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Coping w/ Ads & Commercials
Old 09-13-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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Coping w/ Ads & Commercials

I suppose this is a rant. A place to vent the frustration of being assaulted on all sides by those who need our money.
So we tried justifying those 20 minutes out of every hour of television as a reasonable way to pay for the entertainment content. And we accepted as necessary, the 250 Channels that our cable/satellite provider charges us for, even though we rarely if ever watch more than 15 channels at any time during a whole year.

The newspaper is a little easier to take because even though all of the content can be fit into about 5 pages, the whole paper has 28 pages. After all, there are actual costs. Probably the best deal of all, IS the newspaper, because only about 5% of the income comes from subscribers. In fact, free newspaper delivery is often a good deal for the paper which charges advertisers based on circulation numbers.

Magazines are not an issue for us, except for AARP, which we figure gives us good value. Others, we read in the doctor's office.

Next... Ads on the internet. The number of clicks to get to content seems to grow almost daily... despite the Ad Blockers. Overall, the internet is the easiest to control for me. As a news junkie, I've dropped those sources that present the actual news on about 20% of the page. Seems no way to get away from targeted ads. I ordered a pair of leather slippers a week ago, and now receive slipper ads on about 50% of the pages I browse. (They don't know that I've already made my purchase.)

Virtually every vehicle that has more than 10 square feet of contiguous space has some kind of ad.
Billboards have become so passe as to be almost unnoticeable, but are being replaced by those LED monsters that outshine the sun. I fear that the brightness may be acting as a laser to destroy my eyesight.

And it's not only ads that come and go before our eyes, but those ads we pay for... (usually at a premium) and then wear on our bodies. Sneakers, shirts and jackets and other items of clothing that are emblazoned with the brand name.

Oh.. yeah... radio... Not sure very many people listen any more, so for whatever content I get, I'm willing to hear about the local auto dealer's specials. Just habit I think. I don't begrudge supporting historical technologies.

As to the "coping"? Well, from the TV standpoint, moving more and more to Roku and Plex. (no DVR)

As for the internet, I truly believe my senses are undergoing a form of evolution... developing subconscious blindspots that are not only size and color sensitive, but also impervious to motion. Except for those full page blocking ads with the upper right hand corner "X".... the rest have become invisible. The obvious internet alternate option is the "pay to play". A personal thing, but that will happen "when you pry the computer from my cold, dead hands" .

I already feel better.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:15 PM   #2
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And it's not only ads that come and go before our eyes, but those ads we pay for... (usually at a premium) and then wear on our bodies.
The t-shirts especially I don't understand people buying.

"Lemme get this straight. You want ME to pay money to be a walking billboard for YOUR business?"

"Yup."

"Not gonna happen."
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:34 PM   #3
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The ads which have been bothering me the most lately are those on New York's WPIX (Channel 11). While watching some Seinfeld reruns at night, WPIX puts some banner ads which take up about 1/4 of the screen at the bottom for about 30 seconds during the show! And they do this a few times, not just once. I mean, isn't it enough to be bombarded with extra ads during commercial breaks now we have to get banner ads during the damned show? I'd like to complain to WPIX but when I went to their website a few years ago they had no means to contact them to complain! when those ads appear, I now have to change the channel until it is safe to return to the show.

Other ads I hate are when the TV show returns after 3 minutes of ads just to tell you they will take another 3-minute ad break!
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:49 PM   #4
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Ads on the internet -- I think the ads won the popup blocker wars. Remember a time when blocking actually worked?

For TV -- the best defense may be to get a good DVR that can fast forward past commercials. Time shift the programs.

For radio - can anyone say bathroom break Or I do stuff like errands with the radio on. Makes the commercials seen to go by faster.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:03 PM   #5
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We DVR-record the shows we regularly watch, and I'm very adept at fast-forwarding thru the commercials.

But when we watch things in real time, I often reach for the remote and press the fast forward key when a commercial comes on.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:14 PM   #6
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The t-shirts especially I don't understand people buying.
I buy Menards T-shirts here when they have a rebate. The shirts cost $6.99, and they have a $6.99 rebate. Limit of four. They have the sale 3-4 times a year.

For free, I will wear their shirts. Rarely do I wear anything else anymore when I wear a t-shirt. I have at least 50 of them. DGF says I have enough, but can you ever get too many free things?
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:30 PM   #7
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I hate going to the theater, and when it's the show's start time, they dim the lights to show Ads, then previews, then after 15 minutes, the movie starts.

