Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer day #54 = "Your ad here!" Not.

Windy, windy, windy.  Stormy skies that don't produce much moisture, just dust storms.

A long time ago, when there were only three broadcast channels and before videotapes were common, the "commercial" was seen as a necessary evil. When a commercial came on, that was a good time to go the bathroom, go get a snack, start a fight with a sibling, do a quick cleanup of the bedroom if mom was getting angry, or any other quick task that had to be done right then.  Commercials always interrupted the show you were watching at just the wrong time!  (Now that I'm older, I know that the writers did that on purpose so you would keep watching to find out what happened.)

When televisions came along with remote controls with the awesome button called "mute", it was soooo nice!  One could mute the commercials and not hear for the umpteenth time, "These deals won't last long!"  Commercials were still repetitive and annoying but at least it was easier to ignore them.  With a mute button, you could make a quick telephone call, you could hear the microwave beep when your new-fangled popcorn was done, you could read a page or two out of a book before watching the show again.

Then there was cable t.v. and videotapes. Shows without commercials interrupting!  Of course you had to pay for the cable, or buy or rent the videotapes, but uninterrupted entertainment!  It was like going to a movie in your home!

And then videotapes and DVDs starting coming with "previews" before the shows.  More like the movies but by then we realized, "hey, previews are just more ads" and we would skip through them or fast-forward to avoid them.

Then more broadcast channels were available and there were still more ads, (commercials was too long to say).  Then the Internet came into full force and there were ads there. And more ads. And more ads. And more ads.  And you can't get away from them, even if you pay a subscription fee to a news site - they are still there. Worse, the pop-up ads still get in, even if your "pop-up" blocker is on.  Worse still, the ads can be scammers, spammers, and hackers that can grab not only your attention but your vital info too.

I know business needs to get the word out to stay in business.  "Who pays for the programming?" is always going to rear it's ugly head.  No matter how good the technology or the marketing, there has always been only one way to defeat it....put the thumb to good use and switch the thing off completely.

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