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You Can Thank Your DVR

August 3, 2009  

"Television advertising is finally on the cusp of long-anticipated change," says Daniel Frankel in an article at The Wrap. "The popularity of digital video recorders is making that 60-year-old TV ad standard—the two-minute commercial break—obsolete."

In its place, notes Frankel, expect shorter, more frequent ad breaks, sponsorship by single advertisers and the use of actors as spokespeople. The article includes an embedded video that gives us a sense of the future.

What appears, at first, to be a scene from the television show Psych is in fact an advertisement for Kia. Actors James Roday and Dulé Hill—in character as Shawn and Gus—duck behind a car while avoiding gunfire in a parking garage. A typically distracted Shawn stands up and looks at the silver sedan with admiration. "Dude," he says. "I'd look totally awesome driving this car … sunroof down, hair blowing gently in the wind."

There's often controversy when entertainment and advertising blend, but precedents exists for the Psych experiment. In the 1950s, television programs were typically hosted by one corporate sponsor, and actors often segued seamlessly from the episode's story line into an ad for Jell-O or Maxwell House.

"A number of innovative advertisers and media-buying shops have been pushing for this kind of change for years," says Frankel, "and network execs are more eager than ever to supply it."

If your marketing mix includes television commercials, you'll find plenty of Marketing Inspiration as you join the movement before it leaves you behind.

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