Many cable-television channels and satellite radio services have
created a profitable niche for one simple reason: They carry no
commercials, which a lot of viewers and listeners find intrusive, loud
and distasteful. To these people's delight, products like TiVo, a
digital video recorder, came along. They record program content while
wiping away the annoying advertising.
But this might come as
a shock to you and those who hate commercials. Not only do millions of
people tolerate them, others actually enjoy them, find them informative
and go out of their way to hear them. People searching for a new car,
for instance, pay close attention to automobile ads. And because some
television commercials, in particular, are funny or visually
imaginative, they can develop a following of their own. Millions of
people who are not even sports fans, for instance, watch pro football's
championship Super Bowl Game just to see the new and often ingenious
And here's the ultimate destination for those
who love broadcast ads: It's something called advertising on demand.
Subscribers to many cable television systems can go to a particular
channel that carries commercials from the cable company's sponsors.
Often these are longer, more informative, custom-made "spots," as
broadcast ads are sometimes called, made just for this channel.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for instance, cable subscribers who
hate commercials can go to the on-demand channel and watch shows they
might have missed, while zapping the commercials using the fast-forward
feature on their remote controls. But those who like commercials and
want to see more about the products can go to on demand and find
long-form ads created just for them.
Some companies, such as
Dove Chocolates, even produce mini-programs with interesting characters
and evolving story lines. Naturally, the characters eat a lot of Dove
candy and ice-cream bars as the plots unfold.
Read more of Ted's personal reflections and stories from the road on his blog, Ted Landphair's America.