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The Right Tempo A blog by Felipe M. G. Ceotto

I, together with the majority of the 60 million people living in the UK, watch TV on a regular basis, and I am not here to complain about the declining quality of TV over the years or the general quality of TV ads, as you might think due to the title of this article. I actually think that we do have good TV ads in place today, together with some bad ones as there will always be, and today's TV experience can be pretty selective, with satellite and on demand content, which makes watching good TV a possible choice. I am here to ask a question: do the TV networks think we get deaf when the ads kick in???

I am asking this because most of the channels I watch, if not all, put the volume up so much when there's an interval for ads that I have to keep putting the volume down whenever the show I'm watching goes to the interval, and back up when it comes back, and that is really really annoying. I guess they think most people will get up and go do something else during the intervals and they need to listen to the advertisements from farther, which I don't know if it is true but it is certainly not the case for me. What ends up happening is that I turn the volume down so much during the intervals that I don't get to watch the ads at all, therefore ruining the purpose of the whole thing for the network and the sponsors of the shows. And also managing to keep me annoyed, which also ruins the purpose of watching TV (but I keep watching it anyway...).

So I guess that as with many other means of trying to enforce something that people have not asked for, this one is not only annoying but also a failed one, and the only ones who can't see that are the TV networks. Actually, I'm making a big leap here assuming it is really a failed one and that most people don't get up during the adverts. So, to add at least some facts to this article, I'm stopping now and asking people in my office what they do. Pause here.

Ok, so I've asked people around here (not many people, and definitely not a statistically reliable sample, but who cares?) and 71% of them wait for their show to start again (unless they need to go to the toilet), and 29% will definitely get up. Of the people who wait in front of the TV, more than half change channels quickly because the adverts are too annoying, and I'm suspecting here that part of that annoyance is because of the unbearable loudness. So my theory might as well be correct, that turning the volume up during the adverts is just making people annoyed and it's not being effective in getting the commercial message to people.

Hey, I'm not saying that we should get the commercial message, I don't want people to go buying things they don't need. It would be much better if we could watch TV without any ads, but since we can't, we might as well try to get them to be less annoying! But this is exactly where TV differs more from the Internet: even if all of you (three people - hi mom! hi dad!) who are reading this agree with me, there is no easy way to get the message to the TV networks and try to make them change. But if by any chance you have a contact with the guy with the hand on the volume button there, please, put some sense into him. :D

And, by the way, what's with adverts for dental products? Do they have to be so bad all the time???

Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 5:11 PM General | Back to top


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