You thought you were saved from marketing schemes because you skip commercials with TiVo, hop from one radio station to another, or opt for books instead? Think again. When technological change allows users to avoid one kind of ad, marketers change the shape of advertising so you can no longer avoid it. Here are some examples:
- Radio: Since the introduction of satellite radio, consumers have many more choices of stations to listen to, meaning that when a song ends and advertising begins, they just flip channels. In order to prevent people from changing stations, advertisers invented the "adlet" — a 5 second commercial that runs between songs.
- Television: With the advent of TiVo and other DVR services, consumers are likely to fast-forward through TV ads. Advertisers have tried a number of ways to make sure that consumers see their products such as inserting very short ads right before the show, staging ads that look like the show itself, creating very long ads that look like regular commercials when viewed in fast-forward, and embedding coupons in commercials so that user rewinds to catch the promotion.
- Books: Advertisers have even slipped ads into books. Last year, Cathy’s Book came complete with product placement from Proctor & Gamble. The authors assert that the manuscript was written before the deal was struck, but some groups fear that it is just another ploy to get teens to buy CoverGirl and Tampax products.
It seems that the more consumers try to avoid commercials, the more creative the advertising industry gets!