All Articles Tagged "commercials"

“It’s Gotten Out of Control”: BET & Other Major Networks Squeeze In Ads By Speeding Up Programs

February 19th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Source: Akil Productions

Source: Akil Productions

No, it’s not just you — Black Entertainment Television (BET) has been, indeed, drowning us in a flood of advertisements by condensing our favorite shows into smaller time frames. But you won’t believe the tactics they’re using to do it.

Besides chopping program segments to size, cable networks are speeding up shows, using compression technology, to make more room for advertisers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Take Stephen Cox’s experience, for example, when the pop culture author watched the Wizard of Oz on TBS last year: “Their voices were raised a notch,” he said about the 1939 classic. “It was astounding to me.”

He wasn’t imagining it. Cable networks sped up Dorothy’s yellow brick road journey “to meet audience guarantees made to advertisers and prop up revenue despite falling ad prices,” WSJ said.

While WSJ discovered that TBS is a major culprit of using compression technology, BET is the No. 1 offender. The African American-targeted cable network had the highest average time of commercial runs per hour at 24.2 minutes. TV Land follows at 22.9 minutes. Animal Planet landed in third place with 18.6 minutes and TBS follows in fourth place.

These are all well beyond the average cable commercial run of 15.8 minutes per hour.

Interestingly, many of the channels listed on WSJ’s top ad-squeezers are subsidiaries of Viacom. Besides BET, this includes MTV, TV Land, and Spike.

“It is a way to keep the revenue from going down as much as the ratings,” a top executive at a major cable programmer told WSJ. “The only way we can do it is to double down and stretch the unit load a little more.”

But the problem is that by squeezing in more commercials to counterbalance falling ratings, cable networks are exacerbating the issue, not fixing it. Who really wants to sit through an hour of programming when nearly half of it is all advertising?

“It has gotten completely out of control,” a distribution head from a major network said. “I’m concerned when you look at the performance being diminished and hurt by their running the shows that way.”

More interestingly, speeding up content may be discordant with contracts inked between networks and studios. “They are not allowed to do anything to the content. They have to run it in the way it is delivered,” the unnamed distribution chief added.

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman spoke out against the compression practice: “It is not how it was shot, written or imagined. It wasn’t meant to be that way, so don’t make it that way.”

What do you think?

Well That Was Odd…10 Strange Commercials & Campaigns Of 2014 (Thus Far)

November 24th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Ohio woman sues hospital after syphilis diagnosis is posted to Facebook.


We get the importance of changing up one’s marketing tactics, but some of the things companies are serving to us are a little weird. Some can make us chuckle while others make us cringe. Even though there are way too many to name, we couldn’t help but think about these strange commercials and campaigns that stole minutes from our lives this year.

Ridiculously Adorable: 15 Celebrities in Commercials When They Were Just Kids

September 9th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Did you know that Carlton from The Fresh Prince, Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad and even Brad Pitt had their start as celebrities in commercials? Read on and prepare to be surprised by who else is on the list.

Raven Symone

If you thought Raven Symone was adorable on The Cosby Show, this 1990 Cool Whip commercial may push you into full cuteness overload.

Cheerios Super Bowl Commercial Features Same Multicultural Family

January 30th, 2014 - By Rich
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Last summer, we were horrified that crazy racist folks got all upset at an adorable commercial that showed a white mother, a black father, and their really cute daughter. Now, the family’s back in a Cheerios Super Bowl commercial and they’re still so cute. Cheerios did the smart thing and disabled the comments on the YouTube video so we can just enjoy them being a sweet family.

Little Gracie, has gotten so big since her last commercial! And she’s not playing around. When her dad explains she’s about to get a baby brother, Gracie sees that brother and raises dad a puppy. Ah, yes, the age-old battle of kid for a pet (and against a new family member)! It’s familiar no matter the race of the kids or the parents and it’s really, really sweet.

Cheerios says they brought the multiracial family back after the Murphy-West family started the website We Are the 15 Percent. Seeing the commercial and seeing the horrible backlash inspired them to show the love that happens between multiracial families, who make up 15 percent of the population. It’s encouraging to see a big brand stand behind something you don’t see a lot in media and then go back and dig into the issue. Good for Cheerios and good for the families involved in the commercial and We Are the 15 Percent.

Cheerios Super Bowl Commercial Features Same Multicultural Family


Was That Really Necessary? 10 TV Commercials That Took It Way Too Far

January 21st, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Ever watch a commercial and find yourself wincing, cringing, or averting your eyes away from the TV? Or has an advertisement been so awful that you’ve had to change the channel. Yeah, we hear you. We understand that advertisers love adding a little “shock value” into commercials — no matter how heinous, awkward, or gross it may be — to have people talking. But do they really have to sully our viewing pleasures just to reach our wallets?

Here’s a list of commercials that have taken  a left turn. As we are on threshold of the Super Bowl, hopefully this list will make these big brands reconsider some of the revolting ads they have in store for us. If only…

The Worst Commercials of 2013

December 17th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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A still from the Geico "Hump Day" commercial, a favorite for the year.

