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Targeted TV Ads: Silver Bullet Or Privacy Nightmare?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-heard-you-like-silver-bullets dept.

Advertising 96

ericjones12398 writes "The effectiveness of television, as an advertising medium and as a return on investment (ROI), has been constantly questioned since the arrival of the 'digital marketing age.' Not surprisingly, those who are loudest with this concern are mainly high-tech technology companies that are either strong proponents of online advertising — like Google — and/or device hardware manufacturers — like Apple. These organizations hope to 'improve the user experience' by introducing proprietary technologies — usually their own — that can integrate within the existing television environment."

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Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40486541)

Good luck with that, my TV is only connected to my Adblocked PC.

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486815)

It's currently possible to detect this. Right now most media companies don't bother, but if this became more wide spread I can totally see a cat/mouse game of media companies inventing ways of verifying ad delivery, and consumers circumventing them.

Re:Really? (2)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487833)

Even with that, I watch TV using mythbuntu. I record first and watch later. I also skip the adds. No adds in my own time. Marketing companies are not allowed to provide me with their opinions on how my life shlid be like

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

gmanterry (1141623) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491627)

Even with that, I watch TV using mythbuntu. I record first and watch later. I also skip the adds. No adds in my own time. Marketing companies are not allowed to provide me with their opinions on how my life shlid be like

That's the way I feel too. When I was young we had radio. Then we got a TV when I was in school. At first TV had five minutes per hour of commercials. Now it's 40 minutes. I am quite frankly filled to overflowing with TV commercials. The same crap repeated multiple times in the same hour. Sometimes two times in a row. If I couldn't skip those brainless annoying infantile wastes of my time I would quit watching TV completely. I seriously mean that. I am, at my age, commercialed out. I get really annoyed when someone calls my "Do not call listed" phone. If I want something, I'll buy it. I have never had a good experience with buying anything sold to me over the phone, or door to door, with the sole exception of Girl Scout Cookies. Leave me alone! You reach an age where you can no longer tolerate people coming into your home by way of your TV, selling condoms, Viagra, feminine hygiene products and car insurance that is $200.00 cheaper than any other insurance company. I'm filled to overflowing with their sales crap and I don't have room for one more 8th grade level commercial selling some medication that they don't even bother to tell me what it's for but I should ask my Doctor if it's right for me. Screw them all. I'll watch movies or TV series on DVD. That said, end of rant and... "Get off my lawn."

Re:Really? (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491973)

If I want something, I'll buy it.

Exactly. Good TV costs money. I'm a fan of stuff like the BBC, at least in theory. Let me pay a price, and give me a service for that. Instead of doing this middlemen-whore-bullshit. Advertising doesn't enable anything. It pays for journalism that isn't worth the name, and entertainment that rots brains and would actually be considered torture for people who realize that. Bill Hicks was exactly right, and suggesting people in advertising should kill themselves is being friendly, it's a bonus for early adopters. It's saying hey, take your time, do it in a place you like etc.... as opposed to, say, the HGttG model, which involves being put up against the wall first thing when the revolution comes.

That's the three options: cancer can kill the host, it can be cut out, and it can die off on its own. But we should stop feeling bad for and giving time to cancer that thinks it's anything but a disease. Of course it would say that, duh. Of course it has children who love daddy. So fucking what -- they'll love hobo daddy who has time to play with them even more. And this isn't a rant either, this is a Martin Luther kind of thing, I do have that dream and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Re:Really? (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491979)

Holy fuck, I just wrote Martin Luther instead of Martin Luther King. I'm aware that the latter is still silly and full of shit, but Martin Luther?!? I'M SORRY. I didn't mean the Jew hater, I meant the nice one :/

Re:Really? (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491991)

I'm aware that the latter [ writing Martin Luther King, that is; comparing my petty rant with MLK's fight for equality and against oppression] is still silly and full of shit

seems I'm just making it worse with every post :( I'll stop now.

Thank-you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40493561)

Hey, stop reading my mind!

Adblocking and Neflix (5, Interesting)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487109)

You can't -- yet -- adblock television, but Neflix works for now.

December, two years ago, I ditched broadcast TV in favor of Netflix and what I could find online (mostly Hulu). A couple of months later, I caught my young children watching this cool new show they just found on Netflix: Voltron. It brought back memories, so I say down and watched it with them. At one point, the screen darkened. It's the spot where a commercial could've gone, but the video just faded back in and picked up where there story left off. It hit me, there aren't any ads in Netflix shows.

Over the next several months I realized that my children asked less often for toys and other consumer items. Now, a year and a half after switching Netflix, my children only ask for stuff less than a quarter of what they used to do. And what they do ask for are stuff like video games, slingshots, and skateboards.

