Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Anybody Catch That Absinthe Recipe?

Did someone say the 30-second spot is dead?

I didn't do something that I often do last night: I didn't mute the TV when they went to break. I didn't take a bathroom or refrigerator break. I didn't look at the guide to see what was coming up later.

During Modern Marvels on History Channel (this one was about the art of making Brandy, Cognac, Moonshine and Absinthe) one of the breaks went like this:

  • Obscure factoid about the history of alcohol
  • 30 second spot for car maker
  • Weird fact about the history of alcohol
  • 30 second spot for beef jerky
  • Funny factoid about the history of alcohol
  • 30 second spot for insurance
  • Interesting fact about the history of alcohol
  • 30 second spot for car maker
  • Top strange fact about the history of alcohol
  • 30 second spot for something I don't remember
  • Promo for another History Channel show
  • Back to show

Each of the factoids ended with an onscreen message that said, "More in 30 seconds." They were all no more than :10 each, but interesting enough to keep you tuned for the next one. All the sponsors within the break were fairly A-list (Volvo, I remember) and there weren't any locals.

Maybe this model has been in place for some time and I just don't watch enough TV, but I thought it was an innovative and refreshing way to approach the dreaded (and rumored to be on the demise) commercial interruption. The show continues within the break and you're compelled to sit through another "Messin' with Sasquatch" ad.

I think History Channnel just got a leg up on TiVo.

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  • I saw that show!

    Although it was several weeks ago. I think that must be new(er). Since the last time I watched it they only had the factoids at the beginning and the end of the commercial breaks.

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at July 24, 2007 at 8:46 AM  

  • Absinthe? The Burned Out Hack's ears perk. I have noticed some techniques similar to the ones you mention on live shows, except they're not factoids. Doesn't SNL do that? Cut back to a shot of stage hands getting ready for the next skit -- you think you're back into the show -- and then, boom, more commercials. There must be a name for it.

    By Anonymous captain flummox, at July 24, 2007 at 10:24 AM  

  • Yeah, Cap'n, but SNL's are just teasers, whereas the HC's effort was telling you, "We've got another factoid coming up in 30 seconds."

    Similar: Sound muted during commercials for "This Week with George Stuffinenvelopes." George's smiling face appears, sound back on. Opps. It was only George teasing us and telling us what to expect "right after this." I hate that crap.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at July 24, 2007 at 10:29 AM  

  • I've been teased to the end of a show before, and boy, does it make me feel dense. Curse this short attention span!

    By Anonymous captain flummox, at July 26, 2007 at 8:29 PM  

  • There was something on FOX a little while ago- animated bumpers with a "Borat"-lite cab driver- and I think that that is the same model, although you never knew when those unpleasant cartoons were coming up. This is interesting since it inspires you to stick with it one ad at a time. I think this is clever enough to actually work.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 29, 2007 at 6:45 AM  

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