Media X: Simmer Down

Hey, advertisers, agency types and network promotion executives! This is America calling. We have a request.

Shut up.

Really. Just. Shut. Up.

No disrespect, but you're killing us here. We're willing to hear what you have to say--at least some of us older ones are. But we can't, because you're all yelling at once.


Please explain to us--one of you at a time, if you would--which one of you geniuses first got the idea that the best way to avoid clutter is to create more of it?

This is particularly true of television show marketing--which is so over the top, it's already landed at the bottom, but is too stunned to notice.

Forget the endless and thoroughly unpersuasive promotions. There's the billboards. The coasters. The posters. The displays at K-Mart. And ads for your shows all over the goddamn supermarket--on the floor, on the dividers at the checkout counter, on the produce, on the receipt.

I just came in for eggs and a carton of milk. Leave me the hell alone.



I'm not just talking spots. I'm talking stories as well. We got the show. Then we got the interstitials. Then we got the wraps. And the online comic books. And the blogs, the message boards, the diaries of the characters and the actors who play the characters. The cross-overs and the spin-offs and the contests and the YouTube crap and the MySpace nonsense.

Tell you what--we'll wait for the 30-second version on AOL tomorrow, okay?

In fact, we're too dazed by our social networking obligations to worry about what anybody wants to sell us. Like my former Adweek colleague, who is a Facebook friend, and who inexplicably believes that the rest of us in her network care about her concern for her "foster dog," which has a "URI." Which is either respiratory distress or a pissing problem, I'm not sure which.

But I digress. Point is, TV numbers stink and marketing campaigns are imploding all over this great consumptive country of ours, and I don't think it's because TV shows are bad or marketers' ad campaigns suck. I actually like a lot of what television is shilling this season--especially broadcast TV, and I'm impressed with the imagination behind much of modern advertising, if not its intelligence.

Then again, we are America, so maybe intelligence needn't be a requirement. Look at our government. Enough said.

But I digress again. What I'm saying is that you're following us everywhere we go, sticking stuff on our eggs, getting in our face and making our heads turn all the way around our necks like Linda Blair. (For you younger mavens: look it up, kids.)

The Long Tail is a whip, apparently, and you really need to stop cracking it. Find something that works a little more quietly, will you? We'd sure be grateful.

We might even go shopping or watch some TV once the ringing in our ears stops.

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