Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TV Commercials!

Television commercials are another pet peeve of mine for many reasons. Sure I grew up with them as kid and I understand the need for them, they generate lots of money for programs. But years ago, the commercials were almost as fun to watch as the programs themselves. They had cute little jingles they would stick in your head all day or great slogans that you couldn’t forget. Remember Alka Seltzer’s “Plop, Plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is?” Or the catchy, “Aye, aye, aye-yi, I am the Frito Bandito?” Or the famous McDonalds’ “Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special order’s don’t upset us?” I still remember them, but I could not tell you one jingle or slogan from any of today’s commercials. The best part of the old commercials is that there were fewer of them and you had a reasonable expectation of getting back to your program before you forgot what you were watching!

Commercials used to be longer, that’s true, but they were more entertaining as well and I knew what the product was and who made it. Sometimes the advertisers of today are being so clever, I can’t even tell what they are trying to sell. I did a little research to see for myself how much time commercials take in a 60 minute program. In the 60’s, commercials only took 9 minutes of viewing time. Today that time has more than doubled to approximately 20 minutes or more, depending on the popularity of the program. And, the length of commercials have decreased from 60 seconds per ad to about 30 seconds per ad. Very interesting!

So, now I know why, when I try to watch a show at 10 PM, that I never get past the first series of
commercials before falling into a deep sleep. I barely see maybe 3 or 4 minutes of the show to get me hooked and then I am bombarded by an estimated 12 thirty second commercials right off the bat. I think I usually fall asleep between the 6th and 8th commercial and shut the television off just before the show ends.

I’d rather go back to the way it was, when commercials were engaging enough to get you to listen and even leave you humming their tune…”Double your pleasure, double your fun with double mint, double mint, double mint gum!” Now that’s a commercial I could sink my teeth into!

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