I realized that cutting them off from the constant bombardment of "Buy! Buy! Buy!" of commercials -- that use psychological tricks -- has short circuited their indoctrination into the cult of consumerism.

Taking commercials out of their lives in one of the best things I've ever done for them (in additional to attentive parenting). I recommend you other parents do the same.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487953)

What's going to happen when Netflix starts showing ads? Slowly at first, but over the years, just as much as any commercial network today.

Oh... duh. Of course... people will just go back to pirating content like they always did.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488027)

It would be pretty interesting if this could ever be used to slam unstoppable force (anti-piracy movement) and unmovable object (protect the children movement) against one another.

It would be like watching two evil empires duke it out. Except that it wouldn't be "like", but exactly like that.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (5, Insightful)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488105)

I would wonder if removing commercials from their lives might actually be a negative in the long run. It saves you money now, but they're not receiving any inoculation against advertising tricks and so might become more vulnerable to them later in life. Rather than just turning on the taps of advertising again though, you might consider watching a show together with them that talks about ads in a way that'll give them that inoculation, and which they'll find entertaining. The "Gruen Transfer" series by Australia's ABC is awesome, if you can track it down at all, and the "Gruen Nation" spin-off series they did about election advertising should be a must watch for any voter.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (3, Interesting)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40489315)

A friend of mine grew up in some NZ town out back in the middle of nowhere. Spent half his day in "class" (home school) and the other half fishing, wandering the country side and a host of other activities young boys would love to spend their life doing when stuck in the middle of nowhere.

His opinion of TV advertising is that because he was not exposed to it when he was young he is offended by it now and automatically filters out the crap. He sees the ads, but they have no meaning for him, and his brain has switched his eyes off and his brain on.. more than likely to have a good think about his current website work (this is a decade ago).

Having seen various kids of my relatives and friends I think that the less expose the better. Another of my friend has educated his kids to mute the ads :-) No mute = no show. Amazing the difference it makes once they learn the hard way that the TV will be turned off and stay off for one hour after if any ad is allowed to have sound.

Meanwhile, I am more concerned that ads in Australia are blasted at the loudest volume.. which is really disturbing at night. I am waiting for a TV system for which I can set the TV at say 65db and no sound from the TV will exceed that.

Still waiting for these wonderful services you get in America to arrive in Australia..

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40489365)

That is a possiblity, but I'm working with understanding that the personality of the adult is formed, and cemeted, in the youth. If they're not indoctrinated in their youth, they may not be compelled to buy, buy, buy as adults. Once it's cemented, it's incredibly difficult to change.

Besides, as I also mentioned, I'm not a neglectful parent. I explain a great many things to them. Including the tricks of advertising (know thy enemy). I also teach by example. I don't buy all the latest, greatest things. Teaching by example just may be the greatest way to teach.

You are always vulnerable to advertising (2)

aepervius (535155) | more than 2 years ago | (#40490909)

You are not immunized against by watching a lot of it. In fact I would contend that the chance is that some of it work on you because you watch it rather than reject it outright. Anyway, I haven't seen ads for a long long time, but when I see one accidentaly, I simply apply the plain old rule "it is an ad: all of it is a lie to make you buy a product you did not need in the first place".

Re:You are always vulnerable to advertising (1)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500879)

You haven't seen ads for a long time? I'd honestly be greatly surprised by that. Sure, you might avoid TV ads easily enough, but what about billboards and posters? The only way to not see ads ever is to never leave your house.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#40492955)

I would wonder if removing commercials from their lives might actually be a negative in the long run.


You must deny the power of the advertiser and the marketer over your mind (and that of your children as well) because they will not willingly ever cede it of their own free will. Their true goal is power over you, in particular the power to make you choose as they decide. How to spend, how to vote, how to live. That's what they wish to wrest from your free will. (Though I hate to use the term, only sheeple watch commercials.)

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (1)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500849)

Many marketers may look at consumers as sheep, but there's also a great many who look at consumers as being cognitive actors with free will. From their perspective, advertising is about persuading you to make that purchase, and giving you the information you'd need to make that purchase decision. In my experience, people who deny that advertising has any effect over them tend to be those who have been influenced most greatly by advertising at a sub-conscious level. I feel a far more effective strategy is an introspective one, acknowledging that advertising has an influence over me. In acknowledging that, and through analysis of my own purchase motivations and intentions, I can become aware of how I'm being influenced by an ad, and thus actively reduce the influence that ad has over me (and inoculate myself to some extent against future uses of that same technique in other ads). Full disclosure: I am a PhD student in consumer behaviour, and have worked as a TA in undergrad marketing and advertising courses. I don't buy into the consumers as sheep arguments myself.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (2)

reg (5428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491141)

Found the same thing with my kids, although they've never really had much broadcast TV exposure. They just get irritated by this stuff interrupting what they were watching... Thankfully they'll live in a streaming world, because they find it difficult to understand that they can't chose the show, but have to watch whatever is on.

