Author Topic: Blipverts  (Read 2234 times)

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Offline Variety of Cells

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Blipverts
« on: February 10, 2007, 11:35:35 PM »
The topic name comes from Max Headroom, a show that used to be on sci-fi.  One episode was about a television company that decided to release extremely condensed commercials.  Well they now exist.  When fast forwarding through commercials on your Tivo, commercials are sometimes replaced by still images of what the commercial is advertising.  A friend of mine noticed this when he fast forwarded through some commercials, but then was forced to go back and watch them all.  He remembered seeing images when he fast forwarded that weren't in the actual commercials.  So I looked online to see if anyone else noticed.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/15/already-sexy-tivo-brings-fast-forward-ads-back/

And they apparently work if my friend was able to remember an image that was missing from a commercial after seeing it for only a fraction of a second.  Sneaky bastards.  I guess the only way to really avoid advertising is to time it out and close your eyes while fast forwarding.  Just thought you should all be aware.


Offline gbeenie

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2007, 06:11:05 AM »
The topic name comes from Max Headroom, a show that used to be on sci-fi.  One episode was about a television company that decided to release extremely condensed commercials.  Well they now exist.  When fast forwarding through commercials on your Tivo, commercials are sometimes replaced by still images of what the commercial is advertising.  A friend of mine noticed this when he fast forwarded through some commercials, but then was forced to go back and watch them all.  He remembered seeing images when he fast forwarded that weren't in the actual commercials.  So I looked online to see if anyone else noticed.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/15/already-sexy-tivo-brings-fast-forward-ads-back/

And they apparently work if my friend was able to remember an image that was missing from a commercial after seeing it for only a fraction of a second.  Sneaky bastards.  I guess the only way to really avoid advertising is to time it out and close your eyes while fast forwarding.  Just thought you should all be aware.

Um... a friend of mine has tapes of The Young Ones from back when they aired on MTV in the mid-eighties (this is before Max Headroom aired in the U.S.); there are commercial images of no more than a few frames inserted into the show. Since I'm pretty sure I've never felt the compulsion to buy whatever the hell it was they were advertising, I wouldn't worry about it (that, and my head has TOTALLY failed to explode).
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2007, 08:53:23 AM »
I doubt people's heads will explode.  But it is still an effective form of advertising, because you don't have the chance to logically debate what is being advertised.  An image flashes for a moment with a logo, and you don't really realize that you've seen it.  So now that name brand is stuck in your head, and you're not exactly sure why.  With other commercials you have the opportunity to say "I'm not going to buy that, why would people dancing want to make me buy McDonalds?"  But this form bypasses logic and goes straight to name brand recognition.  I'm not sure exactly how effective it is, but it's effective enough for companies to be willing to pay for it.


Offline AmandaGal

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2007, 09:33:53 AM »
I don't know. It's probably just about as effective as slipping a brand into a movie and that's never made me want to buy a product and those products are there longer.  I don't want to buy Coke because Paula Abdoul and Simon Cowell drink it (even though I'm sure Paula's is mixed with Vodka).  That's honestly the only one I can think of right now which shows how effective they are.

I think commercials are effective because we do think about them and "What the heck? Was that even about coke?  What did that have to do with coke?"  It stays in our mind for more than a millisecond.  We're exposed to so many brands today, t-shirts, billboards, print ads, shopping trips, magazines.  I think we're immune to the quick "flash" advertising or everyone would be buying whatever was flashed across the chicks boobs you saw at the mall (and I bet you looked longer than a millisecond at that, hehe).

I loved Max Headroom by the way!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 09:35:33 AM by AmandaGal »
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Offline gbeenie

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2007, 10:09:39 AM »
See, I just don't have a problem with advertising. Granted, I have a DVR, and thus don't see as many TV ads as I would otherwise. But, to me, advertising is just another form of information. Like any information, you're free to accept or reject the message you're being presented with; obviously, you'd be a fool not to take the inherent bias of the sponsors of the ad into consideration. Keeping that in mind, it's pretty easy to decide what you consider to be of merit and what you don't.
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2007, 10:23:02 AM »
Now, most advertising is not that effective on the general population that posts on these forums, because it seems like most of us would think about an add before we take it as the truth.  But, that does not mean adds with pretty girls jumping around with a bottle of coke are ineffective.  People will generally not buy something they are unfamiliar with.  The example I like to use is acetaminophen vs. Tylenol.  When most people have a headache, they go to the store and pick up some Tylenol, because they know what Tylenol is, they've seen advertisements for it.  Acetaminophen is just cheaper, generic Tylenol, but no one buys it because it doesn't advertise, so most people don't know what it is.  The same thing works with all other products.  If you know what the product is and its name from seeing it on a commercial, you are a lot more likely to buy it over a similar thing with a different name, even if it's cheaper.

