No TV for a few months

Going without television, it turns out, is a lot easier than originally thought. An enormous amount of time was freed up to dedicate to other things that just don’t get done when zoned out in front of the television for hours.

It’s been hard to get back into the tv watching routine for the second half of this experiment too – when there’s no emotional connection to the characters, or coming in halfway through a series you quickly find yourself just not caring what happens during the show.

To try and get back into the television watching groove, three distinctly different programs were chosen: CSI Miami (because it’s one of Australia’s most watched shows) and then the more ‘niche’ programs including some Saturday morning cartoons and Beauty and the Geek.

The programs aside, I wanted to see what the marketing and advertising was like during these shows and see how targeted it was. The short answer is that much of the advertising during the commercials seems to be very much a scattergun approach.

This blog post may seem about 5 years too late but bear with me because the television hiatus was such a stark ‘punch in the face’ as to the reasons why marketing budgets are moving elsewhere and why it’s incredibly hard to target anything on television.

More often than not there didn’t seem to be any connection from the advertiser to either the audience or the program, where there was one, it was a loose association at best.

For example during the Saturday morning cartoons, one of the ad’s was the new ‘know when to declare’ anti-binge drinking commercial – I didn’t understand why kids would want an anti-drinking commercial when they’re not drinking at all. If anything, it exposed them to the idea of drinking because the guy in the ad was having a really great time with friends. A while watching CSI, a commercial for a laxative product was crammed in between an ad for another Channel 9 show and a car commercial.

Perhaps this is an over analysis, but what is the person at the end of a three minute ad break really meant to be thinking? Should they watch the new show, get a laxative and drive to the closest loo in a new car?

And yes, advertisers can choose to be placed in certain segments or timeslots for more targeted efforts, or risk it and hope they end up somewhere other than 3am, but it seems, at least initially that that ‘risk it’ money could be better spent online in a more targeted fashion.

Even if the product is aiming to appeal to a mass market, there’s must be core buyers – why not spend the money on targeting them?

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