Loud, repetitious and invasive television advertising is altering family life and society in a very negative way. Irritating and disturbing, or simply attention grabbing, TV commercials blast messages into the home about what we need to buy, much of which is wasteful or unhealthy. Every day morning, afternoon and evening it loudly states the terms of reference that we as a society should live by.
Television is saturated with continuous promotions that are very persuasive and have an enormous influence on the family and how we should behave.
It is difficult to resist the magnetism of this powerful media marketing monster, unless you have become a rare 'idiot box' abstainer.
How much advertising can be put into a program until viewers will no longer watch? Lots it seems as ad length and frequency increase yearly. There is so much programming that contains excessive amounts of commercials and often the same ad will be seen repeatedly throughout the broadcast, and all year long.
Local morning news carries reports of accidents, robberies, murders, repeated weather and traffic, and plenty of useless chatter, and great amounts of advertising. Often after a string of commercials a glimpse of the news desk appears, catches your attention, and then continues with commercials. Or "We'll tell you the results after the break." A 'break' used to be called a commercial or a message from the sponsor but this is the language of marketing.
TV series and movies are saturated with consumer persuasions that are shrewdly crafted to get maximum attention. Again, it may appear that the story is about to continue, and it does but not just yet; more enticements. Many movies will begin with a reasonable amount of advertising and then swamp the captured viewer towards the end.
Station and product logos during a story are appearing at the bottom of the screen more frequently and I have seen these appear throughout an entire movie. Watch for this to extend to more programming and perhaps through an entire broadcast.
Where there has been the occasional boisterous commercial the majority of these are now above program intensity or booming with a verbal message and background music. "I can't read this, turn that stupid thing down!" occasionally pops up during an evening movie. MUTE button to the rescue! In answer to a consumer concern about this, a station technician had explained to the broadcaster that the sound was not louder but it was enhanced to sound louder.
The TV commercial scenario which I find most unreasonable and annoying is our TV program listing channel. A long while back this was just that, a continuous program listing. Now loud ads take up about 2/3 of the screen while the programs are quickly scrolled through the lower 1/3. In recent months the 1/3 sized listing begins with two more ads in that congested space. If you want to see what's coming up you must watch big loud endorsements. I find this in-your-face marketing example to be totally ignorant.
A sad aspect about this heavy TV commercial onslaught is that so much of it is to promote the sale of goods and services that we do not need or may not be good for us. Some of the biggest advertisers are large successful companies that have lowered their standards to targeting these promotions at children. Bombarding kids and teens who watch 4 or more hours per day with persuasions to want stuff is sick and unacceptable marketing.
Why do consumers put up with the intrusiveness and extent of annoyance in today's TV viewing?
There is not much one can do against the monumental power house of big business. If politicians can't or won't fix this how can moms and dads? They can of course refuse to participate and turn the television OFF and get busy on tasks and play, indoors and out. Which is really not such a bad idea is it?
"The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little." - Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun
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