How advertisers ruined TV

old-television1Mobile devices make up an increasing share of TV and video viewing with 72 percent of consumers using mobile devices at least weekly for video viewing. Even late adopters are becoming advanced video users with as many as 41 percent of 65–69 year olds studied stream on-demand/time shifted TV and video content on more than weekly basis.

The number of commercials in the typical hour of television has grown steadily during the last five years, according to a study from the ratings measurement firm Nielsen. The rise in commercials can be attributed to two factors: Broadcast and cable networks are allotting more time for commercials, and advertisers are increasingly using shorter spots to hawk their products. In 2009, the broadcast networks averaged 13 minutes and 25 seconds of commercial time per hour. In 2013, that figure grew to 14 minutes and 15 seconds.


The growth has been even more significant on cable television. In 2009, cable networks averaged 14 minutes and 27 seconds per hour. Last year, the average was 15 minutes and 38 seconds.  In 2009, 30-second spots accounted for 62% of all ads on television; 15-second spots were just 35%. In 2013, the percentage of 30-second ads fell to 53% and 15-second spots increased to 44%.

If the anyone questions where the viewers went all you need to do is look at the repetitive commercials on TV that have viewers saying “I don’t have time for this anymore”.  Advertisers like car insurance companies also have to share some blame and they rank as the top annoying spots that drive viewers away.

It seems that advertisers have forgot about effective frequency and reach and really believe, wrongly, that seeing a spot for the 1000th time is going to lead to more sales.  In fact, it may be doing just the opposite.  Research recently indicated that consumers would ignore brands who advertise too much and instead focus on brands that offer both a better value and overall brand experience.

In the meantime Flo needs a good hard bitch slap.

LOLcat - flying bitchslap


About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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5 Comments on “How advertisers ruined TV”

  1. I subscribe to Comcast and I timed the TV ads on my TV and it was close to 22 minutes every hour. I use to look at the ads but now I don’t look at them any more. The ads are long enough to for me to get up go to the bathroom, grab a snack and not miss and of the program that I was looking at. They use to run an ad every 15 minutes and it was one minute long. I didn’t have enough time to grab a snack because I didn’t want to miss the program. Ads have completely ruined looking at TV. As a business person I wouldn’t advertise on TV as no one wants to sit for several minutes watching lots of ads. Also I record several programs at one time and look at them later when I can hit the button and sip through the ads in 5 seconds. A complete waste of money. I now have my computer hooked to the TV and I can find programs on the computer and not have to look at any ads. Ads are fine. I know you have to have someone to pay for the programming, that what the subscribers do when they look at payed cable TV. Cable TV is on it’s way out. There are lots of programs available on the computer networks. Just my thoughts.

  2. I gave cable the boot a year ago. Now.i wonder why I ever paid for it in the first place. Not only are most shows complete garbage, but the content is 50% ads, when you factor in all the infomercials. The fact is, there’s far better entertainment available via ad-free streaming services for a whole lot less than the cost of a cable subscription. My monthly bill for all streaming services is $23, and my viewing choices are far better than they’ve ever been.

    Not only would I never pay for cable again, I wouldn’t accept it for free. It’s incredibly disrespectful to treat your audience like mindless consumers.

  3. I’m contemplating giving up cable and going exclusively with streaming services. $200/month for cable and internet? Getting to be TOO much. Especially when movies with a 2:15 run time are plugged into a 4-hour network TV time slot. An hour and 45 minutes of commercials? No, thanks – won’t watch. Aside from the annoying commercial breaks every 8 to 11 minutes, I don’t HAVE four hours to sit in front of my TV. Advertisers absolutely ruined TV – but not without the assistance of network ad execs.

  4. The original enticement for cable TV was no commercials. The temptation for the cable companies proved too much and they saturated the programs with commercials and increased the cost although they are double dipping. I have left the money hungry industry and went back to the free over the air TV. There is better definition and less commercials. They have let greed take over and is ruining the business of pay for TV. to the point of becoming history.

  5. I agree, the TV companies are greedy cnuts, one of the worst advertiser’s is Verisure, they must waste a fortune and there are many like them, they deserve to go bust, they are annoying so many people.

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