Okay, Now I’m Pissed

I don’t watch a helluva lot of TV, I’m more of a DVD-watching kinda guy. ‘Swhy I’ve got my Netflix. But, I love to watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Pucca. My wife likes to watch King of Queens, and the kids like various cartoons and such.

A disturbing trend I’ve been noticing, is the increasing use of distracting and interruptive advertisement techniques, used during the show, usually to advertise other shows on the same network. The slim bar animations at the bottom of the screen are barely tolerable, but they often obscure parts of the show I want to see. Some of them get around this problem by squishing the whole show vertically while they do their business on the bar below, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s worse. Several notches below that, is when they add audible noises to the stupid animations. Explosions are the worst.

But now, now they’ve not only crossed the line, they’ve smashed it into tiny, tiny pieces. While I’m watching Family Guy on TBS, a Bill Engvall bar comes across the bottom of the screen. He grabs a remote, reaches behind him, and actually pauses Family Guy while he pimps his new show, then unpauses it so you can watch the final 10 seconds before the actual commercial break starts.

Un-friggin-believable. Now, we not only have to deal with commercials between slices of our favorite show, we have to freaking watch commercials during our favorite shows.

4 thoughts on “Okay, Now I’m Pissed

  1. Micah Post author

    Well, fortunately, Comedy Central hasn’t been doing that so far—at least not for The Daily Show or The Colbert Report… of course, they have the normal commercial breaks (including the ones for Girls Gone Wild). Maybe it would be simpler if I watched it on the Net too…

  2. Duane

    What happened to the good old days when the only advertisements came from the characters within the program itself?

  3. Micah Post author

    Heh. I’m guessing you’re joking, but actually, I much prefer in-show advertising (Jackie drinks a Coke, camera is placed to ensure the branding is clearly visible) to the increasingly interruptive techniques that have been used lately. It least the flow is relatively unbroken.

    I remember that many commercials in the 50s and 60s usually included the show’s host taking a short break to personally endorse some product or other. I wonder why we don’t see that so much any more? I’m sure it must have been reasonably effective, and is much less jarring than obscuring part of the actual program content with pasted-on ads.

    I understand why it’s being done: advertisers are realizing that people tend to “tune out” when the commercials start, and “tune in” when the program’s back on (plus, even aside from that, the opportunity to cram yet more advertising dollars into the space of half-an-hour must be extremely tempting). But, gosh-darnit, enough is enough! If this sort of thing continues, I think the result will backfire on TV programmers, and customers will seek alternative sources of entertainment to cable or satellite television.

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