The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

AND IT TOOK THEM ONLY THIRTY YEARS TO FIGURE THIS OUT
A new study on television advertising reveals that--gasp!--viewers tend to pay less attention to the standard commercial break than they do to the main programming. Is this supposed to be a shock to the system?

In a way, it is. It's incredible how so many people in marketing and advertising brainwash themselves into--get this--actually believing that consumers enthusiastically look forward to watching product pitches! I mean, I've talked to these individuals, and they really think that the infomercial is the people's choice of perfect television entertainment, over sitcoms or dramas. Incredible!

In any case, one wrinkle in the study finds that viewers are more likely to ignore commercials when they're watching with other people in the room. It seems live human interaction beats out the latest Budweiser commercial... The natural converse is that the solitary viewer, who has fewer distractions, is a more rapt audience. Makes sense, right?

It makes so much sense that it makes even more sense in the case of the Internet, which, naturally, is dominated by single-focus viewers. It's a thought-provoking piece, although personally I think the writer should be shot for that closing line.