Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Advertising Saturation Point?

Have we reached advertising saturation point? I think so. I turn on the t.v. and I’m watching two minutes of advertising for about every ten minutes of programming. During those two minutes I’m seeing at least 10 different ads. I go to watch a video on YouTube (I’m a big fan of rail videos.) and I’m forced to watch five seconds of advertising (up from three seconds). I turn on the radio there’s advertising. I go to a newspaper web site and there’s advertising. I look at a bus and see advertising inside and out. I watch sports there’s advertising. I’m being advertised to death.

It`s so bad that I`ve long since tuned out advertising. When I watch t.v. during commercial breaks I turn down the sound and pick up a book or magazine to read. The only time I leave the sound on is when I go out of the room to do something else. On YouTube I`m waiting to click the skip ad function and turn down the sound on the ones I`m forced to watch. I never click advertising on newspaper and magazine web sites. Most advertising that comes to the door gets immediately put in the recycle box.

Don`t get me wrong, I`m not against advertising, as it pays the bills and can inform the public about a product, service or sale. I`m against being bombarded with advertising day in day out. I`m also against advertising that holds absolutely no interest for me.

I find that most of the advertising is totally meaningless to me. For example I don`t drive a motor vehicle. In fact I don`t have a driver`s license. Therefore ads for cars, trucks, motorcycles and their products don`t interest me. Ads for mortgages don`t interest me. I own my house outright and have zero debt. I`m not a woman and so products geared for women don`t interest me. Finally I don`t gamble and so ads for casinos and lottery tickets don`t interest. Of the advertising that does interest me I`ve been so bombarded with advertising that I usually also tune it out as well.

I`d like to see less advertising, one third to one half less advertising. I`d also like to get to pick at least some of the advertising I see. For example newspapers could have three classes of readers: limited free access, subscription and free access that requires a person to look at so many ads, but allows you to choose the types of ads you`d like to see.

With t.v. shows, why not return to the early days of single sponsor shows or at least in place of the ten or so different ads now seen during commercial breaks, show no more than five. Fewer ads would allow for longer individual commercials, which in turn would allow for more information to be placed in each one. I`m sure there are other ideas that would cut down on audience tune-out.