The first advertisement in history was broadcast on July 1, 1941. At that time, the 7,500 New York owners of a brand new television were able to see, during halftime of a baseball game between the Phillies and the Dodgers, a spinning Bulova clock. along with a voice singing its praises: it cost nine bucks, lasted ten seconds, and made history. Since then, and for years, we couldn’t imagine programming without cuts for commercials … until very recently we banished them (though not forever) from our lives.
And now, some advertising tips
In Spain we had to wait until 1957 to start advertising, just one year after TVE began broadcasting regularly: it was the honor of Freemotor, which broadcast for the 12,000 televisions that were in our country at that time. The advertising blocks became part of our life, as if it were the most annoying entertainment in the world. We hated them, but we saw them: slogans and jingles live in our heads forever.
A little paste is enough; We are the Conguitos and we are very well; The girl, who has fallen in love; It is the Cola Cao breakfast and snack… In a walk through nostalgia we can remember hundreds of them with affection and almost devotion: if a brand managed to make its piece remain in the collective memory, it would have saved a lot of money in brand recognition and public sentiment towards it. When we saw commercial breaks as something heavy, yes, but also natural and part of the programming, we were a captive audience: of course, we could get up to wash the dishes or do other domestic chores to avoid them, but the normal thing was to wait for the breaks to start. program we were watching. The advertising worked.
But time has passed, and traditional television has been buried in almost collective oblivion, beyond the big events or unappealable daily appointments of the ‘Pasapalabra’ style. If we have to deal with an ad block, the usual thing is to press a button, mute the television and dedicate ourselves to looking at the mobile: fighting simple entertainment with other simple entertainment. Interruption ads have lost all their effectiveness. Before they were a necessary nuisance: now they are just a nuisance.
We’ll be back in a few minutes
Have you tried watching Telecinco lately? For work (and exclusively for work) I had no choice but to see ‘The island of temptations’. And worse than the program, which is to say, it has been enduring the eternal cuts for advertising every five minutes, until the reality had become the sandwich of ads. So much so, that the show has to make a trailer for what’s to come after the ten minutes of ads to make people stick around.
How effective can a cut of this type be if, at home, everyone is already on to something else and you have to promise them that something really good will come after the suffering? The commercials already seen by the chain itself as suffering and penance: this cannot go well.
Ads are no longer consumed in the traditional way. Now only a few leave their mark: the one from the lottery, the one from Campofrío. the one from Ruavieja and another couple who are lucky enough to sneak into the collective imagination thanks to the Internet. If they’re lucky, they’ll be sent via WhatsApp or discussed on Twitter, but more often than not, their budget falls flat and advertisers are forced to invent the audience in a Powerpoint. It is about the whiting that bites its tail: the deterioration of traditional television comes in large part due to the endless ad cuts. So much so that they have ended up damaging a TVE that discarded them years ago. But these ads need traditional television, and vice versa.
And, let’s be honest, YouTube doesn’t work. We are left with the brands that are promoted in a persistent way in clips of just 6 seconds or that allow their piece to be skipped, but not with a positive feeling towards them. They are the brands that have ruined my viewing of something that interested me: if on television we are willing to forgive minutes and minutes of advertising, on the Internet six seconds already seems too much. And for that, Netflix and the rest of the streaming services are wrong.
The same, but with ads
It is not that linear television has ceased to be interesting for the vast majority of the public, who after a hard day’s work are looking for a place to relax that is not smeared with commercial breaks. The overwhelming loss of viewers from traditional channels is due, in part, to not having to put up with minutes upon minutes of “advice.” However, Netflix and Disney+ have gone up in smoke, and they have thought that most people would be willing to put up with them in order to see a fashionable series. And not. Because nobody pays to see ads.
In 2023, advertising is a red line. It is no longer seen as a lesser evil, but as a deal breaker. We eat it in the street, on social networks, in free apps… and hardly anyone is willing to do it in leisure time. The problem is not that traditional television has ceased to be interesting for a sector of the public: it is that the latter is not willing to swallow the extremely long and impossible blocks of advertisements in exchange for an aging programming that does not know (and cannot) adapt to modern times. No channel offers specific content for millennials (let alone Gen Z) because they know that their expiration date is getting closer, and only a few who can’t (or don’t know) use the Internet will continue without doing so.
The viewer has always been fleeing from advertising in the audiovisual landscape: first with home video, then with the Internet, and finally with streaming. However, traditional television has decided to redouble the minutes occupied by these slots while wondering where the public is that was captive before and stayed to see whatever, even if it was more advertising than a program.
In a world in which YouTube, Twitch, Netflix and the rest of streaming, social networks, video games and even virtual reality compete, the fight should not be to see who is able to cast their ads better, but who gets Control the biggest piece of pie to stop them. And it has nothing to do with the quality of these short commercials (there are still agencies that deliver incredible pieces), but with an uncomfortable truth that publicists know but do not want to hear: that fabulous commercial you have made and of which you are so proud. no one cares. And the sooner it is accepted, the sooner they will know how to adapt to this new world.