Monday, September 8, 2008

Fast Forward Commercials

I was watching TV the other day - digital cable.

I had paused the program that I was watching for long enough that I was able to fast forward through most of the commercials.

I haven't really ever taken full advantage of this option. Maybe I like to watch the commercial, or maybe I am just a moron, conditioned to watch commercials. Either way, this was one of the first time I basically fast forwarded through all the commercials.

It got me to thinking, and guess what. I had another advertising idea. Yep, I had an idea.

Someone needs to produce some commercials specifically designed to be fast forwarded.

My initial thoughts on this are that the commercial should basically be either simply the company logo or an intriguing image. Basically, I would take print advertising and put it on TV.

This use of a static image combined with longer ad spots - 1min or longer instead of 20sec or 30sec spots - will get people's attention. They will check to see that they are still hitting fast forward and might even stop fast forwarding, thinking that it isn't working or something weird is going on.

I was also thinking that you could make a similarly visually dynamic commercial with movement. It would be in slow motion unless you were fast forwarding it. Sound is lost with fast forward, so it would need to be very visually dynamic.

The audio for these commercials could be either a mantra like, "Drink Coke," or just some music.

Mantras work. Just ask the people at Head-On. You apply directly to forehead.

The great thing about either of these concepts is that, at first, they will get attention whether viewers are fast forwarding or not, because they will be so different from the slick, fast paced, and cutty commercials that we are used to.

I really hope some of you advertising creatives out there take this idea and run with it. I can't wait forever for you to start your own super cutting edge advertising firm and hire me as a consultant.

Yeah, I'm talking to you.

P.S. Why haven't you subscribed to Ideas By Chuck? Are you trying to hurt my feelings?


Anonymous said...

makes sense! i don't have cable myself. my mom says it will make me lazy like my uncle Humblin so we made a deal that she will pay for my college if I never have cable while I'm here. the second part of the deal is I'm never supposed to watch movies staring or speak of Ryan O'Neil which is odd. when I ask why she just gives me that hard cold look and says "just promise me." But I've seen how tivo works at my friends houses and this seems like a great idea!

WHAT IF there were a constant logo at the bottom of the commercial so they can have their fast paced commercials but the logo is a constant on FFwd.

Anonymous said...

Nice idear.
it might also be profitable for the stations or the Tivo to sell something like a key frame option so advertisers pay a little more and can decide what frames are shown while fast forwarding.

I'm sure there is or could be technology to do this.

this way they can tell the story of the commercial in comic style if someone is fast forwarding or just make sure the product shots hit.

Charles McCarthy said...

These are both good ideas.

I think that there are probably several great approaches to the issue as long as advertisers/creatives look at the fast forward as something to use and work with, rather than a commercial killer.

edwardherda said...

Already thought of that one, Chuck. Now, trying to figure out how to make it happen. said...

you're smart chuck!

Heather Haynes said...

Sorry Chuck, but it has already been done (sorry). It is a good idea. Here is a link to the marketing company that was the first to think of it:

I know them well. They do excellent work and they are great people.