitled in a language I don't speak).

    Sheesh. What's next? Ads on Slashdot? =)

  • by Space Coyote (413320) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:21PM (#3890669) Homepage
    ... It's how to develop little rectangle-shaped holes in our perception so that we aren't driven insane by pop-up and banner ads while surfing. Hopefully the first focus groups who report back that they don't even remember what those little pop-ups were for because they were ignoring them will show the ad execs that this is a completely fruitless endeavour. Hopefully.
  • This all evolved from the whole USA network/Discovery Channel corner-of-the-screen ads. Some time ago I submited to /. my editorial on how to stop them. It was turned down, so I'll paraphrase it here again.

    While the obvious solution to the problem is to stop watching those channels that assault you with ads, while you are trying to watch a show, many people just aren't willing to give up a station despite the annoyances.

    So, as a moderate solution, I propse that you simply don't watch the commericals on that station. So, when you are watching any network with annoying ads during the show, change the channel when the commercial break starts. Probably the best choice is to switch to PBS for a couple minutes, then change it back when you believe the commericals will be over.

    Although the response to this will take some time, companies will realize that not many people are seeing their ads on a particular network, and that network will get less money for ads.

    And while I'm on this soap-box... I suggest everyone do the same thing at movies. When I saw the damn Heineken commercial during 'Austin Powers', I left (along with my friends) and we demanded a refund. After some arguing with the manager, we got our $50 back, and left. If more people had some backbone, you wouldn't be forced to stare at gigantic flashing "Coca Cola" signs for several seconds in the middle of every movie.

    So, there's my solution. If they want you to watch commericals during shows, don't let them subject you to the commericals during the break as well.
  • The only chance you have to stop this nonsense is to
    make a big fuss. Complain to the advertisers, teach
    them that associating their product with a feeling
    of outrage and annoyance does not sell more product
    it sells less.
  • How long before we see TVs and DVRs that filter these ads. Even a black corner of the screen is much preferable to distracting advertising during programming. We watch widescreen movies already with a % of the screen blacked out anyway...
  • The next great invention will be TV Spam...to watch a TV show, you will first have to look through 100 unsolicited programs on breast enlargement and Nigerian bank frauds. Bring on the white noise!!!!
  • I'm totally against the concept of TV pop-ups, but at least TBS and these advertisers are examining new routes of revenue and different business models instead of trying to destroy whatever they believe is hurting their current system (*cough* (RI/MP)AA *cough*). Give them a little bit of credit for that. Hopefully they'll just find a different less insane route. Just because they "haven't ruled it out" doesn't mean they'll use it. Besides, a big ad for Folger's or something popping up over Friends couldn't possibly make the show any worse.

    Did anyone actually see these things? They said they tested them over the summer...
  • Do "They" think we just don't see enough advertising in a day?
    First law of advertising saturation: the more advertisements a person sees in a given day, the less impact they have.

    If I see one to three advertisements in a day, I'll probably remember them all. I might even think about them later on and buy something. If I see 300 ads in a day, they're no more memorable than the individual cars on the freeway -- which means I only remember the really obnoxious ones that pissed me off and caused me to swear revenge.

    One would think that advertisers would understand this, and while they probably do, they ignore it because advertising is one of the great hoaxes of modern society. Every ad you see represents money in the bank for someone who suckered someone else into paying him to conceive or display the ad.

    The person paying for the advertising really has no way of determining the effectiveness of an ad campaign. Increasing or decreasing sales could be attributed to any one of a number of factors. That's why so many organizations ask "How did you hear about us?" or "What caused you to buy our product?" (I always answer "Satan")

  • Just you wait, it's only a matter of months before they start showing commercials DURING the movie in the movie theater. Real commercial breaks just like TV.

    In fact you will start to see boxed ads constantly on TV soon. That is, the show you're watching will only occupy the top 2/3rds of the screen or be a box in the upper right. The rest of the screen, about 30-50% of the total screen will be ads, sometimes several at a time.

    BTW does anyone else notice that the Disney channel does not sell ads. They only market their own media. And because of that there are different rules for how much commercial time during each hour they can have. It's typical for them to run back to back 5 minute previews of the show you're going to watch in next hour. I think they're down to maybe 22 hours of content an hour.
  • TV-Gator (Score:3, Funny)

    by nick_davison (217681) on Monday July 15, 2002 @07:49PM (#3890885)
    I have a "Gator" inspired solution for you all. Being the generous sort I am, I'll even Open-license it. ;)

    1. Buy Playboy (or similar).
    2. Find attractive image.
    3. Remove attractive image from magazine.
    4. Paste over area of TV screen filled with annoying advertising.
  • by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Monday July 15, 2002 @08:03PM (#3890966)
    It seems to me that this is very similar to the problems we're having with the recording industry and MP3s.

