There is a limit to the number of continuous advertisements I can watch before I develop negative attitudes about the products being advertised. I listen to the radio a fair bit while I travel in my car, and I understand that advertisements pay for music and talk that I enjoy free of charge on the FM dial. I could pay for commercial free radio, but I choose not to, and I am glad I have that choice. I appreciate that the stations I listen to group all the commercials together so that they have 30 minutes plus of uninterrupted radio.
Television is a little different. Much wider exposure, multi media opportunity for advertisers, and the ads can often be as enjoyable as the show itself, for example Super Bowl ads. I have the opportunity to switch to any one of 800 channels with the flex of a finger, or scroll by the commercials when the program is recorded. Again, I have the choice of viewing 22 minutes of program and 8 minutes of commercials every half hour. I don’t often develop negative impressions of advertisers because I can tune them out.
This past weekend, I dug deep into my pocket to see a movie at the local theatre. I’ll admit I don’t go to a lot of movies, and now I will go to fewer still. I arrived 15 minutes early, took my seat and the bombardment began. Ad after ad. I saw the same car ad 5 times before the movie started. Years ago if you got to the theatre early, you were treated to a cartoon, no ads, unless it was for hot buttered popcorn, soft drinks etc. The “coming soon” features were even sponsored by a bank! Why wouldn’t they just be brought to you by the company releasing the film, or by the cinema themselves, after all, they are the ones who are going to benefit through your interest in the trailer. It has got to stop. I will not use the bank who kept me waiting for the film, I will not buy the car I saw 5 times and chances are I will not visit the apparel store with the loud, nonsensical ad. I took offence to all the visual junk, and so did all those around me judging by the moans and groans, and finally the clapping when the main feature finally started. I will not be held hostage by the advertisers who use this media for what they think is a captive audience. Even though I don’t have a choice once I get there, I do have a choice not to go in the first place, and so do you!