A point of information: if you live outside of the U.K, please substitute the word ‘adverts’ for ‘commercials’ throughout. Cheers ears.
I am a sky customer (cable in the states) and I love it. I love the fact that I have hundreds of channels. I love the fact that even when there is nothing on I can waste half an hour flicking channels. I love the never ending repeats of shows I’ve seen many times (I am still looking for the holy grail in the form of a friends episode I haven’t seen yet). All of these things I love. But more than anything else, above all of these great advantages of seemingly endless channels, I love the fact that I can record shows straight onto my sky box and fast forward the adverts.
I have never been a great lover of adverts, but now I hate them. I am so unused to seeing them that when I watch live TV it drives me mad. When I was a kid I was happy enough to watch the adverts. The toy or chocolate or McDonald’s (they are no longer allowed to advertise to kids in the U.K so Ronald McDonald has forever left our screens) or breakfast cereal or the latest cartoon. Now they drive me nuts.
It’s not just the product adverts though, oh no no no. It’s the adverts they sneak in when you think the adverts are finished. The last ad plays, the stations logo pops up, you hit play, the show starts. Right? Wrong. The logo is followed by an advert for their latest show (only days after the states they boast), then another advert for another show. Then… THEN, they decide to let you know who is sponsoring the show you are watching (Which can lead to over zealous fast forwarding and going into the show). And it’s always so random. Luscious hair shampoo, proud sponsors of The Wire. Last long washing up liquid is the proud sponsor of CSI. Dave’s pest control, sponsor of the mickey mouse clubhouse. Maybe not the last one, not yet anyway.
The adverts themselves really get on my nerves as well. Here is a short list as to why…
1) Lip sync/dubbed adverts. I think this is now more common due to massive multinational companies making ‘universal adverts’. It’s an odd thing really. You sit and watch and realise something is off, something is not quite right. Then it hits you, the person talking is not actually the person talking. These are not as bad as the complete dub though. The kind that was made in Germany, spoken in German and then dubbed into English. It’s a bit like the old martial arts films where the villain talks for about 20 seconds and all the dubbed version says is “time to die”. It’s cheap, it’s annoying and if anything, would make me go out of my way not to buy the product.
2) Am I getting old? I used to enjoy some adverts. Used to like the humour of them, used to go out and buy the products. They don’t seem to apply to me now though. It’s not that I don’t like most of them, it’s just that either a) I don’t notice them or b) what they’re selling, I ain’t buying. Don’t want or need it. Those that really annoy are on my radar though. Those that have the following…
3) Catchy rubbish songs. Songs that have been designed to stick in your head, that have the same tag line or hook over and over. Quirky, fun, bouncy and suckingly bad all in one. Most of them just repeat the company name over and over and over and over over. Ones that make me want to kill are a) the one for the price comparison site b) the one that wants to take my car off my hands and c) the ones from the bank that loves to sing. The only thing that makes them worse is if it’s an animal singing or a child dancing.
4) Voice over? I was unsure if I should put this one in or not. I think that I would do a voice over if I was famous. A few grand to read a couple of sentences? Most definitely. I probably wouldn’t care about how embarrassing the product either (as long as it was ethically and morally sound). I just can’t help squirming a bit when a star I admire does the Voice over for a toilet bleach or a large supermarket in the guise of a massive duck or a cute puppy.
What I think I hate most though is the fact that I have to pay a TV licence so that the BBC can remain advert free when I don’t ever have to watch them either way. I very rarely watch live TV and if I do I generally pause it, make a cuppa and fast forward the adverts anyway. I could always stop watching as much TV, but then I’d have to talk to real people and read and stuff.
A friend of mine thinks that the adverts will have to change to meet the changes in the way we watch TV. I can see product placement being the way forward, as long as the contestants on talent shows don’t start singing advert songs and they don’t name the main character in a gritty new law drama Pepsi I’m ok with it. You?
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