No commercials to watch today, but will we have more of them to watch tomorrow?

A few days ago a reporter for a large media outlet was asking communications, PR and Marketing professionals what we predict will be happening in the next several years in terms of newspaper readership, advertising and social media.

A few years ago I was asked this question and some of my predictions have since come true. I saw the growth of social and online media; I also predicted the convergence of information technology and saw that readership of newspapers would continue to decline. I did believe that local papers would hold their own and possibly do better. This final prediction seems to be panning out as well.

Advertising is an interesting subject. I was watching a few shows I DVRed the other day and really enjoyed not watching commercials. How many times can I watch a little lizard sell me insurance that I already own or some guy trying to sell me high speed internet that I also already have? I happily watched three sitcoms in about 1 hour.

Then I thought about the advertisers and the commercials that I did not watch. How are they going to sell their products and services? This is and has been a challenge for several years. Here are a few predictions: There will be more commercials embedded in shows. There will be more commercials but they will be much shorter, perhaps 10, 15, or 20 seconds; they will be too short to fast forward through. When people know the commercial will be short they will continue to pay attention, which will benefit advertisers.

On the downside there will be more of them, and will probably cost companies more money for less time. Finally, like the news tickers we have on cable news channels and during sporting events, we will begin to see them during regular TV programs.

Let’s see what happens; remember you can always buy DVDs, download programs and movies or rent DVDs. Eventually the advertisers will find their way into these areas as well.


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