Bulk Up While Watching TV
Sometimes it seems as though there are as many minutes of ads on TV as there is actual content. This might prove to be a healthy development for couch potatoes. In a blog item posted last week, personal trainer Phil Ross reported that while he was on vacation recently, he was checking out “The Godfather” on AMC. “The commercial breaks were pretty long,” he reported. “I was feeling a little antsy, so I decided to do some push-ups during the commercials.” By the end of the movie, he’d done a whopping 500 of them. “I felt great,” Ross enthused. (Check out the full blog post here.) He urges others to hit the floor during ad breaks to get fit and clear the cobwebs “and not feel like a slug watching TV!” And commercial engagement be damned.Thanks to Bill Duggan of the Association of National Advertisers for pointing out Ross’ entry on the Marketing Maestros blog at the ANA website earlier this week. Duggan was making his own point that commercial loads on TV are getting out of control. “Viewers can’t help but tune out of advertising when there is a relentless parade of commercials. And advertisers with spots in the middle of the pod likely are over paying” as a result, he wrote. Duggan cited new cable news network Al Jazeera America as a potential new model. The network, which bowed this week will have just six minutes of ad time per hour, positioned as a “strategic advantage” over more ad-cluttered outlets. “Al Jazeera America has the right idea and more networks are encouraged to better manage their commercial loads,” Duggan asserted. Hmmm. I vaguely recall Ted Turner saying something similar about the CNN commercial load when it launched in 1980. Betcha it has at least twice that amount now. If Jazeera can grow its advertiser base, you can bet commercial loads will grow. But Duggan has a point. Current commercial loads make many channels virtually unwatchable. I’m with Phil—hit the floor and give me 50.