Wednesday, March 09, 2005

:: adgruntie :: TV as media, it's a changin'

+ Advertising in Australia is stepping up the war on ad clutter. Some of their largest advertisers signed up to a Network Ten trial running shorter ad breaks during prime time. The media agency behind the idea, MindShare, paired up wtih Ten and will reduce ad breaks from 3 minutes to 70 seconds, giving a single advertising a solo spot.
As part of the deal, Ten will promote "Seriously Short Breaks" to its viewers, with 10-second spots telling them a shorter break is on the way. The remaining 60 seconds will be filled by either one advertiser or station promos.

Steve Jones, manager of Ten's Sydney sales, said the move would add cachet to advertising on the network."We are taking something that already happens in sport into general programming," he said. "We've not seen anything like this anywhere else. Giving Seriously Short Break its own brand will also make viewers familiar with the concept, with them knowing there's very little time before their program returns." Shortened ads regularly appear in live sports coverage during lulls in play.

The number of minutes devoted to advertising during Ten's prime time viewing will not fall as remaining ad spots will be spread across the rest of the period. Kellogg's, Diageo, Ford, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark and other advertisers are expected to pay a premium to participate in the short breaks and will not necessarily be guaranteed a first-in-break spot.
An interesting idea. So it's not that there will be less ads overall, but more frequent, albeit shorter ad breaks. I'm have to say I'm curious about how that will go down. In some respects, as a viewer, it's nice to get all the advertising out of the way, rather than have an ad break every 5 minutes. It does sound like advertisiers are keen to give it a try.

+ It also looks as if the UK's 50-year ban on product placement in TV shows for commercial products might come to an end.
Such a change could cause controversy but open up new channels for advertisers, who find it increasingly difficult to get the attention of viewers in an age where personal video recorders and video on demand allow audiences to fast forward through commercial breaks.

Stephen Carter, the chief executive of Ofcom, told a meeting of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers yesterday that the media watchdog recognised that limits on TV sponsorship in Britain were restrictive and he was sympathetic to change. One area of change could be product placement which occurred in films throughout the entire 50-year TV ban, he said.

"Nobody, unless they are in the advertising industry, watches a Bond film and goes out and buys an Aston Martin," Mr Carter told an audience of advertisers and advertising industry executives.
Heh. That's funny. And true. Apparently the reason for the ban was on the grounds that it would compromise editorial independence.

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