I was a kid in the 60’s. Television was pretty much still black and white, we had four channels, I was the remote control, oh and it went “off the air” around midnight. There was no pausing live TV or recording, or even reruns, so if you missed it, you missed it. And I remember bargaining with my mom when it was my night to do the dishes and the Brady Bunch was on – can I do them on the commercials? A commercial would begin and I would run into the kitchen frantically cleaning and my brothers and sisters (who had my back) would yell, “It’s back on!”
Marketing was my friend. The only chance I had to pee, or grab a snack or do the dishes so I didn’t miss the content.
Yesterday I was working out on our elliptical trainer at home. I put on my wireless headset, dialed up Pandora Red Hot Chili Peppers station on my iPhone and just a few seconds into the first song Pandora told me that someone else was listening (my husband) and did I want to boot him off? I thought about it – but then said naw, let him listen. I remembered that I had a Spotify app on my phone so I switched to that. I don’t have a monthly subscription like I do with Pandora so the first thing is asked me was if I wanted to watch a 30 second commercial so I could get 30 minutes commercial free listening. It made me wonder just how often they were going to throw ads at me if I said no. So I said yes, and gun to my head I could not even tell you what the ad was about, what company was selling to me because quite frankly I resented it.
It got me to thinking about how invasive ads have become. And how pushy and bossy marketing has become. Like when you get a Google alert for a good article, you click on that link, the article appears and then BAM a marketing message invades your screen. Or watching a YouTube Video now, gotta watch the ad first. It’s like the price we pay to get the content we want. Does this stuff really work? Do people say, “Oh wait, I wonder what this is?” I would love to know their success rate.
It just feels like a lot of marketing/advertising, whatever you want to call it these days has become a fly in the ointment. Or that annoying little sister that says “Look at me, pay attention to me” when you know they really don’t have anything important to say.