However, don't be scared to teach your kids the truth about ads. There are two kinds of ads: Those that try to sell you something you don't need, and those that are offering you a good deal on something you might have been thinking of getting. For the first kind, label them truthfully - if they are advertising it means you don't need what they are selling (which is even more true for targeted ads). Purposefully eschew anything you saw in an ad. For the second type, teach them to comparison shop and never pay full price for anything. Teach them to read the $/oz numbers instead of the price tag...

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491807)

Really? Commercials didn't seem to have any effect on me whatsoever as a child. I wouldn't care about anything the commercials were saying. I'm not really surprised that they could have a different effect on others, though.

Re:Adblocking and Neflix (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40492011)

I may be crazy (quite likely), but I prefer an anonymous broadcast over DVB filled with un-targetted ads to someone knowing exactly what I watched and when I watched it, but not showing any ads. I'll probably change my mind, or be forced to use streaming as the only option....

I only buy (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486569)

Highly sugared, caffeinated, low fibre, deep-fried breakfast cereals I see endorsed by /. posters.

Anyone watch TV anymore? (3, Informative)

charnov (183495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486579)

I turned off the cable years ago... anything good on besides Mad Men and Game of Thrones?

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40486737)

anything good on besides Mad Men and Game of Thrones?

Walking Dead isn't bad, if that's the sort of thing that suits your tastes.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486759)

Not much. Mythbusters is fun, but they are on Netflix. Louie on FX might be the funniest TV show of all time, but it's also on Netflix. I've heard that Breaking Bad is pretty good, too, and it's also on Netflix.

The only things I miss are The Soup, random old movies on TCM and AMC, and watching Phineas and Ferb with my son (best kid's cartoon on TV by far.) Not worth $40/month.

  As far as I know that's about it. As little as we watch TV, broadcast + Netflix is plenty. I'd pay a little more if I could just get TCM, AMC and IFC.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (2)

pesho (843750) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486827)

Phineas and Ferb are on Netflix.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486927)

One thing I do miss about TV (haven't had a cable subscription in a while) was ironically what most of us see as it's weakness... the fact that it's a stream of content you don't control.

Watching "whatever is on" seems like an inferior activity compared to the pick and choose that's now possible.. but I kinda miss being able to flip to the discovery channel or comedy channel and just watch whatever was there.

Of course most of the channels I would do this with in the past have gone to shit. TLC went reality crazy and pretty much straight up switched formats (and eventually dropped the "learning channel" guise .. discovery channel is going that route in a less direct way.. comedy channel may still be good?

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40493537)

I will admit I have sometimes spent 20 or more minutes flipping through Netflix trying to find something I'm in the mood to watch, or just trying to remember what it is I might be interested in seeing, occasionally to the point of stalling out and never picking anything at all. I never had much trouble looking over a list of 20 movie channels and identifying the one movie playing I was most interested in (or, very rarely, realizing none of them were interesting) but for some reason when *everything* is on I don't know where to start.

Same effect with our DVD collection: I'm happy seeing most of the movies I own once a year, more or less, but since I own them there's never much pressure to decide, yes, this is the one I should watch right now, and I can stare at the shelf for a long time trying to decide what I'm in the mood for. But if that same movie is on TV, my thought process is more like, "Hey, that movie I like, it's on now so I'll watch it!" That's all well and good with a movie channel, but I can't tell you how many times I've picked one on broadcast TV, and then after the second or third commercial break I catch myself and say, "This is stupid, I have the DVD downstairs, why am I watching it with commercials?"

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40490525)

i stopped watching IFC when they started putting ads in the movies. i'll watch their series sometimes, but never the movies.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486779)

I get over 40 channels through my antenna (since the digital switchover divided stations into subchannels) and mostly watch them. Most of my favorite shows are reruns since older shows, like older movies, seem to be better than what we have now:

- Network: House, Fringe, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries (sometimes), movies (on weekends)
- Retrochannel: Twilight Zone, Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, Car54, Three's Company, Star Trek TNG, Davinci's Inquest, etc
- RT News
- PBSworld
- Moviechannel: Mostly black-and-white classics
- qubo (for the kids)
- Hulu: Mostly syfy channel shows, plus anything else that catches my eye (like Masters of Horror and SF).
- uTorrent: When my local website offers holiday weekend freeleech, I download any movie with greater than 7 stars on Right now I have about 200 GB/250 movies that I haven't even watched.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40486819)

I turned off the cable years ago... anything good on besides Mad Men and Game of Thrones?

