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The New Advertising Order

Monday, May 8, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Every day I receive e-mails asking me for info on an ad a listener herad on my program, the details of which he or she didn’t catch. Most of the time it is for a web address like etc. This is why mosy of my radio advertisers purchase links on this site, which is inextricably bound up with the radio show.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a report that TiVo is making commercials available on demand –a very smart move. Excerpt (subscription required):

As the first brand-name digital-video recorder to be adopted widely by the general public, TiVo has become synonymous with the ability to skip TV commercials. Now, a group of marketers wishes to see whether consumers will use TiVo to find ads they want to watch.

TiVo will today launch Product Watch, a service offering on-demand ads to its subscribers. TiVo has signed up about 70 advertisers, including marketers such as Kraft Foods, Ford Motor, General Motors and IAC/InterActive’s LendingTree, to participate in the service. TiVo announced plans for the service in November.

For the most part, the marketers won’t run traditional 30-second TV commercials. Instead, they will offer longer ads that attempt to be more informative than typical commercials. Kraft, for instance, will offer 20 different cooking videos that will show such things as how to grill its Tombstone pizza, potato-salad basics, or how to create a cantaloupe-and-Jell-O dessert.

Sellers are becoming content-providers, which they have to do if they are going to attract customers in an era when almost everything can be skipped.

The best advertising executives have always had to be creative and smart. Now they will have to add some new skills such as news judgment to their portfolios. What makes a viewer likely to watch FoxNews or listen to my program is the same thing that will make them choose to watch a commercial.

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