Is there a reason that major companies don’t always have closed captioning on their commercials? I’ve seen commercials for companies like Tide, McDonalds, Ford, etc. that don’t have CC. I can understand that some local business can’t afford to add CC, but I would think the cost would be minimal for a major company’s commercial. Is it a simple oversight or something done for cost savings?
At a guess, because of the technical limitations of coordinating flawlessly with all broadcast processes and streams. There’s more to it than just embedding the CC info in the tape or digital stream.
There was some recent rumblings that the FCC was going to demand more and better CC soon. If that materializes then the answer to the OP might be simply that the FCC has so far not demanded it.
Given that the cost is trivial and the effort nil in something as intensely produced and assembled as a ad, and that reaching (out to) that market segment can only be a good thing, I’d bet on technical and broadcast-cost limitations over sheer laziness or “the government hasn’t forced us to yet.”
The bit that amuses me is that when the news is showing old footage of something, often the closed captioning is from when the footage was originally shown, not from what they’re saying right now.
The problem with that is that there are no such technical limitations that would not apply equally to a TV show or at least other commercials, and it costs no more to send the signal with closed captioning embedded as to not do so.
I do not agree that there is necessarily a huge advantage in making sure everyone can hear your ad. Ads are now set up to work both visually and with audio. They have to consider people who mute the TV and people who fast forward through commercials. I don’t think it’s a given that extra work of subtitling and setting everything that will be said is actually all that beneficial.
When you make closed captions for a TV show, you don’t just account for the words, colours, and editing, but also for the commercial breaks. The commercials will then be subtitled by somebody else who will also have to include an ending code and a starting code. They can only do this if they’re certain of the advert’s run time, down to the frame. It’s just not that easy.
What drives me crazy is the fact that closed captioning for shows that are scripted and/or read off a teleprompter and sometimes even pre-recorded is sometimes just as far behind the real-time dialogue as closed captioning for “live”* shows and those that have unscripted segments.
*Like Letterman. Not live live, but live-ish.
How can you not know, to a frame, how long your commercial is?
Why would it be hard to know the ad’s run time? The number of frames should be part of the video file.
I’m not sure I’m understanding the technical or financial limitation. It seems any company involved with making commercials should have the technology to easily add CC. And I can’t see how it’s really all that time consuming to match up the CC with the audio. Especially in a nationwide ad, the cost seems like it should be trivial in comparison:
“National commercials produced by an advertising agency cost far more, averaging $342,000 for a 30-second spot in 2008, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies.”