Yeah, a GD question more than anything else, not nearly enough gravitas for GD tho IMHO (which has more active threads now than in recorded memory).
I’ve been noticing several long-term trends in TV commercials (US) which may be indicating that they may eventually disappear, to be replaced by some other form of advertising which is more efficient:
The prevalence of Tivo and other commercial-evading hardware.
Modern-day shows now typically devote only about 42 minutes of every hour to the actual programming, down 6 minutes from where it was only 20 years ago (watch a DVD of Equalizer or *Magnum PI *and note the final time). They obviously feel that they are getting less bang for their buck per minute of commercials time, or they wouldn’t have done this.
Pop-up mini-ads in the middle of programs-usually to promo another show on the network in question, but I wouldn’t put it past any TV exec to shill beer in this manner eventually. Ostensibly to avoid the types of hardware I mentioned in #1.
The goods and services advertised often anymore seem well…less than 100% legitimate, at best. The airwaves are currently crawling with ads for at least half-a-dozen “male enhancement” products. Then there’s the likes of FreeCreditReport.com, JG Wentworth, ambulance-chasing lawyers in every market, and so on. Yeah we’ve always had these kinds of lowlifes on the air, just seems like there’s more of them than before. When many legitimate businesses eschew over-the-air ads you know that they feel that TV isn’t an efficient or profitable way to sell their goods.
So are commercials doomed? Is this a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what replaces them (product placement, increasing use of pop-up ads, etc.)?