If you're gonna mention all these cool shows, at least link to 'em on YouTube, will ya? Anyways, besides Mad Men [] and Game of Thrones [] , naw, there's not much worth watching until season 3 comes out. Until then, I just use the TV as a device on which I play Portal 2 [] .

The ironic thing is that most of the people who watch That Show have never seen it on TV, because the channel on which it airs isn't widely carried, even in the US, and isn't carried at all in the rest of the world.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40486883)

I killed mine after STTNG stopped making new episodes. Since then, via TPB, I've seen (and ultimately purchased) Defying Gravity [] , BSG+Caprica, and Fringe. I think they're worth watching. Plus the VODO pilot for L5 [] looks really promising; I've tossed some some coin at them, but haven't heard about any more episodes.

I would prefer to have product placement replace traditional 30-second ads in such shows, and if they are able to personalize that experience without malice to me, all the power to them. If, OTOH, they fuck it up by hammering a repetitive line & image at me, I'll tune it out as quickly as I tuned out commercial TV and radio all those years ago.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40486915)

Depends on your tastes.

Legend of Korra, Transformers:Prime, Adventure Time, Young Justice, MLP:FIM are good in the animated category. And Toonami is back, but it isn't all new. Bleach, sorta, but not others. Oh and Futurama is new.

Live-action, The Closer, Franklin and some USA projects are good. Covert Affairs and not just because I like Piper Perabo in kitten heels.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486985)

Yeah, same here. There are great TV shows on over the last few years (The Shield, The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc) -- but not enough to spend $100-$200/mo on. I haven't watched live (not even over-the-air) television in about a decade and the only commercials I'm ever confronted with are the live-reads on some of the podcasts/streams that I consume -- which I'm completely okay with.

So, basically, they can do whatever the hell they want. Talking about advertising on television is like quaint and irrelevant.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40487007)

Nope. TV is for people who's time is less that worthless, so they can pay to have it wasted for them.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40487737)

"Nope. TV is for people who's time is less that worthless, so they can pay to have it wasted for them."

The above is the most intelligent comment here.

But in order to understand that this is true you need to possess a certain minimum
intelligence. And I'm not talking about knowing how to code or how to admin a
bunch of boxes. I am talking about understanding the world in a macro sense
and what matters most in the world. And on that score most of you fail miserably.
So go watch your TV, idiot sheep, and breed and consume and never spend one
single truly conscious moment in your entire useless worthless existences.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40490553)

so no reading, listening to music or watching films, then? all media has good stuff and plenty of bad, as well. now get off the computer and go live, you cunt.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487035)

Just those, Breaking Bad and Walking Dead. You'll notice three of the four are on AMC and the fourth is behind the paywall of HBO. There's an argument for a la carte, if I ever saw one.

I used to enjoy some of the silly sci-fi shows (the stargates, Eureka, etc), but those are all dead and gone now. They've been replaced with ghost hunting, homoerotic wrestling drama and the same pointless UFO shows they've been rehashing for twenty years.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (4, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488617)

I can't even watch the shows I'm interested in due to the shit slide ups taking up half the screen in the middle of a critical moment. On screen fuck smudge animations that take up two fifths of the screen and block all of the action kill the show. Both of these lasted for 3 minutes and as annoying as possible. On a different shit slide up they lowered the shows audio once to blare out at distorted volume an ad. Couple this with the cable company injecting their vomitous banner at the bottom and inserting their own ads between the ads already inserted and I just quit.

Movies are no alternative I can't even go see a movie without being bombarded by ads and now those are, by contract, timed to never quite be the same amount of time consistently so you can't wait and avoid them. Then there's the propaganda, such as was in the 2nd ghost rider where N cage gives verbal fellatio to the MPAA

Should I care to watch some show I'll wait for the DVD but I'll first make sure the contemptible fucks didn't stick an ad in the middle of it as I just had happen on a DVD that did not indicate it was a repackage, looked authentic and was available in a reputable store.

I finally got to the point local and network television became a time wasting sickening thing in the late 90s from the propaganda and ads that I just turned it off.

I'll stick with live theater, indie music, books, web comics and the like.

Re:Anyone watch TV anymore? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40489963)

Breaking Bad. Looking forward to Season 5.

Definitely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40496389)

Here's a list to get you started: Ugly Americans, Wilfred, Boss, The Venture Bros, Louie, Nurse Jackie, This American Life, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Futurama, The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy, Cleveland Show, Eastbound & Down, Community, Unsupervised, Walking Dead, Top Gear, and a bunch more.

Targeted? (3, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486603)

So, I'll start seeing porn commercials?

Re:Targeted? (2)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486647)

If this targeting of adds is true, then how can I game it?

