Sony recently filed a patent to turn ads into video games. Essentially, in Sony’s new universe, consumers would be able to interact with commercial advertisements in order to gain some kind of reward (skip the commercials, get a coupon, etc…). Their example: saying the words “I’m lovin’ it!” would skip the commercial.
Now doesn’t that sound like so much fun, yelling at your TV during ads so you can get on with your show? It might not, but the fact is: technological advance has always and will continue to make advertising less intrusive for the consumer.
I know what you’re thinking: “My grandpa Joe never had to scream at his TV just to get on with his show.”
Of course he didn’t. But he did have to watch commercials. And he didn’t have a remote to change the channel, or a DVR to fast forward through the ads, or the option of premium channels without any of them, or a smart phone to play on during them, or… you get the point. So more than anybody ever in the history of entertainment, your grandpa Joe had to watch commercials.
Enter technology. Remotes, DVR, the Hopper, the tablet, and a million other advances have given consumers hundreds of ways to escape the ads, which is great for people who hate ads but horrible for advertisers who pay millions for TV time.
So here’s the miracle: when consumers started running away from ads, companies had to give them a reason to stay. The age of technology became the death of in-your-face advertising and the birth of a new age of advertising: advertising that connects brands with consumers.
Awakened by the startling truth that people no longer have to watch their boring ads, advertisers set out to make advertising that didn’t look, feel, or sound like advertising. Which brings us right back to Sony’s newest patent. Instead of sitting and watching, now you get to play a game with the remote. Or you can change the channel.
So yes, more ads are on TV now than any other time in history. But you’re welcome to change the channel. And, hoping you don’t, good agencies and advertisers are doing everything in their power to make advertising and experiences that will entertain, and captivate and most importantly, connect.
It’s a good day to be watching commercials.