I don't mind ads before the start time, that's understandable, but at the posted start time of the movie, I feel like I'm paying to watch 15 minutes of advertising!
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rosie View Post
We DVR-record the shows we regularly watch, and I'm very adept at fast-forwarding thru the commercials.

But when we watch things in real time, I often reach for the remote and press the fast forward key when a commercial comes on.
one thing about Dish, is the Hopper DVR is great. it only works on the main 4 networks, however. It automatically skips commercials for you on those particular channels, after a day or so ( I believe one on the networks negotiated a longer wait time with Dish).
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:02 AM   #9
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After all, there are actual costs.
Here is where your rant went off the rails. Seeing costs in newspaper, because you can hold it, but refusing to see the costs of television production and transmission, because it is "magic", is senseless. The costs, and value, is higher with television.

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Just habit I think. I don't begrudge supporting historical technologies.
And I think this is a general sentiment: A disrespect for new technologies. The preferential consideration of that which is old is historical too, going back to the Luddites.

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While watching some Seinfeld reruns at night, WPIX puts some banner ads which take up about 1/4 of the screen at the bottom for about 30 seconds during the show!
Overlays are the future, since so many people have gotten so good at skipping commercials with DVRs. As the value of commercials to advertisers go down, because we get better at avoiding the message, advertisers will pay less for commercials, and broadcasters will be forced to find new ways to present advertising. The alternative is paying $10-$20 per channel. Some folks will be better off with that arrangement but most wouldn't, especially folks who are looking for channels in Korean or Hindi, since too few people would pay for those channels a la carte that they simply won't exist.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:06 AM   #10
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It is quite sobering to think about how different life must have been before the birth of modern advertising. If you're at all interested in how our consumer society has been shaped by advertising and how it all came about, "The Century Of The Self" is worth a look. It is a British documentary released in 2002, and from the Wikipedia page,

"The Century of the Self is a British television documentary series by Adam Curtis, released in 2002. It focuses on how the work of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments have analyzed, dealt with, and controlled people."

The episodic documentary (see below) begins by talking about how Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, used his uncle's theories of psychoanalysis to create powerful advertising, linking commercial products to unconscious desires in the minds of the public in order (in many cases) to create a need that previously didn't exist.

The Century of the Self - Watch Free Documentary Online

What a vastly different world our ancestors inhabited, only a little over 100 years ago, before this modern consumer society was created.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:41 AM   #11
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I hate going to the theater, and when it's the show's start time, they dim the lights to show Ads, then previews, then after 15 minutes, the movie starts.



I don't mind ads before the start time, that's understandable, but at the posted start time of the movie, I feel like I'm paying to watch 15 minutes of advertising!

Consider local live theater instead of the movies. No ads!

I have DISH and there are movie channels with no ads. There are movies that I can watch over and over again. I have those on DVR. I go to the movies a couple of time a year. It's just too expensive and I crave the popcorn too much.


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Old 09-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #12
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I hear ya, OP. Remember when they told us that of course cable cost money because it was free of commercials? Ha. Now I look at the TV listings and I see 90-minute movies that go on for over 2 hours so they can lace them with commercials. I understand that there's no free lunch, but here are some of my tactics:

1. I pretty much ignore the top and sides of any Internet ad; that's where the junk is.

2. If it's on 22 pages (I just encountered that yesterday), I'm not reading it. I know how that goes. Click, wait for ads to load, read the 2 paragraphs, click, wait again... Do you know why the delay? There's a bidding process going on. The site is sending the info from your activity (frequently updates weather in Kenosha, did a search on hotels in Vegas, shops for vitamin supplements on-line, FB profile shows age 62) to various companies that "serve" ads and the highest bidder gets the space. If it's on 10 pages (very common with the "Ten Best" and "Ten Worst" formats), I try one page. If it's too slow I go elsewhere.

3. Logo T-shirts or other items? Only from thrift stores or local events. I have stacks of T-shirts from athletic events, blood drives, previous employers, etc. I may donate those from my most recent employer. We did not part under the happiest of circumstances and it might be amusing if a T-shirt with their logo ended up in the news in an unfortunate setting.

