Thursday, February 18, 2010

More on advertisers - there are too few commercials

After I wrote the previous post, I was sitting in a Starbucks in Claremont and thinking about the post that I had written, and I realized another problem with advertising.

There are too few commercials.

Allow me to explain.

Let's say that you're watching a popular syndicated show such as M*A*S*H on TV. Popular shows like this are shown on TV every day, on multiple channels. In fact, for a show such as M*A*S*H, it is quite possible that you can see the same episode several times in the same year. No matter how much you like a particular episode of M*A*S*H, you get tired of it after a while...even if Klinger happens to be wearing a very pretty dress in the episode.

But the frequency with which you see a popular syndicated show is nothing compared to the frequency with which you see or hear a particular commercial. If you spend any amount of time watching TV or listening to the radio, you may hear the same commercial several times in the same DAY. And you'll hear that same commercial, over and over, for weeks.

The problem is that advertisers are convinced that the only way to get their message across is to hammer the same message into your brain over and over and over and over again. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot of people like me who will switch the station if a commercial comes on that I've already heard too many times. The fatigue factor not only causes me to stop listening to the message, but actually causes me to dislike the product being advertised.

Frankly, I wish that advertisers would create a hundred commercials at the same time, instead of the few commercials - or the single commercial - that they create for an ad campaign. They don't have to be radically different - maybe in one commercial, Paris Hilton could be eating her burger while lounging on a Corvette, while in another commercial Paris Hilton could be eating a different burger while lounging on a Mercedes. Just enough variety so that when the commercial comes on, I might actually want to watch it or listen to it just to see what will happen next.

Perhaps Apple did it right when they only officially showed the "1984" commercial a limited number of times. Imagine if they had aired that commercial every hour on every network, like some advertisers do today. If I had been subjected to that commercial over and over again, I eventually would have wanted to throw the RUNNER into the Big Brother screen, just to put an end to the misery.

Again, make commercials that we want to watch, and guess what? We'll watch them.
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