New, Longer Ads? I'd Rather Watch The Fur Channel

The growth of cable networks in the late ‘80s and ‘90s gave TV prognosticators the chance to dream -- both good and bad -- about all kinds of channels.

In the midst of this activity, Michael Fuchs, then chief executive of HBO, said in 1989 in reference to a competing comedy channel from Viacom: “If we announced we were planning a cable fur network, the next day they would announce a cable fur network.”

And that might be a good addition -- as well as being warm, cozy, and perhaps cute. A bad cable network would be one totally devoted to all-advertising -- disrupted by 30 seconds of real content.

We are still not there with the latter. But with digital fractionalization of content continuing to climb, we now have ever-longer advertising content.

Tech company Qualcomm recently released a 30-minute film called “Lifeline” starring Olivia Munn, LeeHom Wang, and Joan Chen — a thriller with an elaborate plot that’s also an online ad for the company, produced by Ogilvy & Mather. The New York Timessays the film has attracted 20 million views, with 80% coming from China.



We have heard plenty of talk about native advertising and content marketing. While much might be overt promotion, other stuff might be more subtle.  The question is how subtle -- or maybe how manipulative?

No matter. Marketing executives continue to say the same thing: It’s about getting people to watch something that good.

Still, all this doesn’t sound that much different from a standard GEICO or Old Spice TV commercial that you like, taking only 15 or 30 seconds out of your busy day. Maybe something you’d like to share.

If TV Watch had to choose, we prefer fur. But maybe not the Mink Stole Network.

1 comment about "New, Longer Ads? I'd Rather Watch The Fur Channel".
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  1. Patty Ardis from Ardis Media, LLC, August 17, 2016 at 6:23 p.m.

    Look, we have a lot of airtime to fill with programming and ads. I am all for new formats but we must balance out the differences so that folks don't turn away. It's not like this is new, the advertising airwaves of the past feature many memorable ads of different lengths and campaigns.
     Anyone remember the very successful but dated Taster's Choice commercials? How about the car series commercials for BMW? And just recently there has been much talk about the odd yet interesting Volvo car commercials. Or how about the time that Madison Avenue figured out how to use Motown music to sell our favorite, cars! Remember the time that Target did something incredible with all of their P&G products and infused them into an arty mix of logos, people and music? I say bring it on, I love advertising and advertising that is fun or creative or clever is all the more better for the consumer to enjoy!

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