For some time now, savvy TV marketers/programmers have been jolting viewers to lunge for the remote after the room-temperature sound volume of a programming segment ends and before the high noise of a TV commercial starts.
But that's about to end; Congress is getting involved. And it's about time. The House Energy & Commerce Committee is readying the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act . Otherwise know as CALM. Nice.
Long before DVRs, I did my own part to avoid commercial distractions -- turning down the sound, keeping the peace. The button is right there on your remote. It's called MUTE.
This move was much to the chagrin of my father, who was used to the loud ambient noise of New-Wave music selling cars, or toilet paper jingles accompanied by energetic -- high volume -- commercial announcers.
The goal is obvious: The higher the volume of commercials, the greater chance viewers will sit up and take notice. But badgering isn't the way to go about it.
Louder commercials feel somewhat desperate: TV networks, TV marketers, and their media agencies are obviously looking to make up for TV's lesser clout -- especially on network TV, where there has been viewership erosion.
Now, this has drawn the attention of those they least want to get involved: Congress.
My suggestion: Lower the TV din; pump up some new marketing notes.