Re:Targeted? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40498823)

You can use negative numbers. They turn adds into subtracts.

Re:Targeted? (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487193)

So, I'll start seeing porn commercials?

Worse yet you'll be watching TV with your new girlfriend and every other commercial is for boner and enlargement pills.

Re:Targeted? (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491379)

Actually this does raise the wider issue of privacy, imagine having a bunch of friends and/or family over to watch a sporting even and the ad break is tailored to you, imagine all the personal products that might be shown, with everyone present in the full knowledge that these are targetted ads...

Re:Targeted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40493789)

But the system did facial recognition no one will know who the ad is targeting, all of you, or just one of you? Of course, if you snuggling with your significant other and a commercial for vagasil comes on you will either have to be embarrassed or end the evening early since you ain't gettin' any!

Re:Targeted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40488025)

Haven't you seen all the Jergens, Kleenex and KY ads?

Re:Targeted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40488259)

Nothing's better than a girl, a donkey, and a fleshlight.... Yes I know you have questions about the fleshlight.

How about NO (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40486693)

Oh if only there was a way for me to PAY for TV with no commercials, maybe some kind of CABLE.

At least that was the dream, offer me that service, Cable Guy, before you become utterly obsolete, like film roll containers and tape head demagnetizers.

Actually the death of cable may be inevitable, sort of a mass extinction event where only shit actually worth watching appears on a few channels after all the redundant crap dies off.

Re:How about NO (2)

nemui-chan (550759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486765)

Sadly I don't think cable will die off. The fact that they have all the redundant crap repeated over and over is because people watch it. If they didn't, they wouldn't keep making it. So I don't think you should hold your breath until "Teen Mom", "Toddlers in Tiaras" and "That Other Trainwreck Of a Show" stop airing.

I don't claim to understand why people like that crap, but based on the fact that it keeps coming out, its apparent they do.

Re:How about NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40493979)

A lot of people see cable as a status symbol, talk to most people over 40 and not having cable means you are poor. I am dealing with this with my father-in-law right now, he keeps trying to "explain" to my kids and wife (his daughter) how bad it is that we don't have cable.... The funny part is that he doesn't even watch TV, he reads and usually leaves the room when the TV is on when we visit him.

He pays $100-150 a month for cable and "package" channels so that when relatives come over they can watch sports; but he only watches them when they come over.

Now that I have been 5+ years without cable, I could not think of ANYTHING that could get me back now, OTA and online for news, and I buy DVD sets for TV show (for the kids and myself), and DVDs for movies. I guess at some point I'll move to BluRay but truthfully, I use the DVDs for background noise so their value is pretty low (less than $5 per movie, $20 per season/series), but even with that I have over 600 DVDs and series :) Now consider cable for 5 years (cheapest basic subscription where I live is $60/month) and I can tell you now I have never spent $60 in one month on movies/series; there is just not enough movies/series I could buy (or be interested in).

Re:How about NO (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40490517)

Oh if only there was a way for me to PAY for TV with no commercials, maybe some kind of CABLE.

Not good enough. I want to watch what I want, when I want, not what they decide to send me, when they decide to send it to me.

Or.. (1)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486743)

Silver Bullet for a Privacy Nightmare?

I would watch one or two targeted ads for 1 hour of TV. Otherwise, I have less boring things to do with my time.

Targetted Silver bullet? (3, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486863)

Me: *cracks open a Yuengling beer"
TV: *watches me and scans the room through video camera*
TV: Wouldn't you rather have a Coors Light? If you don't like the taste of beer, Coors has less taste as it is designed to be closer to water.
Me: *Sips some Yuengling*
Me: No thanks TV, I like my beer's taste.
TV: One way or another you're going to taste the silver bullet.
Me: "You'll have to pry my Yuengling out of my cold dead hands."
TV: Okay... *fires a gun at me, wounding me*
Me: "How could TV betray me! These spy cameras were supposed to be innocent and the people who were supposed to be spied on is the enemy."
TV: You betrayed your country by not buying the things in the ads. How will the patriotic television exist if you don't buy what is in the ads? It was either me or you kid.
TV: *fires a few more bullets*
Me: *aaaaarrgh*
TV: "Recording deleted for security concerns"

waving their hands to choose answers to questions (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486873)

This sounds as dumb as Hulu's interactive ads... which I ignore. I have no interest in interacting with some ad disguised as a really lame game.

A la Carte (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40486953)

Best thing that would improve TV would be a la carte. I would be willing to pay a base fee of $10 for local channels plus 1-2 dollars extra for Syfy, TCM, and..... well that's about it. BUT this would require action by the FCC to force NBC, ABC/Disney, and others to "unbundle" their channels rather than sell them as 6-7 channel groups. They won't do it voluntarily.

