By June Morrall
I was watching a 1983 movie called Blue Thunder on the Sleuth channel when it was time to take a commercial break.
You may know that soon after 9/11, the trade magazines talked about a new kind of tv show, cheap and easy to make, and based on reality. Yeah, those shows.
More recently I read about a new class of commercials coming to tv from advertisers you may never have heard of. I think I’ve seen a few already. They have that “bare bones” quality to them. They appear to have been grafted from the infomercial tree. I can remember when the tv advertisers were comfortable names we all knew and trusted, like General Electric, General Mills and General Motors.
(I’m assuming there are rules and things tv commercials must follow. Perhaps this explains why these new commercials remind me of an “infomercial.” The rules must be less stringent.)
The names of the new products have not yet left their digital imprint on my mind but Magic Jack is one of them. There are some devices to help speed up computers, and I’m sure there are many more examples. In the new world of banking, there’s the “reverse mortgage,” about which we know little. But those budget-conscious new century banking commercials are directed at seniors who may have significant equity and may live on fixed, inadequate income.
TV advertisers, formerly with deep pockets, have slashed their creative budgets because good commercials are very costly to make in this “economy.” The solution may be to accept a new class of commercials as I described. What’s positive about the door opening, even a little bit, is that right now there may be an opportunity for innovators and inventors to expose their products to a huge, captive audience. That door may not remain open forever.