In that case, these fast forwarding commercials can be very effective.  They do their job.  They get you to know what their product is and its name.  And you don't even have the chance to logically refute it.  We like to think we have the power to resist advertisements, but we can't make a good comparative decision when the other product hasn't been advertised. 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 10:24:42 AM by varietyofcells »


Offline AmandaGal

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2007, 11:08:08 AM »
My point being that we're exposed to so many brand names these days, everywhere we go and everything we do, I think it all becomes mush.

Drug names are bad examples because the FDA guidelines.  There's a period of time when all consumers know the drug by is the brand name (no generic available) so it does become synonymous with the generic name but it's not really because of advertising.  Tylenol is the same way.  Do people buy brand name Tylenol anymore? Generally, most people go for generic.  Some people do buy the brand but most of the time when people ask for "Tylenol" they mean acetaminophen and when I show them the Tylenol brand they ask for generic.  It's the same way with some legend drugs.  We call it "Xanax" but if we gave people Xanax (the name brand) they would have an anxiety attack on the spot seeing the price.  What they mean is the generic.  It's because a) brand names are easier to say and spell and b) docs don't like to learn new names and what they learn it as is what they call it forever.  That's not to say that Tylenol doesn't have good brand recognition or a good ad campaign. I have often told patients to take "Tylenol."  I just don't think drugs are the best case.  There's a lot of history, moreseo than advertising, behind those names.

Another example is Kleenex.  That is something everyone calls "Kleenex" but how many of you buy the Kleenex brand?  I never have. Or in the South where even my Dr. Pepper is "Coke." A more recent example, how every mp3 player is an "iPod."  On the other hand, there's history moreso than advertising behind those names too.  They were all the first and is that more important?  I don't know.  I think it's a little chicken or egg. 

Apple is a master marketer.  Granted, iPod wasn't really the first MP3 player but it was the first to take off.  Was that because of usability or because of brand recognition?  I think it was a little of both.  There's a certain amount of coolness in being able to say you have an iPod rather than a knockoff but is that because of the price point and that it's a status symbol or because the commercials and branding? Again, it's hard to say but I don't think Apple would have done quite as well just flashing a photo.  They did a very good job of making people know what an iPod was and how it was cool.  You can't do that in a millisecond and that's what makes them a Brand that's synonymous with a product.  Just flashing a brand is something we get 100s of times everyday.  I think after that, our brains just don't even really process it.

This post really makes no point but I'm hitting post anyway!
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Offline gbeenie

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2007, 11:14:18 AM »
You have a point, variety, in that if advertising weren't effective, people wouldn't use it. But I've also seen that being at a point where one's brand name is inextricably linked to a particular category of products can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, such ubiquity can definitely be good for sales; on the other, a brand name can be so commonly used to refer to ANY product in a particular category that it fails to denote the particular brand it was created to promote. For example, did you know that the words "zipper" and "boot" were established brand names at one time? But the words become so ubiquitous for those particular products that the companies lost their copyrights. Xerox Corporation has been fighting a similar problem with ANY photocopy being called a "xerox" for at least fifteen years.
And I think your Tylenol example is a poor one; I don't know ANYbody who buys brand-name pain reliever. I myself always buy store-brand ibuprofen (and yet I still cal it "Advil").
Now, if you were talking about Coke, then you'd be on to something. It's my considered opinion that most people's soft drink "preferences" are a question of habit, not taste.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 11:15:52 AM by gbeenie »
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Blipverts
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2007, 11:18:02 AM »
Your post made sense Amanda.  And it's true that fast forward commercials are not as effective as some of the massive ad campaigns that some companies have payed for.  I was just trying to say that they are not to be dismissed as something that doesn't work at all.  And yeah, maybe my Tylenol example is poor, I don't buy drugs that often.