Turning down the volume on TV ads

I’m so glad someone’s on this: House Commerce Committee passes bill to hush TV ads.

For years we’ve all heard commercials come booming at us in between shows. This is done by producers of the ads who want to make sure it’s harder for you to ignore them. If you go into the next room to make a sandwich between shows, you’ll still hear their shrill cry to give them money for things you don’t need.

We could complain all we want, but it does take the government to step in and tell them to cut it out. I’m so glad they are. Frankly, if the FCC doesn’t tell an advertiser to stop doing something, you couldn’t get them to stop if you threatened the lives of their children. (Another solution to crass commercialism we really haven’t given a fair shake, I might add.)

There are no metrics I can find that show the effectiveness of turning up the volume on TV ads. It’s a fine idea if you think the only problem is people are in the bathroom while your Lexus ad is on. But people aren’t ignoring ads because they don’t know they’re on. They’re ignoring them because they don’t care. People don’t buy products because they see a TV ad anymore. They find out about it there, maybe, then they do Google searches on it to learn more, or ask other people what they think if they’ve tried it, then, maybe, they test it out.

If the only way they can think of to reach us now is to increase the audio, it shows you how much shit they have on the shelf. They may actually believe people just need to hear the magic they’re sharing and consumers will start buying. In short, it’s a way for television advertising to show they’re somehow innovating a solution, when their solution does nothing to fix the real problem: Consumers have evolved, TV ads have not.

TV advertising itself is going to go away soon, because the model for television is going to change. The very way we get information has already changed dramatically thanks to the Internet, and we have all decided that finding things ourselves is a much better way to do things than to have it fed to us.

If agencies and producers really want to keep their jobs, they’ll need to come up with a better way to reach us than simply annoy the crap out of us.


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