Desperate Advertisers

Ask anyone in the TV industry and they will tell you that advertisers will do just about anything to get people to watch.  How desperate are they?  They are so desperate that tonight I received a telemarketing call asking if I would watch a DVD on December 18th if they sent it to me.   Here’s a breakdown of the conversation:

Caller:”Hello, my name is Anthony and I’m conducting a survey…

Joe: Hey Anthony, how are you doing tonight?

Caller: uh …and no personal information will be revealed….

Joe:Hey Anthony, I said how are you doing?

Caller: Uh, I’m doing okay.  This is a survey about TV viewer habits and would you be willing to answer a few questions?

Joe: Normally I hang up immediately on telemarketers but tonight I’m feeling generous so I will answer your questions.  Go ahead.

Caller: How often do you watch TV, six to eight hours…..

Joe: I watch TV about an hour and a half a day or so…oh what the heck about 14-hours a week.

Caller …so would you say about four to six hours….

Joe: Two hours a day!

Caller:Of those hours watched, how much would you say involves watching comedy, six to eight hours….

Joe: None, comedy on TV is all drivel, (wife says what about Boston Legal?)

Caller:  So is that six to eight hours…..

Joe: It’s all drivel!

Caller:  Of those hours watched, how many hours do you watch drama, six to eight hours….

Joe: None, I don’t watch drama on TV.

Caller: So, none at all.

Joe: You got it.

Caller: Would you say your age is 50 to 75…


Caller: Could you be specific on your age?

Joe: Yes, 51.

Caller: If we sent you a DVD of a show, would you be willing to watch it on December 18th and allow us to call you and ask you your reaction.

Joe:  Not at all.

Caller: You would not be willing to watch it?

Joe: Nope.

Caller: Is there anyone else in your household who is 50 to 75?

Joe: Nope!

Caller:  Thank you very much for your time.

Now, before someone accuses me of being a jerk, let me say I am not.  I was minding my own business talking to my wife when someone reached out and touched me.  I didn’t say “hey I wish someone would call so I can give them grief on the phone”.  Normally I do hang up on telemarketers.  Yes, it’s their job, but it’s my phone.  I pay for it.  They don’t.  End of argument.  I’m not sure exactly what is going on here but I got (and so did my wife who wondered who I was talking to and got on the phone to listen) the distinct impression that somebody is trying a new way of reaching out to an audience they can’t get.  Also, I’m supposed to be on a DO-NOT-CALL list nationally and state-wide.  How in the heck am I getting these calls.  I’ve noticed an uptick in these calls in the last year.  Is something going on that I’m not aware of.  Do telemarketers NOT care about DO-NOT-CALL lists anymore.  I don’t know but I’m tired of someone calling asking me if I want to trade in my car because they are willing to take it off my hands at Brand X car dealership.  Anyway, if you get a call from a telemarketer and he identifies himself as “Anthony” tell him I said “hey”.

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6 Comments on “Desperate Advertisers”

  1. Doug J. Says:

    Okay, so what do I have to do to get you to watch the darn DVD???

  2. Richard.... Says:

    I received a call like that once wanting us to do the same thing. I am also on the Do Not Call list and still some “survey” takers get by. I use the tried method of asking for their home phone number so I can call them and when they say they can’t, I hang up.
    Try it.
    If Anthony ever calls me, I’ll tell him you said “hey”.

  3. Jamey Says:

    I usually ask them to repeat a very long portion of their pitch….slowly so I can write some of the stuff down.

    just when they start….I try to hang the phone up quietly

  4. Joe G. Says:

    FYI.. The Do-Not-Call List doesn’t apply to consumer research.

    From the Do-Not-Call national website:
    “What about telephone surveys?

    If the call is really for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, it is not covered. Only telemarketing calls are covered — that is, calls that solicit sales of goods or services. Callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the National Do Not Call Registry.”

    Theoretically, they are calling you to ask you to participate in a research project, i.e. “please watch a DVD of a new TV pilot, then we’ll call you with questions about it.” However when you think about it, it is a sneaky way to promote a new show too. But then why not just distribute DVDs via direct mail or hand ’em out at the checkout at Wal-Mart, or McDonald’s or Kroger?

    And if you really want to freak Anthony out, ask him who he works for and who they are doing the research for. They usually can’t and don’t answer, but it really knocks them off the script they are supposed to be reading, and really flusters them.

  5. Jeff Says:

    I get the ones who say “this is so and so and we are returning your call”. What call? I guess that gets them around the “Do Not Call” rules also.

  6. Kristin Says:

    I get these calls on my cellphone now too. They just want to know what I’m thinking, blahbuhdeeblahblahhhhh, and if I’ll review/watch/listen to something and give an opinion. Yes, they are exempt from DNC regulations, BUT(big BUT) if you ask them to remove you from their call list and NOT to contact you again they must comply.

    I also had a local car dealership sell my number to a “research” firm after taking a car in for routine service. Needless to say, one of their local competitors will be getting my business from now on…especially since it was my cellphone and there was no notice given on any service paperwork that they’d be “sharing” my information with a third party.

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