It’s a Saturday afternoon, you have a few hours off, and you sit down to check out what’s on television. Before you know it, a series of advertisements are shooting toward you without notice. And they are all shown after
the commercial break!
What’s wrong? When the commercials end and the show begins again, you are supposed to be safe, right? Not exactly.
Cable and network channels have started showing previews for their upcoming shows while programs are airing. Usually, the ads are running across the lower half of the screen, followed by a logo with words that remain in the corner. Some even move, dancing back and forth, taking up so much space you can’t really see what the program you want
Of course, these promotions are for the exact same shows the network has already promoted in the commercial break, but apparently, they really want to make sure you know about them. All you can do is try to ignore them if you can, while wondering, “How did we get here?”
Rewind a few decades and you will find that one of the earliest forms of commercials was played as a “word from our sponsor” throughout radio telecasts. Later, radio shows had actual commercials, and television had a form of advertising that was somewhat logical, and was overall an efficient way to financially support the cost of a program. Many of the commercials started as occasional messages, some even entertaining, in order to make each show run within a certain timeframe.
However, soon cable television took over, and a whole new arena was launched, leaving room on hundreds of channels for, you guessed it, more advertising! Fast forward to today, and people cannot escape promotions. They are everywhere—online at YouTube, in the movie theaters, and on the sides and bottoms of a television screen.
Programming executives know that DVRs are very popular, and many viewers skip the commercials on playback. There are also aware of how much better it is to wait for a show to be released in DVD format and watch an entire season without a single interruption. As a result, channels can no longer risk it, so shows are edited for length and to make time for additional commercials. On top of this, ads are increasingly repetitive, and previews are now displayed onscreen, whether there is a break or not.
Yes, it is very frustrating, and to millions of viewers, it means war! Just as it always has been from the beginning, audiences have the power, and can use it to contact networks and voice a complaint, or stop watching channels that are considered the worst invaders of your entertainment.
Please share this article