Spacefem.com

Happy Birthday, Commercials

Bitching, whining, complaining, and general negativity

Moderators: kelsa, Bork

Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Kiss The Monkey » Fri Jul 1, 20:40 2011

This is part one of a two-part rant on commercials. (American television.)

I know that I'm not alone in thinking that commercial breaks are far too long. I mean, honestly, I feel like I watch a lot more commercials than actual T.V. show.

Allow me to shed some light on the subject:

The first commercial to air in the U.S. was on July 1, 1941. It was a 20 second slot during the Dodgers/Phillies game, for the watchmaker Bulova. Commercials didn't start airing regularly until the early 1990s, due to the high cost of air time.

In the 1960s, a typical hour-long program would run 51 minutes, excluding commercials.
The average length of an advertisement was 1 minute, and only one or two commercials would be shown per break.

Today, the average length of an hour-long program is only 42 minutes, excluding commercials, and a typical 30 minute block now consists of 22 minutes of show, with 6 minutes of local advertising, 2 minutes of national.
Some shows go even farther, and only have 18 minutes of show and 12 minutes of commercials.
The average length of a commercial today is 15 seconds.
The average length of a commercial break is 2-4 minutes. Longer if it's the Super Bowl.

Today, over the course of 10 hours, viewers are subjected to about 3 hours of commercials, which is TWICE what it was in the '60s.
That's about 6.5 hours of commercials per day, which leaves about 17.5 hours of actual television.

The average person pays approximately $75 a month for cable (if you don't include Stars, HBO, Cinemax, etc.).
That means we pay about $2.50 for cable per day.
That's a little over 10 cents an hour.

That breaks down to $1.75 per day for the actual programming, leaving 75 cents per day for commercials.
That means we're paying $22.50 per month JUST FOR COMMERCIALS.

We are PAYING to be ADVERTISED TO for things that we would need to PAY FOR.

Doesn't that cheese anyone else off? And there's no way around it. You can't pay your cable company to exclude the advertising. You can get TiVo, but you still have to fast-forward through the commercial breaks. You can channel-surf during the commercial breaks, but you might forget to turn back on time, thus missing part of your show. Sometimes you can get up and go do something else while the commercials are running, but do you really need to get up every 6-8 minutes? I know I don't.

We need to go back to the good old days, when commercials only aired during the break between different shows. I want to be able to sit down to my show and, if I am watching an hour-long show, I want to see at least 55 minutes worth of programming. That leaves five whole minutes of advertising time in between shows. If the big companies can't make due with that, then too bad for them. In the golden age of the Internet, if I need something, or need to know about a product, I can Google that shit.

So, my fellow TV watchers, hear me and join me: Viva La Television Revolution!

~ :lips: :monkey:
Last edited by Kiss The Monkey on Sat Jul 2, 11:10 2011, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Kiss The Monkey
Love the monkey.
Love the monkey.
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Mon Oct 6, 5:46 2003
Location: Nunya, Web Canyon, Up A Spiders' Ass

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Bork » Fri Jul 1, 21:51 2011

I know this wasn't at all part of your point, but I feel like it's somehow fitting that the first commercial aired during a Dodger game.

The amount of money that people pay to have their commercials play is completely mindblowing. I just can't understand how some people can pay that much money when there are people who are struggling in the world. It makes me sick.

I also hate that my "hour long" show is really only barely 40 minutes. I feel so cheated.
Bork is too lazy to bother thinking up a witty signature. :polarbear:
User avatar
Bork
Resident Punctuation Vigilante
Resident Punctuation Vigilante
 
Posts: 7407
Joined: Tue Sep 2, 11:44 2003
Location: wherever I am, I'm probably sitting on my ass

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Meperidine » Fri Jul 1, 22:06 2011

I don't even mind having a 43-minute show; it's a reasonable length to watch TV. It's more the constant interruptions to force us to watch commercials--which, like you said, ktm, we are paying for--that's upsetting.

I like IFC's system--ads are just between shows or maybe a really short break, in between shows, and really short!

Companies with annoying ad campaigns are also really likely to turn me off their product.
:heart: and :spacefem:
User avatar
Meperidine
"Pr0n for t3h MIND!"
"Pr0n for t3h MIND!"
 
Posts: 5141
Joined: Tue May 31, 13:34 2005
Location: MFS's basement

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Kirby » Fri Jul 1, 23:18 2011

Or do what I do, and don't watch tv! Nah, I'm kidding. But it is nice to not watch tv, I just watch any TV shows that I like online or I just buy the whole series and watch it on my computer. We own a tv, and to be honest, it just pisses me off more than anything. It's noisy and irritating.

But on the subject of commercials, the ABC over here never show commercials during shows, it's great. They only show them between shows, and most of the commercials are advertising the other shows on the channel. I really love that about the ABC.
Tweeky wrote:
Mordak wrote:Port Adelaide have the faggiest uniforms.
Is it pink?


