Now, This is Good News…. for Advertisers

kinnon —  November 25, 2005 — 2 Comments

Kidscouchpotatoes-1-1AdAge reports on a Mediamark Research Inc. survey of the Television viewing habits of American children. The”good news”, most kids between 6 and 11 don’t skip commercials. Kid focussed marketers like McD’s, BK and the rest of the junk food producers, clothing & footwear brands, toy manufacturers et al must be excited by these results. Even “(m)arketers such as Westin Hotels, Budget Rent-a-Car and Ford Motor Co. were … interested in children’s media options.

Advertisers are having a hard time getting through to an older audience – but they are excited to know that they can get to our kids. I can’t wait to see the beer ads where kids are “taught” which brands to convince Daddy to buy. Six year old Sarah, “Daddy, don’t you know that Bud Light tastes right!” They’d never do that…would they?

When our oldest was seven we began to severely restrict television access. Largely because the kids were becoming perfect little commercial parrots. (And this when the largest portion of our income came from TV networks.) Today all three of our kids (the oldest is almost 19) are avid readers and good writers. They have a breadth of knowledge that wouldn’t be there had they spent as much time in front of the tube as the average North American kid. And the side benefit has been that they are a little more immune to the antics of advertisers.

Ffw-ButtonParents, it’s time to TiVo train the kids – if you’re going to provide them with unrestricted access to the TV, teach them to record their favorite shows – and then teach them the importance of the skip button! Or perhaps you prefer perfect little promotion parrots.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

2 responses to Now, This is Good News…. for Advertisers

  1. Bill,
    You make a good point here. In our family, we have gone the past ten years without cable or satellite TV. We do get the national US networks, PBS, WB, and UPN. But we don’t watch much of it becasue of time constraints and poor picture quality. Rabbit-ears provide a certain dampenning effect upon TV watching. For the past year, I have spent three days a week out of town, living in a house that does have satellite. I’m amazed at the range of channels. But I tend only to watch those with old movies. While the technical quality of films have increased, the quality of the writing has not. I’m constantly amazed at the literary quality of many movies from the 1930’s. This past week, we went to Savannah to visit family for Thanksgiving (US version). The cable offering there was abominable. Mostly low-grade comedies, infomercials and tele-evangelists selling miracle water. Bill, your kids haven’t missed much. Your kids and ours haven’t missed much by not being exposed to massive amounts of television. I still remember as a kid when my friend Bucky was the first one in the neighborhood to get a color TV. The technology has advanced, but the quality certainly has not.

  2. Ed,
    Springsteen said “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”, 13 years ago – ‘cept today it’s 800 Channels and absolutely Nothing On! Although the Comedy Network’s “TBN” is an amusing channel. (It is a Comedy Network channel, isn’t it.)

    I believe the future of “Moving Images” will be IPTV – Internet Protocol Television. We’ll watch things we’ve chosen to watch – when and where we want to watch them – Video iPod, computer screen, Standard Definition TV or HDTV. I posted on NBC Universal’s deal with Wurld Net last week as an example.

    When I get a chance, I’m watching the latest NerdTV episode from Robert Cringely & PBS – which I’ve downloaded to my laptop. link to

    Most of the TV shows I’ve watched this year (a couple of Episodes of “House”, West Wing and one episode of Alias) have been BitTorrent files as we’ve missed the broadcast window.
    Our reality is that if we watch more than two hours of broadcast TV during the week – we’re doing something wrong. And we are no longer atypical.

    Advertisers will need to speak directly to their potential customers via Google Ads, Blog Ads etc. Word of mouth will make or break products/services/entertainment (look at the Bennifer movie Gigli as an example – actually don’t look at it, consider it.)

    We live in interesting times.


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