Monday, November 30, 2009

Let’s Run Ads During The Ads

You could call it interrupting the interruption.

TiVo is now offering advertisers the option of running banner-type ads while people fast forward through the commercial that originally paid to run there.

I’m wondering if this means that TiVo is double-dipping - still charging for the commercial that people fast-forward through, while at the same time, charging for the banner ad that runs while people fast-forward through the first commercial?

Rhetorical question, I know.

The old axiom says that you can’t solve a problem until you figure out what the problem actually is.

The ad industry still believes that the problem is that viewers are skipping commercials. That’s why their answer is to disable the fast-forward button. Or, as TiVo is now doing, running ads over the fast-forwarding capability.

But what if the issue isn’t that viewers are trying to skip commercials, but rather that viewers are trying to skip interruptions to their program? If so, then the solution is to find a way to deliver commercials that don’t interrupt the viewing experience.

TiVo will probably claim that running banner ads while the viewer fast-forwards does just that. But to me it seems that TiVo’s solution just makes the problem worse.

Advertisers used to just interrupt the programming.

Now, they can also interrupt the interruptions.

Gotta love progress.

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