A still from the Geico “Hump Day” commercial, a favorite for the year.

In thinking about the most memorable commercials of 2013 and the advertisements that enticed us to use that product and/or service, you almost have to stop and think about the ones that failed. Can you remember changing the channel when you saw a particular ad appear that made you roll your eyes and say whatever? Or perhaps there was one that stirred up a little anger as to why companies would think it would be okay to run such marketing tactics? While there are probably tons that are out there, here’s a look back at some of the worst commercials of 2013.

The Most Memorable Commercials of 2013

December 9th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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super bowl bruno marsWith the year soon coming to an end, many advertisers have their eyes set on one of the biggest campaign opportunities of the any year, Super Bowl. Already sold out and going for as much as $4 million a slot, one can only imagine what companies have up their sleeves to get our attention and capture our business.
But until that time comes, it’s kinda fun to think about the commercials that left a lasting impression on us throughout the year. Are there any that come to mind? If so, what was it about the ad that kept you glued to your television? Here is a look back at some of the most memorable commercials of 2013. Of course there were many but these instantly came to mind.

K-Mart ‘Yo Mama’ Commercials, Rap Video Receive Backlash From Viewers

July 31st, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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kmart-yo-mama-commercialThe latest K-mart commercials that feature grade-school children making quick-witted “Yo Mama” jokes about their classmates’ fashion-forward choices and another with a tween rap crew  is causing a raucous. While some find no harm in the ads, others are furious about the commercials’ “racist” undertones, reports Clutch.

“Did yo mama get that hoodie at K-mart?” one grade school kid asks another. “Yeah dawg!”, a young Latino boy replies. “Well yo mama must have cavities because that hoodie is sweet!”

“Well yo mama is so fiscally responsible, she got all that on free layaway!” a witty African-American girl jokes.

“Ohhhhhhh!” the kids in the schoolyard yelled.

“Your commercials are racist and disgusting,” one commenter says in all-caps on the K-Mart Facebook page. “I won’t be shopping here!” Admittedly, K-Mart is attempting to market these commercials to the budget-conscious and/or urban consumer. But I don’t think these slapstick, all-in-good-fun commercials are racially charged.

The joke is that the “Yo Mama” jokes are unexpected compliments, not insults. Yet, a large wave of television viewers are not tickled by the satirical wordplay. One viewer likened the Yo Mama jokesters to street kids or gang members. “They’re babbling and you can’t understand a word they say,” another person complains. “Very very poor example for kids to see.”

A K-Mart representative replied, “This commercial is a playful take on Kmart Layaway. We regret if it wasn’t your style.”

The Nine Most Anticipated Super Bowl XLVII Commercials

February 1st, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

If you’re not into NFL football, Super Bowl parties or even Beyonce for that matter, Sunday’s big game might not be a highlight for you, but the multi-million dollar commercial advertisements might be!

You might have already seen a few ads here or there gearing up for the Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Fransisco 49ers and the record-breaking audience it will receive, including Beyonce’s Pepsi ad for her sponsored halftime show, but there are many more to come. From big household names like Toyota to smaller, but well-established products like Mio drinks, we are anticipating some of the biggest Super Bowl commercials ready to premiere this coming Sunday evening. Are you?

Oh No They Didn’t! Super Bowl Ads Try To Profit From Controversy

January 30th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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A still from Kate Upton's Super Bowl ad for Carl's Jr.

A still from Kate Upton’s Super Bowl ad for Carl’s Jr.

The Super Bowl is more than a football game. During commercial breaks and on YouTube, companies are playing a Super Bowl of their own, competing to capture the world’s attention without embarrassing themselves. Any Real Housewives Of Atlanta fan can tell you how difficult that game is to master.

First possession of 2013 goes to Volkswagen. If you haven’t seen their ad featuring a proud Minnesotan talking like he works weekend shifts at the Jerk Pit, you clearly don’t work in a cubicle. Catch up, so you can engage in one of America’s favorite pastimes, a round of “Is That Racist?”

Does it matter that 100 Jamaicans are okay with the ad? Would it make it better if White Jamaicans existed? Do they exist? (FYI, they’re 3.2 percent of the country’s population. Yes, I Google’d and YouTube’d it. I was intrigued.) None of this really means anything. Some people find the commercial offensive. They may or may not be Jamaican.

Volkswagen knows their happy little commercial has a little edge to it. Edgy enough to talk to 100 Jamaicans. And make a back up ad. But standing out this time of year sometimes requires taking a little more risk. Success is determined by a simple premise: If the controversy outshines the product, you lose.

When the controversy puts an ad at the top of the news hour across the country, and the world collectively says, “Oh, that’s not so bad.” Companies like Volkswagen win. Bonus points if a few people say, “I love this ad” or “That’s a nice car he was driving.”

Here are a few attempts from Super Bowls past where companies have pushed the envelope to varying degrees, with varying levels of success. Is it a touchdown, or did they fumble the advertising budget?