I realize they are necessary, but when I watch them I wonder, “Am I living in a bizarre universe or what?”
Since this is an endless presidential election year, commercials are already more irritating than usual. I have always been curious about the efficacy of the negative commercials politicians put out no matter what their political persuasion. Oops. I need to qualify that sentence. It is “other groups” that pay for those commercials, not the politicians themselves. The politicians know nothing about them. Do these commercials, often full of factual errors and logical fallacies, really persuade viewers to vote or not vote for a particular politician?
I also am curious about the commercials that appear during the evening news. I find it strange that most of the commercials are about drugs. Do you? These are the same drug companies who say they have to charge steep prices because so much of their budgets are tied up in research to develop additional new and expensive drugs.
The actual content of various drug commercials takes me back to this question about the bizarre nature of the universe I inhabit. I can understand the many benefits as outlined in their commercials: no more erectile dysfunction, no more large animal sitting on your chest, no more smoking cigarettes, no more pain, and no more joint problems. It all sounds wonderful until they mention the possible side effects: blindness, heart attack, or possible sudden death. Are these great deals or what?
Fortunately, one problem with commercials HAS been fixed.
Congress passed—did you read that—CONGRESS PASSED—a bill called the CALM Act. This stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation. Starting December 13, 2012, television stations and cable operators will bear the responsibility for keeping commercials at the same volume as the average volume of the programs around them.
I was overjoyed when I read this and realized that perhaps something IS getting fixed these days. Then I read the next sentence which mentioned that the FCC would like television viewers to let them know, after this law goes into effect, if there are any stations not adhering to this act. The viewers will let them know where the “trouble areas” are. I hope the FCC has an enormous switchboard and email inbox.
I can only think of two ways to escape this bizarre universe: read a good book and put on some classical music, or take your chances and keep your finger on the “mute” button.
Does the world of television commercials strike you as bizarre?
In any consideration of this topic you must remember that from the media point of view, programming is the filler you put inbetween the commercials.
Gosh, Jim. I think you have a great point here. We need to start considering this from another viewpoint. Thanks!