Whilst trying to write a blog today that isn’t election based, I seem to be writing an election based blog; it’s just everywhere at the minute.
Before we get to the election part though, the inspiration for this blog is my parents, and particularly a conversation they had on Saturday night that followed the lines of: Dad: ‘shall we watch [ITV Morse sequel] Lewis?’ Mum: ‘let’s record it and watch it tomorrow or we’ll have to sit through all the adverts’.
I’ve been aware of this trend in my own viewing behaviour for a while, most things I watch are on series link and I simply whiz through the adverts and back to the action. Part of me though thought that this was a symptom of being the online generation; of wanting everything closer and faster. Apparently not as my parents proved.
One of the few things I’m so addicted to that I will actually watch it live is Glee (as previously mentioned on this blog) and in that case I am forced to watch the adverts in the interlude before the next song and dance number, and actually I’m often pleasantly surprised by what I see. Adverts at their best can be funny, touching, informative and beautiful. Take this teaser released today by John Smith’s for their new Peter Kay fronted campaign.
Also widely reported today is research stating that we now watch four hours of TV a day (although this is to be taken with a pinch of PR salt as it’s been carried out by the marketing body for TV advertising). We are sitting ducks for the messages of advertisers and if they can get it right, with a Russian meerkat for example, then adverts can seep into our cultural conscience as effectively as they have ever done.
TV is still as powerful as ever, if there was need for further evidence, look no further than Nick Clegg. Getting your face, or product in front of millions of viewers is a powerful tool, but the pressure is on to keep our attention as we now have the power to fast forward if you bore us.