Apr 4, 2007

Clutter

First off, apologies to my readers. I have had a very busy spell this past month, personally and professionally. I promise to resume regular posting as of May 1st.

Secondly... The alma mater having made some degree of progress in the Final Four, I've been watching a lot of basketball on ESPN as of late. It's been an opportunity to view the fragmentation of the audience and the amount of clutter on TV up close. Because in just a two-hour game you can see the same 5 commercials about a dozen times each.

Some observations:

1. Mildly amusing commercials of the misdirect variety become mildly annoying very quickly. I'm thinking of the Cingular "missing words" spots, where someone drops out in the middle of an important conversation. Some are annoying from the start, but others bring a smile. But by the 5th watching in as many minutes, they're all just annoying-- I get the joke, it's not funny anymore. If you're going to run with that level of frequency, you'd better make more commercials.


(this is an older spot from the series, but you get the idea.)


2. Sometimes repetition helps. There's a not-exactly-awful spot about a guy driving with a GPS with a woman's voice who tells the voice he loves her while that cheesy song "Turn Around Bright Eyes" plays. And it was only upon the 12th viewing that I realized it was a spot for Avis, plugging their GPS system and not a spot for GPS systems in general.



3. Bud Lite really does have a brand image. But... Okay, so if it's a comedy spot for beer featuring sloppily dressed 20something guys, it's a Bud Lite spot. But I kept wondering why they were getting so excited over the presence of a cheap beer like Bud Lite. Now a case of Guiness in the fridge or even some sort of American microbrew... but Bud???


The humor in this spot holds up a lot better than Cingular.


4. Trailers for really gory movies seem completely out of place amidst all the comedy spots. I can't remember the actual movies (that's how uninterested I was) but I do remember thinking that it was a good time to go get more pretzel nuggets.

5. Financial services and insurance companies all have "trusted advisors" who can help you plan your retirement. Enough said. You've seen dozens of these identical spots.

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