V.19 No.50 | 12/16/2010
You got advertising in my commercial!
TV has gotten mighty sneaky about trying to sell us stuff. Realizing that viewers don’t actually like to watch commercials, television networks and their pals over on Madison Avenue have come up with some clever ways of getting us to absorb ads in the past few years. There are the title sponsorships, now common in sports broadcasting (the “FedEx Orange Bowl,” the “VISA Halftime Show”). There’s the rash of “embedded” commercials (Randy and Simon grinning over jumbo-sized cups of refreshing Coca-Cola on “American Idol,” NBC working Subway into several plotlines of its Monday night show “Chuck”). There’s even been a movement to “micro-size” commercials, adding more commercial breaks during a show, but reducing their length from the industry standard two minutes and two seconds. (“We’ll be back in two and two,” as Chuck Woolery used to say on “Love Connection.”)