Sirius XM radio does a la carte (pay 8 dollars to choose any of 40 channels). No reason digital cable can't do it too.

Re:A la Carte (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487137)

I came to post almost exactly this. A la carte channel selection would make targeted advertising easy, and likely more acceptable to most. I don't want a DVR box relaying back each show I watch for profiling. I would be fine if I received commercials profiled based on the channels I have selected for a given month.

Its the difference between advertising based on the style of one's house exterior and what can be seen in the yard from the street versus walking inside uninvited and taking a look around the personal belongings.

Re:A la Carte (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487587)

I dunno. Conceptually, I like this. After all, why should I pay for a "tier" when I'm only interested in one or two channels?

That said...

One reason I don't like this is that I tend to surf channels. I'll get home from work and flip through the few hundred channels I have for something that catches my eye while I eat dinner. This week, I watched a program about old cars, a program about the formation of the Earth, and Futurama. Now I probably wouldn't consider paying a monthly fee for just Velocity and Science channels. I don't know that I'd pay for Comedy Central, either.

The second complaint is that you can take this further: "Why should I have to pay for Comedy Central when all I care about is Futurama?" "Why should I have to pay for the entire program when I only watched half of it?"

You also get into the subsidy angle. I'm not a big fan of the Fishing Channel, but it lives in my "sports tier" alongside NFL Network. I'm sure there are people out there who love the Fishing Channel and couldn't care less about NFL Network. But by having both of them in the "sports tier," you end up with more diverse programming which pleases more people. It's quite possible that the Fishing Channel wouldn't survive if it wasn't subsidized by all these cable companies sticking it on their "sports tier."

In your example above, what if TCM went away because there just weren't enough people willing to pay $1-2 a month? Ultimately, you end up with a bunch of channels all showing the same "most popular" stuff. Syfy is a good example--there's a reason that they show WWE Smackdown and that is that it makes them money.

There's also the whole "Tyranny of Choice" angle. My local cable company offers over 300 distinct channels of programming. That's a lot to choose from.

what about theme packs? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488435)

what about theme packs?

so at the very lest if you don't like sports you can dump all the sports channels but still have the all the non sports ones or you can just have the sports channels.

$10-$15 line fee + locals (clean QAM) + all the free shopping and PSA channels.

ESPN pack
ESPN news

Sport pack 1
In market RSN's + bigten (in market) + pac12 (in market)

Sport pack 2
NFL network and NFL network red zone (free with NFL ST), NBA TV (free with NBA LP),NHL network (free with NFL CI), MLB network and MLB network stike zone (Free with MLB EI)

Sports pack 3
NBCSN, golf channel, CBS Sports Network, speed, Fuel TV, Universal Sports, TVG, HRTV.

Sports pack 4
Big Ten Network (out of market), pak12 (out of market), Fox College Sports, CBS Sports Network.

Sports pack 5
Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, GOL TV.

Spots pack X

TNT, tru tv,TBS, MSNBC, CNBC (Sports only)

sports pack mega 1-4 as part a deal
sports pack mega with ESPN 1-4 and X as part of a deal.

that is just some ideas on the sports side.

Re:A la Carte (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488637)

Also, to get the best price on popular/expensive channels, cable companies often take a bunch of crap channels that they know no one watches. Fox Business is the most pure example, but there are plenty of others.

Re:A la Carte (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488869)

>>>I'll get home from work and flip through the few hundred channels

Nothing's stopping you from continuing this service. Just as nothing's stopping you from paying $30/month to Sirius XM for their hundreds of channels. A la carte is merely an additional option for people, like me, who want to save some cash.

>>>what if TCM went away

Not really a concern. TCM is one of the most popular channels. And no channels disappeared off Sirius XM after they introduced the $8 ala carte option, so I think you're worrying about nothing.

Re:A la Carte (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40489093)

TCM is one of the most popular channels.

Ah, but is it popular because of the bundling? After all, I get TCM "for free" with my movie bundle (5 "Encore" channels, TCM, AMC, FX Movie Channel, IFC, Sundance, Flix, and I think one or two more). Would I pay an extra $2 a month for it? Probably not.

And what happens when A La Carte is an extra $2 but I can get all 12 of those for $10. Will you then complain that it's unfair that you pay $2 and I only pay $0.83 for the same channel?

Re:A la Carte (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40495793)

No because if I wanted the 12-movie channel bundle I could get it. (Of course I wouldn't... I'd just buy TCM for $2 and save some cash.)

Re:A la Carte (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487931)

Trouble is, providers would start spreading their content over more and more stations. And or make more and more substaions to make you want to buy more.

I miss subliminal advertising (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487113)

Of course, it never worked on me. Not even when I was buying a can of delicious Coke Zero, now in Vanilla and Cherry.


