Caught In The Web

From ad weary to ad wearout

Craig Gugel
Executive Principal, Director of Strategic Insights, Optimedia International, United States.


'The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement.' The Idler, 1759.

While this statement may have elicited numerous positive responses from various marketing constituencies 242 years ago, today most ad practitioners would probably agree that the complex media marketplace that continues to evolve is anything but perfect.

As we settle in to the new millennium, we continue to be confronted with a number of ad effectiveness issues both in the conventional and new media arenas.

Consider the following. It is 9 p.m. on a Monday night and as you sit down to watch your favorite television drama, a series of thirty-three 30-second commercials are televised just prior to the start of the program. In other words, you will have to put up with over 16 minutes of non-programming material before you are able to begin viewing the evening's scheduled episode. Totally absurd? Well, while all non-program minutes are not necessarily scheduled sequentially, we in the United States have surpassed the 16-minute benchmark. The most recent AAAA/ANA TV Commercial Monitoring Report indicates that, as of November 2000, the number of non-program minutes in network primetime had risen to 16:17 per hour, an increase of over 20% from the same period in 1991.