General Question

mattbrowne's avatar

How many commercial breaks with repetitive advertisement are you willing to endure?

Asked by mattbrowne (31605points) May 5th, 2009

From Wikipedia: Television advertisements appear between shows, but also interrupt the shows at intervals. This method of screening advertisements is intended to capture or grab the attention of the audience, keeping the viewers focused on the television show so that they will not want to change the channel; instead, they will (hopefully) watch the advertisements while waiting for the next segment of the show. However, remote controls have now made it easier for audiences to “tune out” advertisements simply by allowing them to turn down the volume or even switch channels when the advertisement comes on. In addition, Television recording mechanisms such as DVR and TiVo have also allowed viewers to skip advertising completely during television programming. In the United States, the TV advertisement is generally considered the most effective mass-market advertising format, and this is reflected by the high prices TV networks charge for commercial airtime during popular TV events.

In many European countries television advertisements appear in longer, but less frequent advertising breaks. For example, instead of 3 minutes every 8 minutes, there might be 6 or 7 minutes every half hour. European Union legislation limits the time taken by commercial breaks to 12 minutes per hour (20%), with a minimum segment length of 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the program content.

Do commercials improve our free market society and help our economies? Is watching (repetitive) television advertisement a waste of time? Are you sometimes annoyed by certain ads? What is the future of tv ads as systems like TiVo become more widespread?

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24 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Dish Network DVR with 30-second skip ahead button FTW!

Facade's avatar

I love commercials. No one else seems to though

drClaw's avatar

I endure comercials if I really like the show I’m watching, otherwise I use DVR and skip through the comercials.

As for comercials being helpful economically the answer is without question yes. In the past comercials were inticing to people, food comercials made you hungry while cosmetic comercials made you envious. Now however comercials on TV are simply one weapon in the war for recognition (brand awareness). Take for example the new Cheetos comercials, how does wiping your dirty hands on people make you crave a bag of Cheetos? It doesn’t, instead it makes you say WTF, it’s benifit to the company comes when you are shopping and the Cheetos brand now stands out because they have infiltrated your mind with repetitive nonsese.

Finally, in the not so distant future ads will get their message across even when you fast forward through them. Watch the show Fringe sometime, they have been experimenting with this already during this show.

Sorry for any misspellings, I wrote this on my phone.

spresto's avatar

I would have to say none. I got rid of cable and television because of those crappy commercials. Say YES to chaos!

squirbel's avatar

Commercials? What are those?

I watch netflix Watch-it-Now for older tv shows, and I record current shows with my comcast DVR and watch it in my spare time.

I hate commercials.

If I’m forced to watch them, I may leave the room and do something, or do situps till the torture is over.

dynamicduo's avatar

Zero. I now watch TV on my time and in my control. “hour long” shows are really 42 minutes. Half hours are 21ish. This is the way TV should be, and this is the only way I will consume TV from now on. I don’t need to be shilled at, nor do I want my precious time wasted by advertisers.

casheroo's avatar

My husband can’t stand commercials and flips the channel during them. This drives me nuts.
Commercials annoy me, and I do sometimes flip the channel if it’s the same ad over and over (I hate that) but otherwise I just ignore them.

SeventhSense's avatar

American broadcasters would never agree to strict limitations on their commercials. And rightly so for a free market economy. Europeans markets have a higher level of regulation on just about everything which isn’t necesarily bad when it comes to banking, but not so good when it comes to limiting economic growth. Americans show agreement or opposition by their viewing habits and such methods as TIVO, satellite radio and cable TV.

And personally, I’d rather the commercials that I can choose to watch or not, then the subliminal ones of which I’m not aware. I don’t want an odd craving for a snickerdoodle emerging from my subconscious.

mattbrowne's avatar

@SeventhSense – I feel ambivalent about regulating commercials. One thing does make sense though: television advertisement can have very negative effects on children especially when it comes to junk food and sweets. Watching too many commercial breaks is harmful for the development of children in my opinion.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well I agree but most everyone has TIVO now. My little nieces and nephews watch all their shows pre recorded so they basically have zero commercial interruptions.

cookieman's avatar


I DVR everything and skip right past them.

SeventhSense's avatar

The thing is that it can’t be avoided. I mean if you want to see advertising- just look at the checkout line at your average supermarket. Ever wonder why these things are 2–3 feet off the ground? It’s like walking the gauntlet to get a kid past the cereal aisle and then that? You’d swear that they were junkies and if they were bigger they’d kill you and steal your wallet for a sugar fix. ~_~

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’m American and I stopped watching a tv set about 3years ago in favor of Netflix and free shows/movies I can watch on my computer ( & since I’m already willingly paying for internet service. I stopped watching tv for several reasons, advertisements being one of them. The popularity of DVR’s and Tivo say to me Americans want to take their leisure viewing time into their own hands, their own schedules and they’re willing to pay money for that “quality time” without the ads. Since giving up tv, I find if I’m watching it at someone else’s home or notice it playing at work, I get irritable with the static interruptions.

skfinkel's avatar

Hate repetitive commercials. I go to mute, avert my eyes, and have a small agreement with myself never to buy anything I see being advertised on TV.

mattbrowne's avatar

@SeventhSense – Good point. One has probably to go deep into a desert or into outer space to be completely advertisement free. It’s omnipresent and hard to escape. Still, I’d prefer high quality children programs without ads.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@mattbrowne: I’m all in favor of ad free children’s shows.

cwilbur's avatar

I Tivo everything, but I’m usually knitting or working online while watching TV, so I don’t bother to skip past most commercials. Some of them, however, grate on me so badly that I’ll put down the knitting and reach for the remote just to not have to watch them.

The most recent offender is the set of Comcast commercials that are droning rap over animations inspired by the Sims.

SeventhSense's avatar

We all would but do you realize that it costs millions to make a 30 minute animated cartoon?

knitfroggy's avatar

We’ve had a DVR for several years now and I can barely stand to watch a show in real time because I’m so used to skipping over the commercials.

I love some commercials tho. Some of them are so funny. And there is a Liberty Mutual one that tears me up every time I see it-almost as much as a Hallmark ad.

Judi's avatar

We just pay for and download tv programs we want to watch from I am willing to pay 1.99 per episode to not have to watch commercials. We set a computer up with our big 64” flat screen TV.

mattbrowne's avatar

@SeventhSense and @Judi – Yes, maybe some parents would be willing to pay for high quality children programs.

robmandu's avatar

@mattbrowne, yah, they’re called DVDs. :-P

SeventhSense's avatar

I still look back fondly at Saturday Mornings in the 70’s with this and a bowl of Quisp. In a sing song way they gave us a simple lessons in grammar, geography, politics and science in between Captain Caveman and Jabberjaw

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?
Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee,
But I know I’ll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

mattbrowne's avatar

DVDs are great indeed!

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