Saturday, September 15, 2007

The :30 isn't dead but it may be wrong.

I have fairly quick processing powers and an acute ability to take in a lot of information quickly. Lately however, maybe because I'm always doing a couple of other things when I'm watching TV, I feel that I get nothing out of a mere :30.

Is it possible that the internet has actually expanded our attention span? That because it provides so much information, we now want more in a single serving when we're media browsing. Every time I see a car commercial, I'm left saying to myself "so what." Same with the new IBM campaign, "Start Doing," or the current Microsoft campaign, "People Ready." Especially true with the Amex Tina Fey spot. Or the HP Gwen Stefani spot. Funny and engaging, but who cares?

I believe in the long-term viability of TV. (I just found these numbers in Forbes: 79% of all consumers discuss their favorite TV shows with friends, family and colleagues, compared with just 38% that discuss favorite Web sites.)

TV isn't wrong. But maybe :30 is the wrong time-unit. Maybe it's not the media, it's the length of the message. I know there are cost implications involved in this line of thinking. But, gee whiz, if I were spending hundreds of millions on TV, damn, I'd try something different. What's more, my guess would be that the networks would be willing to play ball with the advertisers if they thought it would cause a resurgence in the effectiveness of their medium.

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