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Commercial Loads are Getting Out of Control

August 20, 2013

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

I just came across two great articles related to commercial loads.

Al Jazeera America, which launches today (August 20), announced that it will have only six minutes of commercials each hour. This low ad ratio is "one of our key competitive advantages," according to their CEO.

Meanwhile, I came across a blog titled Get Stronger While Watching TV, where the author wrote, “While on vacation, we were watching the Godfather on AMC. I was feeling a little antsy, so I decided to do some push-ups during the commercials. The commercial breaks were pretty long, so I did between 25 and 50 reps on each break. By the end of the movie, I had hit 500!”

The commercial loads on many cable networks in particular have really gotten out of control.  Long commercial breaks diminish the effectiveness of an advertiser’s message. Viewers can’t help but tune out of advertising when there is a relentless parade of commercials. And advertisers with spots in the middle of the pod likely are over paying as rates are based on average commercial viewership rather than brand-specific commercial ratings. Prolonged commercial breaks are not in the best interest of advertisers!

Al Jazeera America has the right idea and more networks are encouraged to better manage their commercial loads. 

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