There was a time when I used to wait for a serial to start and not do anything during the time period. The broadcast used to be uninterrupted, without any advertisement. (By the way, the earlier days of watching the films with family and friends had it’s own fun. People from adjacent homes also would come and enjoy watching TV. It used to become a small theatre with a 24″ black n white screen (Texla TV) but still the entertainment was unparalleled.)
But then slowly these break times crawled in and destroyed the fun. I remember the day once, when “Don” was being tele-casted on a Friday night. Sharp at 11:00 PM, the break started by saying “Is BHAAG ke Prayojak hai ….” and there goes the endless list of products. By that time everyone was used to these break. Slowly and patiently, we waited for the break to get over. But they continued, owing to the greed of broadcasters who knew that with the a single source of entertainment and a blockbuster film on AIR, public had no choice but to wait and watch the ads. At 11:20 PM, the film started again and continued for another 15-20 minutes and the break came in again. Thankfully, rest of them were not as long.
The point is that we had no choice.
Jump into the present times and I find that the ads displayed before any video I try to watch on YouTube seems to be the longest and unbearable times of my life. It seems to be worst time that has gone wasted. With so many streaming channels and zillions of Cable channels being aired today, our lives are flooded with more options than we can handle. Still the breaks in between are inevitable and only option I have is to keep shuffling the channels. It actually makes me kinda feel like a self declared video jockey who multitasks to watch a bit of everything but fails to entertain.
Now with the new range of Smart TV’s and easy access to Web, the market is frenzied with user generated broadcast. I no longer can sit and watch the scheduled series or movies. I like to have the ability to go back to time and enjoy the telecast that I have missed because of the busy schedule. The schedule of Television does not dictate me to alter my other priorities. It has to wait till the time I finish my other chores.
And the moment I pick up the remote and start watching a telecast or streaming, these ads pop-up and ruin the mood. But with the growing impatience, I don’t think that this is going to work.
The industry has to come up with a strategy soon that counters to the mood swing of the viewers. I no longer can wait for the breaks to end. They should start and end on my command. And there I believe comes the strategy.
With my ever shortening span of focus, I have to juggle between many things while watching television. I’m quite sure everyone’s span of focus is diminishing like me. So the strategy should be to give the viewer control over the breaks. When I want a break, I push a button and you display the ads in that period. Whether I watch it or not, it doesn’t matter. The ads should be able to convey it’s message quickly. They need to be creative, innovative and should fit in to the changing times. That’s how they can grab my attention.
The viewing was linear yesterday but with ever growing technology, in coming future, it is bound to get more and more dynamic.
The advertisements needs to adapt to changing times to stay relative.