Promotions That Actually Make Me STOP Watching!

I know folks out there in TV land (not TV LAND the network) are desperate to attract viewers and they’re coming up with some interesting ways to promote new shows or popular shows on their network.  Take AMC for instance.  For the past couple of months, they’ve been wearing viewers out with promos for their new series Madmen.  They had a promo in EVERY break leading up to the start of the series and now that the series is underway, they STILL have a promo in every break.  Yes, I TIVO the show and its interesting so I guess the promos worked on me although I’m able to skip past most of what they have in the commercial breaks.  I understand that everybody is scrambling to get their particular slice of the audience pie.  But the FX network overdid it and I can’t believe they haven’t caught the problem with this or perhaps they just don’t care.  I had TIVOed the movie The Sum of All Fears.  It’s not a great movie but it will do in a pinch and that’s all I was looking for: some mind-candy to enjoy with a margarita and some chips on a weekend afternoon.  So we’re watching away and like many TV networks, we’re used to seeing some video bug in the lower right corner.  But this bug was different.  It was promoting some show called “Rescue Me”  and it took about a third of the lower screen.  Normally this is not a problem, but if you have seen the movie TSOAFears then you know there are English subtitles because Russians are speaking…well, Russian.   Problem was, the promotional video bug covered up the dialogue  and  the bug was up for there  for what seemd five seconds or more.  It was long enough to cover whatever was said.  My ability to suspend disbelief was just about shot.  Then, not long after that, as the action cuts back to the Russians and more subtitles, another bug pops up and this one features some type of rifle scope crosshairs and you hear a rifle bolt jacking another shell into a chamber and there is a pause before you hear the sound of a rifle being fired as yet another show is promoted.  I’m not sure of the show.  I was too busy yelling at the folks running the FX network.  Then there is the promo on TNT for The Closer which has this woman lifting up a plastic police line banner to walk under it.  It’s up there long enough to distract the viewer from the program and with so many marginal programs on, the promos are back-firing, at least when it comes to me as a viewer.

As I said, I know every channel is trying hard to coax people to watch.  The problem is, it’s starting to have the opposite effect.  I find I’m listening more and more to XM radio.  The distractions are fewer there.

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5 Comments on “Promotions That Actually Make Me STOP Watching!”

  1. Richard.... Says:

    I hear ya Joe! It really bugs me that networks promote with animated junk at the bottom of the dang television screen! Nine times out of ten it blocks info at the bottom of the screen just like you describe!
    Let’s not talk about the promo CBS is doing for that game show hosted by Drew Cary!
    You like XM? I subscribe to Sirius and never listen to commercial radio anymore.

  2. joelarkins Says:

    When my lovely and talented bride lets me drive her car which has satellite radio, I listen almost exclusively to satellite. I did learn a lesson a couple of weeks ago when I was listening to one of the comedy channels as my wife and my mother-in-law got into the car. The comedy had been rather tame until the comedian dropped the F-bomb nice and loud. As my hand shot for the volume control, my mother-in-law wanted to know what in the world I was listening to.
    When I’m at home and in the office it’s either NPR or satellite for music.

  3. JD Says:

    Here Here, Joe!
    You are absolutely right and I thought I was the only one out there with this attitude toward promos.

    Some of them are about as irritating as that ENZYTE (or whatever it is) with the person whistling so loud you can’t make out what is being said. It then has a narrator saying: “Here’s our old friend Bob!”. It’s about this time I turn the set off or switch channels. This has got to be the most iritating commercial since “Head On”.

    Seems like the companies/networks are trying to run everyone off with this overload of “DUMP”!

  4. The GM Says:

    Do yourself a favor and read Tom Clancy’s book “The Sum of all Fears”. Much better than the movie. One of my favorites — scary, compelling and brillant writing.

    The GM

  5. joelarkins Says:

    Thanks for the heads up on The Sum of All Fears. I used to read Tom Clancy’s novels and enjoyed the first three or so but I found I had trouble suspending my disbelief after a while in that the technology employed by the military ALWAYS seemed to work and work well. In reality it doesn’t seem to work that way. Still he usually manages to spin a nice compelling tale with the political intrigue. I will put TSOAFears on my “to read” list.

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