Thursday, March 22, 2007

ABC Mulls Pop-up Ads for TV to Trick DVR Owners Into Watching

Newest nefarious scheme to make us watch advertising:

Newest brilliant idea to defeat the rude habit of DVR viewers who skip your commercial: Where today's practice separates shows from spots with a discrete dip to black, ABC tells advertisers their spots may actually start playing on a screen inside the show (on that TV in the corner, perhaps, or someone's cell phone) and then pop-up to the viewer's full screen.

Looks like we may be moving from product placement to commercial placement as TV gets more like life. Ads will be everywhere.

Thanks to Cory Bergman at Lost Remote for spotting this.

Mickeleh's Take: The current practice of writing to a suspenseful cliff-hanger at each act break actually increases the viewer's motivation to skip the ads and get back to the story. Will writers and producers take to the new practice and work commercial placement into their stories? If ABC can charge a premium for an in-story placement and shares revenues with the shows, you bet they will. Can't wait for Aaron Sorkin to build a preachy episode around this on Studio 60.

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Anonymous said...

I hate pop-up ads. They are getting so annoying. Last night they took up the bottom 1/3 of my TV screen and guess what? They were advertising the show that the had just advertised during the commercial break! They fly in and out, dance around and scream for attention. Am I here to watch the ads or here to watch the show? When the ads are on top of the show, guess which part gets turned off? All of it. Some one please invent a pop-up blocker for TVs!

Michael Markman said...

I love the idea of a pop-up blocker for TV. Don't see how it's possible, though. Unlike a web page which gets assembled in your browser from multiple files, frequently served from a number of servers, the TV image comes to you as one chunk. The overlays are baked into the signal before it's even transmitted.

The only option I can imagine for the TV to crop the lower third of the image. That's worth considering.