Frank Absher of STLRadio.com has a thought piece out, from the perspective of a consumer, that members of the electronic entertainment community probably should keep in mind as they go about entertaining the public and serving their advertising clients. He voiced complaints about three media that he uses – but with less frequency because of sins of advertising.
In the first case, he started to watch a Three Stooges festival on a cable channel, only to find the program saturated with commercials, to the point that individual Stooge episodes were interrupted. Absher said they were called short features by Hollywood when they were created for a reason, and should not be disrupted.
The upshot – although he wanted to watch the program, he didn’t want to under these conditions and channeled away, and didn’t see any further disruptive ads.
He complained about newspapers sticking ads over material he wanted to read, and hiding entire sections within ads. Losing readers, newspapers? You just lost another.
His noted that some radio programmers are afraid that listeners will channel away if they hear an ad – so they then run eight minutes worth of ads in a row, practically guaranteeing that the listener will channel. Even those that stick around aren’t going to remember every ad in that kind of jumble. But most won’t be forgotten, because they will simply be unheard.
RBR-TVBR observation: We had a little bit of time to kill yesterday afternoon and found “Bull Durham” on cable, don’t remember what channel it was, discovered it just flipping around.
We don’t know what the proportion of program time to commercial time was, but it seemed like 50-50. All we know it was way too much, and we immediately suspected that even if we had the patience to sit through all the commercials, we’d be missing a lot of the movie due to edits made by some intern to squeeze more commercials in. Within 10 minutes the commercial deluge chased us away.
Absher isn’t saying anything that doesn’t fit under the age-old saw that the customer is always right. You have to make the numbers work – but chasing away your audience isn’t the way go about it.