Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Promo Seltzer

Tell me, what would be your annoyance factor if, while trying to watch television in your living room, someone occasionally steps in front of the screen, making hand gestures and other things to call attention to themselves?

Pretty flipping annoying, right?

Then why do some television networks insist on pumping their programs in the CGI version of what I just described?

You've been there---watching whatever on wherever, and you get momentarily startled by a moving image that is doing something in the lower right corner of the screen.

Your eyes can't help but go over there, and it's a graphic or an image of a person (or people) dancing or moving or waving their arms, calling attention to their show, which is sometimes several days away.

Some networks, in addition to the moving images, simply leave the programming information for what they're promoting on the screen for the entire duration of what you're currently watching. Though that's easier to ignore because it's just text. But still.

Again, it's often not even the show that's coming up next---it's a few days out yet.

So why would network bosses insist on distracting their viewers from what they're currently watching? It isn't enough that there are minutes upon minutes of time to accomplish this during, you know, commercial breaks?

Ahh, I know---much of America runs away from the TV during the interminable breaks. You have, after all, sometimes up to five minutes to get stuff done before your show decides to grace you with its reappearance.

Especially in this day and age of DVRs that fast forward and rewind, it's easy to zoom past commercials on programs you've pre-recorded.

So those slime ball network execs figured out a way to get their precious promos in, in a way that is fast forward-proof: emblazoning them on the screen during programming.

The family and I were trying to watch something on WEtv the other night. I say "trying" because that's exactly what we were doing---thanks to repeated moving images of Joan and Melissa Rivers popping up in the lower right corner.

The two of them were literally trying to distract us. Their arms were flailing. They shoved and pushed each other.

LOOK AT US! LOOK AT US!!

We know you're trying to watch your movie, but LOOK AT US!!

This would occur once every five minutes or so, if I had to guess.

It's reprehensible, really.


Joan and Melissa Rivers, inanimate---unlike they were on my TV screen the other night, ad nauseam


Like other things on television that start small and harmless, this has grown into a pandemic.

It amazes me that even things that are bad ideas end up being aped by other networks.

Doesn't anyone do market research anymore? Is the focus group dead?

And what's worse, these images started small from a size standpoint and now the TV folks are getting bolder and making them larger and larger.

It's off-the-charts annoying.

The TV advertising people used to hawk products with the alluring line of being able to try said products "in the privacy of your own home!"

Now, in grotesque irony, that privacy is now being invaded by the very same people who were touting it back in the day.

It's getting so you can't watch TV without being bombarded by not-so-subliminal promos for shows that are days away.

How long before the actual programs are on the lower right hand of the screen and the promos take center stage?

Don't answer that---I don't want to know.

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