They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but you'd be hard pressed to win a duel with one
User avatar
Kirby
Bigger than YOU!
Bigger than YOU!
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sun Feb 6, 23:51 2005
Location: RADelaide

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Mathmo » Sat Jul 2, 7:12 2011

This is part of why I love the BBC (no commercials on BBC channels except for trailers for other programs, and I think those are only shown between programs).

Also Sky+ - now that we have a sky+ box (I'm sure other set-top recording boxes do this too) you can record shows or pause live TV and then fast forward through the ads. It's starting to change the way that advertising works here too, I think - companies now sometimes sponsor a particular show. So e.g. some hair dye company sponsored Glee on E4 (E4 being a channel name) - so at the beginning and end of every ad break during Glee, you would have a ~5 second ad for them. I think that's clever because if you're fast forwarding through all the ad breaks, like me, you'll still end up seeing quite a few of those particular ads.
User avatar
Mathmo
established
established
 
Posts: 2145
Joined: Mon May 19, 10:53 2008
Location: Cambridge, usually

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Tookie » Sat Jul 2, 10:13 2011

Yeah, I don't own a TV either. I watch the few shows that manage to capture my attention online. It does mean that commercials are absolutely fascinating when I do find myself in front of a television, though.
The personal is the political.
helium wrote:Every vagina is different, right? A unique and original vag-snowflake?
User avatar
Tookie
Spleentastic!
Spleentastic!
 
Posts: 4760
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 16:34 2004
Location: Canada

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby monk » Sat Jul 2, 10:23 2011

Kirby wrote:I just watch any TV shows that I like online or I just buy the whole series and watch it on my computer.


This is the right strategy, don't watch programs on the networks timeline, buy the whole series on DVD later. Parse down your cable to the very minimum package (usually $30-40) and use the money you save to upgrade your internet and buy programs after market.

As for the companies that advertise on TV, I would say I hate about 70% of the advertising but the other 30% is as entertaining as the show itself if not more so(ie the real product spoof commercials during Mad Men & the Allstate Mayhem ads). What I would like to see is a refection of the quality of programming to coincide with the price companies pay for the ads, instead of paying for good scripts & actors though we have "reality' tv that pays amateurs to run around doing stupid crap for little to nothing compared to the ad income generated if the show becomes popular.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? - Pink Floyd.
User avatar
monk
try to ignore it if I offend you.
try to ignore it if I offend you.
 
Posts: 7431
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 23:46 2003

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Sat Jul 2, 10:59 2011

This is pretty much exactly why I do not have cable. I ain't paying to watch a bunch of shitty commercials.
"Everything's gonna be OK soon, maybe tomorrow- maybe the next day." -the Mountain Goats
:chainsaw:!
User avatar
Rainbow Dolphins
freakish chainsaw girl
freakish chainsaw girl
 
Posts: 9337
Joined: Mon Nov 4, 1:48 2002
Location: In your closet. Armed.

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby GlassBallerina » Sat Jul 2, 12:33 2011

Yeah, I watch my TV shows on Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Go. I hardly ever use an actual TV anymore, despite the fact we just got FiOs and have a bazillion more channels. I can't deal with more than 2 commercials like on Hulu, I get too impatient.
SakuraSong wrote:My virginity brings all the boys to the yard, and they said, "Do you wanna trade cards?"


monk wrote: put this feather boa on and dance bitch, and it better be funny
User avatar
GlassBallerina
Lost in her Own World of Dances & Dreams
Lost in her Own World of Dances & Dreams
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 18:14 2003
Location: In a dance studio

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby miketheheadlesschicken » Sat Jul 2, 13:49 2011

Tookie wrote:It does mean that commercials are absolutely fascinating when I do find myself in front of a television, though.


This is me every break when I come home from college. I have access to TVs in friends' houses/student lounges/the pizza place in the student union basement, but mostly I'll watch things online. Suddenly there are so many commercials for such odd things!
User avatar
miketheheadlesschicken
Mola mola!
Mola mola!
 
Posts: 1713
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 10:33 2003
Location: on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby edit the sad parts » Sat Jul 2, 15:00 2011

Netflix, baby, netflix. Also, I have just started hitting the mute button during commercial breaks.
What was once before you - an exciting, mysterious future - is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone's experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone's everyone.
User avatar
edit the sad parts
philophobia
philophobia
 
Posts: 8703
Joined: Tue Apr 6, 21:53 2004
Location: weirdly close

Postby Kiss The Monkey » Sat Jul 2, 17:14 2011

I have Netflix, but it doesn't have everything that I like to watch.

And even when you watch things online, like on Hulu, you still have commercials. And they're getting longer and more frequent there, too.

But that's reserved for part 2 of my rant.

~ :lips: :monkey:
User avatar
Kiss The Monkey
Love the monkey.
Love the monkey.
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Mon Oct 6, 5:46 2003
Location: Nunya, Web Canyon, Up A Spiders' Ass

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Meperidine » Sat Jul 2, 19:51 2011

I think Youtube commercials are the worst thing to happen to the internet. I understand why Pandora and Hulu have commercials--rights cost money. But free youtube videos should be free. Plus, if net neutrality is ever deposed, we're going to be charged for youtube commercials same as we're charged for Comcast ads now.
:heart: and :spacefem:
User avatar
Meperidine
"Pr0n for t3h MIND!"
"Pr0n for t3h MIND!"
 
