OBSOLESCENCE OF COMMERCIALS?
Brad DeLong thinks the time may have come:
The children routinely use the “mute” button on the remote to silence TV commercials, for no reason other than that they are annoying.
If they are representative of the younger generation, the effectiveness of TV advertising is about to take a *big* dive.
Indeed. One wonders, though, how different this is from channel flipping (which is what I used to do during commercials before I got DirectTV), going to the restroom, fetching a snack, or they myriad other things we’ve been doing to advoid the ads for years?
I wonder how different TV advertising is from computer spam. Obviously, the vast majority of the people are smart enough to filter through their spam (and junk snail mail, for that matter) without reading it. Yet, apparently, it still persuades some percentage to actually pay for the product being peddled. Given the apparent level to which most TV ads seem aimed, maybe they’re just trying to reach people too stupid to operate their remote control?
Update (2154): Apparently, Kevin Drum’s grandmother was way ahead of the DeLong kids on this one.