Day Fifty-Four – Skipping to the Good Parts

23 02 2010

I don’t know the last time I’ve actually sat and watched a TV commercial I didn’t want to watch. The way I watch TV has completely changed thanks to my DVR.

When I watch 24 on Monday nights, I do so at 9:15pm. When I watch Attack of the Show, I do so at 7:45pm. The Daily Show gets pushed to the next day whenever I have the time or energy to watch it.

The way I approach watching TV has completely changed over the past few years. I bought an external hard-drive to give my DVR an extra 750 gigs of space to record not only TV shows, but movies and extended TV specials.

This definitely influences the way I watch award shows. The Oscars tend to run long, so I don’t start watching until at least an hour into the show. I’m also sure to record for the inevitable over-run. Every time a speech starts running a bit too long or a gag that was supposed to be funny falls flat, I don’t depend on the band to play them off. My thumb has more power than every person in the pit. With a simple button press, I’m past the unbearably awkward routine of “shoo-ing” and I skip right to the fun parts.

Not to mention when I miss some important detail in a show or want to rewatch a huge play that won’t get an instant replay, I’m in control. I’ve paused Shark Tank a bunch of times to get into conversations with my family/friends about the deal taking place. (One time, this conversation lasted 2 1/2 hours.) Without a DVR, I never would have had the time to have the conversation, let alone see the result of the show.

The Toronto Star wrote an article claiming that ad agencies need to accept the fact that they no longer have captive audiences to watch their commercials. As much as the DVR has changed the way I watch television, I don’t think I was ever a “captive audience”.

There’s nothing I can do about a live hockey game. I’ve tried recording games in the past, but it just doesn’t work like a TV show. I watch the game in fast forward and miss the fun that watching a live game brings. I can’t get past the temptation of knowing the result instantly.

This means I’m still that “captive audience”. Though, I still don’t watch commercials. I’m either in the washroom or watching another channel until the game is back on. The biggest problem for the TV ad was the television remote and the bladder. The DVR is just another way to skip the commercials, but a lot more convenient.

If I see something interesting, I stop and watch. Advertisers should be worrying about ways to captivate the audience, rather than depending on a lack of a remote to hold them prisoner like A Clockwork Orange.

Do them more like the commercial below:

Probably one of the best commercials ever.

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28 02 2010
Day Fifty-Nine – Two Months Later… « Fresh Buckets of OJ

[…] Day Fifty-Four – Skipping to the Good Parts […]

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