Posts: 5141
Joined: Tue May 31, 13:34 2005
Location: MFS's basement

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby That Colossal Wreck » Sat Jul 2, 20:13 2011

I didn't know YouTube commercials even existed until just recently, because my ad blocker apparently catches them. I only found out when I was using somebody else's computer.
User avatar
That Colossal Wreck
Monkey Waxer
Monkey Waxer
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 22:11 2011
Location: An Antique Land

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby spacefem » Sun Jul 3, 7:15 2011

Now I feel bonus good about removing all the ads from spacefem.com... I can't totally explain why I did it, except to say that I was just sick of feeling like part of this machine, you know?

My sister went to cuba for a school trip in college. She actually mentioned that one of the weirdest things was just walking around and not seeing advertisements. She said she'd had no idea how much advertising she was subjected to until she was in this communist country, where there was nothing to advertise.

Also... who else has seen "idiocracy"? Brilliant film, and it's funny how they portray the dysfunctional future as being even more loaded up with ads.
User avatar
spacefem
queen of everything
queen of everything
 
Posts: 7170
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 1:37 2002

Re:

Postby edit the sad parts » Sun Jul 3, 11:45 2011

Kiss The Monkey wrote:I have Netflix, but it doesn't have everything that I like to watch.

And even when you watch things online, like on Hulu, you still have commercials. And they're getting longer and more frequent there, too.

But that's reserved for part 2 of my rant.

~ :lips: :monkey:



That is true, we have about half of the selection that the states has as well. This is why I am happy to pirate anything I want to see commercial free. I have absolutely no qualms about this whatsoever. Maybe broadcasters will get that through their skulls and do something about it.

I am also sickened by the commercials on Youtube. Thanks Google.
What was once before you - an exciting, mysterious future - is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone's experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone's everyone.
User avatar
edit the sad parts
philophobia
philophobia
 
Posts: 8703
Joined: Tue Apr 6, 21:53 2004
Location: weirdly close

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Sonic# » Sun Jul 3, 21:56 2011

When I'm home (like now) and get to actually watch commercials, I'm usually left rolling my eyes. There are some that are entertaining, and I can find them interesting from a rhetorical standpoint. But every commercial that features rapturous women with cleaning or hygiene products, every car commercial that features generic driving in a country landscape, and every commercial with a dumb joke sets me off.

Normally, I just use Netflix or DVDs. When I have time. That probably cuts down a little on the advertising I get, but with street signs, buses, newspapers, and the internet, I still get plenty.
User avatar
Sonic#
established
established
 
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sat Nov 7, 9:37 2009

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby great girl wonder » Tue Jul 5, 1:38 2011

Sonic# wrote:When I'm home (like now) and get to actually watch commercials, I'm usually left rolling my eyes. There are some that are entertaining, and I can find them interesting from a rhetorical standpoint. But every commercial that features rapturous women with cleaning or hygiene products, every car commercial that features generic driving in a country landscape, and every commercial with a dumb joke sets me off.

I'd love to see an overweight woman eating cookie dough in PJs on the couch saying her tampons have enough absorbency to watch a season of Friends without interruption. Or an ugly man in a car sitting in traffic commenting on how comfy his leather seats are while stuck in the rush hour grind on the drive home.
I would be awesome at writing commercials :)
It is a far better thing to love than to be loved; to adore than be adored. -David Turrill, An Apology for Autumn
monk wrote:so what you're saying is that great girl wonder beat the pants off you?
User avatar
great girl wonder
Someday you'll meet the real me
Someday you'll meet the real me
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 17:56 2005
Location: Bay Area

Re: Happy Birthday, Commercials

Postby Aum » Wed Jul 6, 3:14 2011

I spoke to a marketer once who said that in the advertising world, commercials are referred to as the "content", not the TV shows. It's not just on TV. There are billboards everywhere now, even in places you wouldn't expect. No wonder people are so mentally exhausted these days.

I stopped watching t.v. a long time ago, but to be honest it was the reality t.v. phenomenon that drove me away. I used to enjoy TLC and the Discovery Channel. They had nature shows, or medical shows that show surgeries being performed. The content was thought provoking. My favourite stations suddenly became overrun with interior design and makeover shows; and uniquely Canadian programming such as Much Music became uber commercialized and pop-culture-ized to conform to an American model.

I think Netflix is an improvement, but the telecom industry here is really fighting it with internet bandwidths. If I want to watch t.v. now, I just download it from torrent. It's really sad that every neighbour around has wireless internet, but we all only access our own because we don't wand bandwidth stolen. Internet should be a public utility already.

In essence... all the telecom restrictions are just going to drive people away from multimedia, which could be a good thing. Maybe the coming generations will start playing outside again because bandwidth has been restricted.
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. -W.A.
User avatar
Aum
Into The Unknown
Into The Unknown
 
Posts: 2725
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 23:35 2007
Location: Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ


Return to Ranting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron