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    Food for thought

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    April 15, 2008


    Steve Chamberlain

    And so goes the 40" "box" in the living room. It manages our home entertainment, so if we aren't entertaining, why would someone like us?

    I realize there are a lot of dimensions to entertainment - we think of dramas, tragedies, romance or comedy - tone to us. But it seems too often our versions of "entertaining" are not grounded in a brand truth or an idea sustainable as a memory and a brand connection. So if we go too far one way or the other we lose the "brand" or we become pure entertainment.

    I don't believe advertising has become less entertaining. I believe we as viewers have become harder to entertain. And so we have learned to dislike most advertising just like we dislike most TV programming.

    Charles Frith

    Exactly. The whole point of media literacy is that we become harder to entertain. This raises the game for advertising and I think Fallon are hitting the spot on this.


    Is it entertained or stuff that rewards our time? Sure, entertainment is one way but I think Sony is proof that if we make stuff that is interesting we'll be welcome. And other examples like Nike+, Tate posters (Fallon London again) show that if we're useful we'll be welcome. And maybe thinking simply beyond entertainment will help us be welcome again.

    Steve Chamberlain

    But the guy sitting there with his bottle of brew in front of the tube waiting for the game to start isn't looking for useful - he's looking for the great play, the high emotional battle, the moment for a laugh and the hotty. He's set in his mindset and receptivity.

    Ok - very overblown... but I guess like everything, it all depends on who we are trying to reach and how willing they are to a want to hear a message. But I'd still think we need to be entertaining in some way to deliver a useful message. And it's getting harder and harder to be uniquely entertaining to most of those we are trying to reach.


    but isn't he looking for something more interesting to watch than his carpet?
    but I take your point;) I just worry about whether we are reallly in the entertainment business (at least all the time) and if we keep thinking we are whether we'll really change.

    Ezra K

    The advertising message has become less entertaining, on the whole there's so much more.

    Viewers are harder to entertain because the trend now is to push advertising as entertainment when I think we should work to make advertising entertaining as advertising.

    So "rewarding our time" I'm all for. Considering the trade-offs - what are you giving to someone vs. what you want from them. And how ad content makes the proposal.


    Couldn't agree more with Ezra. The classic ads that made me want to get into advertising in the first place when I was little were the classic Levi's ads set in the 60s; the Nescafe soap opera.

    These weren't 'entertainment', or 'content', they were all about the brand and what it stood for. And that was entertaining in itself.

    Charles Frith

    No its not just entertaining Gareth. A poor choice of word. However if its not interesting its very unlikely to be entertaining. All the ads I find interesting at the moment are entertaining me. Fallon's Budweiser in particular :)


    I agreee with many of the comments above. People don't tune into TV to watch adverts (though they may go to youtube specifically to find one). People recognise that ads are a necessary part of TV - without them, there wouldn't be anything other than the BBC

    A key point for me is that in the age of media profileration, people are increasingly choosing something they WANT to watch, not tuning into something for the sake of the TV being on.

    So ads may not be getting worse, but TV may (in the eyes of the viewer) be getting better.

    And besides, people can "claim" not to like ads, but there have been many studies showing how people react to them, and actual behaviour is far removed from perceived



    Most ads are awful, which reflects the bell curve for creativity generally. Why would any technologically savvy person watch an ad when there's sky plus, favourites programmed on the remote and cups of tea to be made. And that's just England.

    I cannot watch network tv in the States, way too many breaks and portentious, dire vo. The future is teeney weeney, all the kids I know have their heads down over a mobile, ipod or game.


    teeny weeny. now there's a great agency name:)

    bft mitto

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