Adding To The Noise

A critical view of new media, new technology and new marketing.

Speak Softly And Carry A Big Marketing Stick

1 Comment


There you are watching your favorite cop, hospital, action adventure, detective series. The main character just whispered the key to the entire season and BAMM! Cut to a guy standing in front of a car yelling about total liquidation savings. You nearly jump out of your seat, the dog starts barking and the baby wakes up. But its not just the local car dealer ads that are loud even the national brands rouse you out of your dramatic slumber. Most marketers would say this is a good thing. We need the TV viewers to pay attention to our ads or our TV buy is a waste. But attention comes at what expense?

According to the findings of just released Adweek Media/Harris Poll, 86% of Americans say that compared to the TV shows themselves, TV commercials seem louder. 57% say the commercials seem much louder, while just 12% say the shows and commercials are at the same level. 93% of those who say the ads are louder say it bothers them, with 62% saying it bothers them a lot. Dolby thinks they have a solution with Dolby volume.

What can marketers learn from this? Since commercials are intended to sell products, when they become something that actually annoys consumers, advertisers need to consider better ways to get their messages across. This is not a rock concert turn the volume down! With the new pre-roll ads on Internet video are advertisers blasting Internet consumers also?

If advertisers can’t control their annoying shouting, consumers will control it for them with products like Dolby Volume or the government will step in. At the end of last year the House of Representatives voted to pass the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act, which will regulate the volume of commercials.

Marketers need to quiet down before muzzle is put on for them. Loud ads are definitely just adding to the noise and not adding to marketing effectiveness.

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Author: Keith A. Quesenberry

Marketing Professor with Industry Experience

One thought on “Speak Softly And Carry A Big Marketing Stick

  1. Definitely commercials on some networks seem much louder than the programs. I know that when I sometimes get the chance to watch Oprah I have to turn it down on commercials. Not because I’m annoyed with the commercials, but a louder volume (even slightly louder) than my comfort level honestly hurts my ears. Then I get a little ticked. Really is it necessary? I actually enjoy watching commercials and don’t zone out too often so I don’t need a decibel increase to grab my attention. If anything it makes me turn the channel to a station that doesn’t do that.

    I think the louder sound turns people off and gets them thinking/complaining about the increase in volume so much that they don’t pay attention to the advertisements anyways.

    Melissa

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