Saturday, November 12, 2005

Advertising is Getting Desperate

As you well know, I'm an avid watcher of VH1. It has a lot of programs that I enjoy viewing, they make me laugh. However, I'm starting to lose my jones for the network because I absoutely cannot handle seeing even one more commercial for But Can They Sing? Frankly, VH1, they can't, and I wish you'd stop asking me. For this reason, and of course others, I'm not a fan of BCTS, and I suppose it's obvious just how much they overadvertise their shows. Even the ones I like, I'm noticing, are plugged to the point where you'll be glad when it airs just so that you won't have to watch the commercials. Even when there was nothing else on, I'd leave the network on as background noise, but now I fear putting it just in case I might yet again see Bai Ling in that glittery wig. It's getting to be a bit much, but it doesn't stop there.

Product placement is out of control, as I read in a recent issue of mag fav Entertainment Weekly, but at least that's much more subtle. And how silly, I think, of advertisers to think that just because I see a character from my favorite show drinking a Pepsi that all of a sudden I'm going to want to go out and have it myself. Who knows, advertisers may have some stats that make it obvious that product placement works, but I'm skeptical. The outrageousness, however, doesn't stop there. I was enjoying a peaceful night at home with my cat the other night when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to see a woman on the other side, holding a bunch of pamphlets, trying to sell me something. I was surprised that any company was utilizing door to door salesmanship until I realized something - there are so few people that you can call anymore because of the Do Not Call list that going to someone's home is the only way they can reach the people they haven't already sold to. By the way, if you're not on that list, get on it right away. It's absolutely wonderful. The problem is you can't hang up on a door to door salesman, and I'm too nice to just slam the door in the guy's face. Companies are determined to take away from my peaceful night even if they have to break in to sell me something.

This is the same problem I have with movies. Other than the fact that there aren't that many good movies out there anymore, everything that goes on at the movies is an effort to get us to buy things. Movie studios wonder why we're not going to the theater as often as we used to. It's because I have to spend $10 to get in to the theater, another $15 to get popcorn and something to drink, and of course all over the sides of both are ads. Then I go sit down in the theater, after walking past a host of stand-up ads, and I sit down and wait for the movie to start, where I am entertained by - more ads. Then the movie starts, and I think I can sit back and enjoy myself, and I get yet more ads. It's getting to be a little too much! The public can only take so much, and it's frustrating we can't do anything about it. My only recourse was to not go to the movies as often, which is easy since I can't really afford it, and join an online movie rental outfit. I like that much better, and there are far fewer ads to muddle through. Until advertisers back down from being the wolverines they are, the public will continue to be turned off.