About

TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

Categories

Marianne Paskowski



Toyota: One Savvy Advertiser

June 13, 2007 12:30 PM

There’s a reason Toyota is the fastest-growing automaker worldwide: Not only does it make great cars, thanks to efficient manufacturing, but it also throws around its TV ad dollars wisely.

When TNT airs its premiere episode for the third season of “The Closer” June 18, it will run commercial-free, sponsored only by Toyota, which bought the bragging rights to the opening teaser pod. Smart choice to be the only hawker in cable’s most popular original ad-supported TV series.

And smart move by TNT to lure in new viewers and old viewers of the series with the gift of no ads. Cable nets in particular are notorious for commercial overload, running far more spots and pods than broadcast nets. I actually gave up on some cable show I was watching in real time when, four minutes into the show, a pod with five ads appeared. And that pace of four minutes of programming and a blast of spots continued, totally turning me off. What a dunderheaded way of sucking a new viewer into a show. A click and I was out of there.

And all of the cable nets do it, including TNT, to one extent or another. So the burning question today is which cable net is most guilty of commercial overload?

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.tvweek.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/2090

Comments (13)

Jeff Mulligan:

Marianne,

I'm not sure who's the worst commercial-clutter offender, although I do recall many TNT movies stretching for nearly four hours for a 2 hour movie--or so it has seemed.

The real offenders are the advertisers who, apparently, are unwilling to buy cable spots except at the rock bottom prices cable nets are forced to charge. A higher rate for an airing in a less cluttered environment would be a more sensible buy, simply because the spot would have a chance to be seen. If it's buried in clutter, within a pod long enough for viewers to run to the kitchen and cook a four-course dinner, the spot won't be seen. It's worthless at any price paid.

Jeff

Mr. Abernathy:

Dear Ms. Paskowski:

The engineers at Toyota are manifestly quantitatively oriented, no doubt influencing the media buyers at the company, pointing out to them the disproportionate and inverse relationship of commercial pod length to net effective viewership. But as Gresham's Law reminds us in the correlative world of currency economics, cheap spots drive out the dear. The winners become those who aren't greedy (Toyota and TNT among them, apparently), along with the viewers.

Marianne Paskowski:

Jeff,
It seems like the TNT movies run for 4 hours, but they don't. But I like what TNT is doing, commercial free with the premeire third year of "The Closer," with the Toyota sponsorship. Wish more advertisers would cut those deals, not cheap, I'm sure.
Marianne

Cruiser:

Yo, Blondie,

Don't you see the ulterior motives afoot? The commercials run are usually such insipid testimonies to creative laziness that agencies who buy the cable time don't really want the commercials to be seen. With long pods and the dismal audience recall scores that ensue, the agencies can blame pod length while claiming big savings on all those alleged GRPs they purchased.

My favorite clutter scene is on broadcast, in local market late news programming. In lots of markets, after the sports report and the weather, the stations unleash five straight minutes of auto dealer advertising---the armpit of the TV spot world. All those spots yell prices, car features and all sound alike. They look alike too: always a car zooming through the Rockies, and never a car stuck on the freeway.

Even better when the well-Botoxed anchors promise "We'll be back with more" just before that awful five-minute pod. And then when the pod is over, we get ten seconds of "good night" smiles from the anchors and a crawl telling us who supplied the female anchor's wardrobe. Probably John's Bargain Store is smaller markets.

And the TV bozos wonder why they lose viewers to the internet?

Cruisin not bruisin

Marianne Paskowski:

Mr. Abernathy,

I've been rethinking what I posted. I'm not so sure now, Toyota did the right thing. Like Pavlov's dog, an ad, if you're watching this stuff in real time means go to the bathroom, check on the dogs, get some water or a snack.

I remember watching something commercial free, in real time, an hour-long series, like "The Closer," and it was, well, actually, annoying, not to be able to stop it for whatever I wanted, like a phone call, or an email.

Having said that, a lot of research on pod placement suggests that the primo spot is the very last pod, when viwers are still sucked into the end of the story line. Your thoughts, fellow bloggers?

Marianne

Marianne Paskowski:

Oh Cruiser,

I would guess that the sponsorship Toyota bought for a very popular show, "The Closer," will be corporate and not some half baked local ads from dealerships trying to move gas guzzling SUV's off their lots. I would bet on that. The sponsorship ad wil probably be very green and eco-friendly. But I do agree with you about the local auto ads, yikes! And auto is still the largest ad category.

Marianne

West Coast Dave:

Hello East Coast "M"..

Satelite TV is jsut as bad as cable with comercials out here....reqason I don't have cable TV anymost is that they got too big for their britches ( dating myself here) and when it rained the cable took a dump...when the squirrels bit the cable the company ( Comcast) said oh they would come by in 6 to 7 days and soemwhere between 7 and 5 pm !! NO freakin way...Direct TV...absolutely wonderful HD pics all channels except still massive bombardment usually with commercials.....thats moneymaking !!

West Coast Dave:

Hello East Coast "M"..

Satelite TV is just as bad as cable with comercials out here....reqason I don't have cable TV anymost is that they got too big for their britches ( dating myself here) and when it rained the cable took a dump...when the squirrels bit the cable the company ( Comcast) said oh they would come by in 6 to 7 days and soemwhere between 7 and 5 pm !! NO freakin way...Direct TV...absolutely wonderful HD pics all channels except still massive bombardment usually with commercials.....thats moneymaking !!

West Coast Dave:

Hello East Coast "M"..

Satelite TV is just as bad as cable with commercials out here....reason I don't have cable TV anymost is that they got too big for their britches ( dating myself here) and when it rained the cable took a dump...when the squirrels bit the cable the company ( Comcast) said oh they would come by in 6 to 7 days and somewhere between 7 and 5 pm !! NO freakin way...Direct TV...absolutely wonderful HD pics all channels except still massive bombardment usually with commercials.....thats moneymaking !!

Carl LaFong:

"Monday Night Football" is cable's most popular original ad-supported series.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi West Coast Dave,

Nearly no one has a dish on the spit of sand here, Cape Cod, poor site of path, trees, and two many who tryed had them ripped off by our infamous hurricanes. But then everything goes down.

I seldom watch anything in real time, except the news, the sea of commercials is overwhelming.

Marianne

Marianne Paskowski:

Carl,

Don't think Turner takes into account sports programming when it touts itself, that show, as the most popular "original" ad-supported program on cable TV. But slice the salmami as thin as you want.

Thanx,
Marianne

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi riv...

Thanks, if you have any ideas for future blog items, weigh in, open to all ideas.

Marianne

Post a comment