Re:I miss subliminal advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40487431)

Must... Kill... Lincoln.

Re:I miss subliminal advertising (2)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488829)

Pepsi Max is so much better than Coke Zero. There is no comparison.

Re:I miss subliminal advertising (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 2 years ago | (#40489281)

You say that now, just wait until they roll out NEW Coke Zero.

Re:I miss subliminal advertising (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 2 years ago | (#40493283)

Coke Zero Crystal!?

Targeted Ads: Silver Nightmare Or Privacy Bullet (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487217)

There... FTFY... (no good outcome for watchers)

I'll take "moot point" for $1000, Alex! (2)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487543)

Targeted TV Ads: Silver Bullet Or Privacy Nightmare?

I fall into the category of commercial-hating casual viewer (I don't even have a pay-TV subscription, though I do have a NetFlix subscription) who will do just about anything, legal or not, to avoid commercials.

I also take every step practical to preserve my privacy from the likes of Google and Apple and pretty much any legal-fictional entity described as "incorporated".

So far, Google's - The best of the best - attempts to "target" me via GMail sidebar ads has consisted of a laughable extraction of less-common keywords from my email... And they quite likely have more information about me than any other organization on this planet - Including the US government.

That said, I have found exactly one form of advertising that works on me... If you want to sell me something I already - key point there - want, massively below the normal - normal, not inflated-and-marked-down - price, I'll buy from you instead of through my regular channels (I also have no brand loyalty, so don't bother appealing to me with any sort of "loyalty" "rewards"). But trying to sell me something I don't already want makes me more likely to never buy from you than if I'd never heard of you.

Re:I'll take "moot point" for $1000, Alex! (1)

nukenerd (172703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40492681)

Broadly agreeing with this, I would comment that there are two types of ads.

One type is that which tries to sell you something you would not have bought as you did not know you wanted it, like getting you to switch brands of beer, buy an iPod, or insure your lawn-mower. This is the prime-time TV stuff. I find these adverts actually put me off the stuff they are trying to promote, often because I resent being associated with the idiots they depict 'enjoying' their stuff. For example one recent (UK) advert for a chain of hotels (I cannot even remember which chain - so that didn't work did it?) shows a half-wit couple, shrieking with laughter, having a pillow fight in their room. Do I really want to be in trying to sleep in the room next to people like that?

The other type is factual adverts. For example, if I decide to buy a new camera - eg because my old one is lost or broken - I will buy a few copies of camera magazines and go to review websites to decide which brand and model and any accessories I want, based on the specs and reported performance. I will then look at the smaller sellers' ads in the back of the mags and in seller's websites for the information of what they sell, and its price, postal charges etc. Some of these ads are little more than pricelists and maybe factual specs. These are the adverts I like.

Re:I'll take "moot point" for $1000, Alex! (1)

Branciforte (2437662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40495015)

If you want to see all the information that Google has about you, just go to your Google account dashboard and look for yourself.

Google is interested in your favorite color and hobbies and stuff like that. They don't give a shit about your personal secrets.

Re:I'll take "moot point" for $1000, Alex! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40499525)

If you want to see all the information that Google has about you, just go to your Google account dashboard and look for yourself.

Google is interested in your favorite color and hobbies and stuff like that. They don't give a shit about your personal secrets.

My favorite color is my personal secret, you insensitive clod!

Gaming the system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40487573)

I'd think I'd love to have accurate, per-person ad-tracking, because it might let you turn the whole system on its head:

What happens if you tell the advertiser, in writing, by recorded delivery, that you will charge $500 for every advert they send you. They can identify you uniquely, therefore they know your advertising preferences, and because they know precisely who you are, don't you have a strong case that the very act of sending you ads indicates acceptance of those terms and therefore they have to pony up? After all, this is a contract. "I will be delighted to view as many adverts as you choose to send me, but I charge a $500 fee to review each one." In contract terms that's an offer to treat. (I think that's the term.) And if they then send you, personally, whom they can uniquely identify, an ad, that indicates acceptance of those terms. Conversely they can indicate that they [i]don't[/i] accept the terms by doing nothing - i.e. [i]by not sending ads[/i]. So if you don't want ads at all that's a win-win, AFAICS.

As a second line of attack, create your own ads. Something you find bland and inoffensive. A blank white screen, birds singing, your favorite lolcat or whatever. Set that up as a targeted ad for yourself. Should be cheap, after all you're only targeting one person. Thereafter, the only ads you'll ever see are the ones you chose to see - (For: Mr Anonymous Coward, From: Anonymous Coward Advertising Pty.) - created by yourself.

