Tivo the commercials for me

A look at a way for TV commercials to be relevant again


tvsThe consistent accusations levelled at TV advertising centre largely around its poor targeting and interruptive nature. Maybe Tivo or a web service could help here?

Some of us actually like commercials, they can be entertaining and informative. The problem is when you’re bombarded with commercials for feminine hygiene products you’re never going to buy or adverts for video games meant for an entirely different demographic.

Whilst a Tivo doesn’t cut out the commercials completely it’s the matter of a few clicks to skip through a commercial break. If you’re not expecting anything entertaining or worthwhile you’ll skip the ads in favour of jumping straight into the next segment of your show.

What if you could check boxes for the kinds of things that you’re interested in and the Tivo could save up the adverts for you, de-duped, and you can watch them at your will. If you’ve got some home improvement projects coming up, why not watch the ads for your local hardware store/Home Depot? You might otherwise miss out on a great deal or offer.

Sure you could go check out everyone’s websites but that requires you to know the names of all the places you might shop at, or on Google ranking their sites in a way that helps you.

TV Advertising doesn’t have to be “Interruption Marketing”

All of us ‘Marketing 2.0’ types, and anyone selling a niche product for that matter, are usually very negative about TV advertising – it’s expensive, wasteful and difficult to measure. What if your adverts could be ‘subscribed’ to in the same way that someone subscribes to an RSS feed? What if a video site offered a ‘show me a series of commercial videos targeted to me’ function? Something you could just sit and watch, no need to click, unless it’s a case of ‘pause/skip/more info’?

The big question is who we trust with this? YouTube wouldn’t work – too many ways for your message to be hijacked by whoever bought the keywords, and Google’s behavioural advertising is already too close to infringing on people’s privacy for comfort. Perhaps one of the other video sharing sites? Or a new site backed by the ad agencies? If it already exists, I’ve not found it, and I want it, by golly!

Photo credit: lobraumeister

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