4. Podcasts. I LOVE podcasts. I get them from French and German news sources as well as the BBC, NPR and one insurance industry source (A.M. Best). A few have brief commercials at the beginning and/or the end but most are ad-free. Technically, I suppose NPR's "Fresh Air" is a commercial in itself because it covers books, music, movies, etc. but their interviewers are so good I don't mind. I even bought a book after listening to an interview with the author.

5. Music is from my iPod- mostly ripped from CDs I own, supplemented by those bought off iTunes. No commercial interruptions.

6. When DH and I can't find anything good on TV, we go to Great Courses tapes. On sale or via e-Bay they're very reasonable and many have a good resale value. Right now we're in the middle of one on the history of Medieval England. Next in the queue is 36 great geological sites. No ads at all.

7. Spam. Ugh. I have a spamcatcher e-mail address and any time I order on-line that's the address they get. Some merchants and charities are merciless in bombarding me monthly or even more frequently even 5 years after I've made a purchase/donation. Sometimes I just Unsubscribe, but at least it's not cluttering up my regular In Box.

In some ways, I find the way the marketers try to manipulate us fascinating. Heck, food stylist labor long and hard to get the perfect "bridge" (those strings of cheese when a slice of pizza is pulled away) in pizza commercials. I see the offerings in the in-store bakery in the grocery store and they're all packaged for maximum visual appeal (think about the frosting on cupcakes!) and they use words like "fresh" and "artisan" a lot. It's neither if the ingredient list is full of chemicals I can't pronounce!

I'm sure that sometimes I get "caught" and buy something because of a pitch, open or subliminal- but not very often.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:18 AM   #13
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It is quite sobering to think about how different life must have been before the birth of modern advertising. If you're at all interested in how our consumer society has been shaped by advertising and how it all came about, "The Century Of The Self" is worth a look. It is a British documentary released in 2002, and from the Wikipedia page,
Thanks !
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #14
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I hate going to the theater, and when it's the show's start time, they dim the lights to show Ads, then previews, then after 15 minutes, the movie starts.

I don't mind ads before the start time, that's understandable, but at the posted start time of the movie, I feel like I'm paying to watch 15 minutes of advertising!
I hate this, too, especially if the movie is pretty long. I remember going to a theater in late 2012 to watch Lincoln, a movie with a running time of 2 1/2 hours. Throw in all the crap before the movie and getting there 10 minutes beforehand to get a decent seat and we were seated in there for about 3 hours! I limped out of the theater LOL! (I see very few movies; in fact I have seen only one movie since Lincoln - "42" in April of 2013.)

Didn't New York City pass some law regulating the movie theater start times in relation to the ads and previews which precede the movie?
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:48 PM   #15
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Drug advertising is the WORST, especially on TV.

If I see another ad for bowel medicine during the dinner hour I think I'll HURL
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #16
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We escaped ad-TV via Netflix. Online, after you turn off javascript and images few ads remain.
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:44 PM   #17
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Drug advertising is the WORST, especially on TV.

If I see another ad for bowel medicine during the dinner hour I think I'll HURL

Couldn't agree more. I once went to a medical conference where the LUNCH seminar was causes and evaluation of diarrhea, complete with pictures of soiled diapers. Ugh.


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Old 09-14-2014, 04:51 PM   #18
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What I don't understand is how things aren't more like netflix/HBO or over the air broadcasting. Either I pay a premium and that's what you get or it's all free and you show me commercials. It's getting to the point where cable is just out of control with double dipping and anything truly worth watching is usually picked up by one of the steaming providers almost immediately because of the competition. Sadly I don't know a streamer who has all of Cops/Jail to watch but I'm a customer who'd pay for that terrible programming guilty pleasure of mine
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #19
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Drug advertising is the WORST, especially on TV.

If I see another ad for bowel medicine during the dinner hour I think I'll HURL
Drug advertising is the worst. The worst drug advertising for me is the sexual dysfunction stuff. Both male and female. Instead, just give me back the pleasant Marlboro and beer commercials we used to have. They were much more entertaining.

About advertising...I was watching 60 Minutes some months back that followed some Somolia refugee immigrants in this country. None of them could differentiate between commercials and the real truth. Even after living here for a few years. We have grown up in this culture and have learned to tell the difference between BS, (commercials), and the real truth. The immigrants have no baseline to start from, so they have no way to judge what is real or not.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:08 PM   #20
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So teach all immigrants that all ads are BS and to be ignored. As we born Americans have learned.


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