    Their business model has broken and they're trying vainly to simply patch it up by calling in the lawyers and copy-protection gurus instead of addressing the root cause -- lack of value for money.

    The same goes with the free-to-air (FTA) ad-funded TV broadcast model. They're losing advertising revenues because technology (TiVo/ReplayTV) is marginalizing their business model. Like the recording industry, they're trying to patch up this shonky model by simply ramping up the intrusiveness of the advertising -- which will have entirely predictable results.

    So... here's the solution:

    Just as the Net allows MP3 music files created by independent recording artists to be distributed in high quality and at low cost, the use of DivX now allows indie TV producers the chance to get their programming out there at low cost.

    Just look at how widely distributed and highly praised the indie 405 movie [405themovie.com] became thanks to its release on the Net.

    Just as in the music industry, there are a lot of really talented producers, directors, actors and effects people out there who might gain significiant benefit when FTA TV finally pushes their luck too hard and really piss off viewers.

    I'm sure that most of us would consider a subscription or short (30-60 second) advertisement at the start of each indie movie as a small price to pay in order to enjoy more of great stuff like this -- whilst thumbing our noses at the FTA networks and their lame business model.

    The secret to success is realising that an obstacle in your path is simply the chance to climb up and gain a better vantage point.
  • can anyone say... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ender Ryan (79406) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Monday July 15, 2002 @09:19PM (#3891331) Journal
    Cany anyone say, Geocities? I thought you could... Remember when there used to be web pages there? Look at them now, are their servers even still there, I wouldn't know, haven't visited a page on Geocities in years. Soon as Geocities started shoving popups down peoples' throats, Geocities became the laughing stock of the whole Internet. They must be the least respected Internet company to have exist(ed?).

    Of course, most people don't have anything other to occupy their time these days anyway, so they might as well watch their programming in all of it's purely marketing glory.

    Heh, did anyone else see Minority Report? What brilliant irony, a film with tons of stuff showing how scary, invasive, and annoying advertising could become, is a film laced with product placement from beginning to end...

    How long till the moon has a Pepsi or a Nike logo staring down at all of us. We the people, we the consumers.

  • I'm amazed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LS (57954) on Tuesday July 16, 2002 @01:43AM (#3892214) Homepage
    at those who are up in arms about this. TV is mostly shitty, it's not forced on you, and yet it still defines reality for most people by selectively pushing ways of thought that stimulate the libido, and leaving out specific ways of life and thought and break the status quo. Those of you who think I'm full of shit and don't believe that TV is a brainwashing tool are brainwashed. There are infinite things to do in this life. I hope you aren't pulled into a vortex of despair when you find out you spent most of it in front of a glowing brainwashing box.

    LS
  • BBC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kogs (221412) on Tuesday July 16, 2002 @03:00AM (#3892381)

    It just makes me want to hug the TV licence fee ~$160 per year. This gives me 8 TV channels with no ad breaks - whole uninterrupted movies.

    Just imagine a whole evening's viewing without anything allegedly washing whiter.

    The UK TV licence, you can't justify it but by gum it works!

  • by raygundan (16760) on Tuesday July 16, 2002 @08:59AM (#3893701) Homepage
    If ads begin obscuring a show I watch, I will stop watching it. I don't watch ST:TNG anymore due to the awful squish-o-vision the network employs to squeeze crap in at the bottom. If it happens to anything I value watching (ie, the stuff I got cable for) I will cancel my cable subscription.

    I don't watch much TV, and I skip over the ads of what I do watch with my Tivo. Ad-free TV has been nice, and I'd even be willing to pay for the shows I enjoy (one at a time-- I'm not paying for all the crap to get a few good shows a la cable), but if the options are ad-covered, distorted-aspect-ratio crap or nothing, nothing wins hands down.
  • by Vortran (253538) <aol_is_satan@hotmail.com> on Tuesday July 16, 2002 @09:20AM (#3893910) Homepage
    Don't the people making these commercials and pushing this crap go home and sit down to watch TV and hate the commercials just as much as you and I? Can someone explain why humans do stuff like this to other humans, much less themselves?

    Aren't these folks retaining some semblence of human-ness? It's like, if you piss in the pool it's messed up for YOU too.. not just the other people in the pool.

    I guess I just don't get it.

    Vortran out

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

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