Project Wonderful does part of this already. You make a bid to Project Wonderful to advertise to a particular audience. The highest bidder is the one to have their ad shown to that audience. That ad continues to be shown until it expires or someone else bids higher. So all you'd have to do, theoretically, is set up your Anonymous Coward Advertising Pty. to work in a similar way to Project Wonderful, and also set them as the default advertiser. So anyone else wanting to advertise to you has to outbid A.C.A.P.'s standard $500, and that will means paying them, presumably. No doubt the TV company would claim a small cut, but you get the rest. And from then on you'll only ever see your own 'adverts' or material from people willing to pay $500+ to pester you.

Re:Gaming the system (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488715)

Yea. That will work about as well as telling the car salesman that you'll be happy to have their logo plastered all over the back of your car if they knock $1000 off the sticker price.

Of course, after I suggested this I noticed they just put the license plate bracket on, and not the sticker.

Do Not Want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40487677)

Will actively block or forgo service.

Does targetted advertising even work? (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40487945)

Maybe I'm atypical, but I've never been interested in the ads on TV, in the newspaper, or online. Throw a trade publication at me though, and the advertising is more interesting because of the products and substance. So my suggestion is that TV advertising is ineffective because it is poorly designed, and that targetting poorly designed advertising isn't going to do much.

Another thing that I've noticed is that a lot of targetted advertising is trying to sell me stuff that I already have. That may be good for keeping customers, but it is worthless when you're trying to persuade new customers to buy your products. That's fine when you're selling consumable products (Coke and Pepsi sorts of things), but probably isn't so useful when you're trying to sell non-consumables (things like cars and insurance).

So if targetted advertising is useless, why would they even want to invade my privacy?

Go ahead and integrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40488067)

I know I'll end up seeing tons of ads directed at my wife, even when I'm watching TV by myself, as she browses completely open while I make a rather large effort to be extremeley diffucult to track.

It'll be nice to see lots of boobies in bra ads instead of young punks singing some stupid anthem about a 69 calorie beer.

Re:Go ahead and integrate (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488445)

>> It'll be nice to see lots of boobies in bra ads instead of young punks singing some stupid anthem about a 69 calorie beer.


Re:Go ahead and integrate (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488777)

And women's hair care products.

What's going to be really embarrassing.. (2)

Teresita (982888) | more than 2 years ago | (#40488607) about 2020 or so when they have public video billboards lining the downtown sidewalks triggering off your embedded RFID chip. Everywhere you go, nothing but ads for LOGO network, Brokeback Mountain DVDs, "Wicked", and Carmen Miranda banana hats on sale.

Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40488765)

All advertisement is evil and should be eliminated. No exceptions.

Blipverts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40488807)

Bring on the blipverts!

max headroom anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40489177)

how long before heads start exploding?

I'll Watch or Click On Ads (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40489709)

If they're something I'm interested in, or remarkably clever. I'm not ever likely to buy insurance from Geiko, but I find their "Possum" commercial hysterical. I might rewind and watch a video game commercial. Once. I probably won't watch that same video game commercial again though. Car commercial? Maybe, but they don't actually advertise the cars I'm interested in. Most of the stuff that I do actually buy, I hear about through word-of-mouth. I've clicked through to Thinkgeek a couple of times from Slashdot. I would probably buy a "laser" if they advertised one of sufficient power (That I could set people on fire with, since doing it with my mind doesn't seem to be working too well.) I don't think I'm really anyone's "target demographic" though. I think I would respond best to adverts for cerebral indie flicks and furry porn. So far, no one seems to be serving those up. Google, get to it!

Here is what everybody should do (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40490219)

Just stop watching TV, and do other things instead, like organising a war against CEO's and the 1%.

Re:Here is what everybody should do (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40491381)

Oh, let's not and say we did. Planet's Funniest Animals is on!

So now a part of our cable bill (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40490221)

So now a part of our cable bill is for spying on us as well?? I pay for cable i will not pay to be spied upon.

Target. First you got to have the right arrow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40490493)

The problem with targeted advertising to me is that the media companies are going to be so lousy at hitting the mark. After all to offer me a commercial I might like someone would first have to be advertising it. Here's an example. I am a voracious reader of Science Fiction books, spend at least $100 a month of discretionary spending on them so does any author or publishing house have ads for them? None I've ever seen. I'm crazy for Model trains, seen an ad for Atlas or Bachman, Tyco or Lionel anywhere recently? Maybe in Model Railroader Magazine but outside of it? I like classical music and several foreign music groups like BOND, Celtic Women, Blestyachi, etc. So is Columbia music still running mass market ads? Haven't seen one in a hens age and I doubt they would offer me anything I would listen to anyway. I certainly couldn't care less for the latest punk rock, boy band or mass market bleached blond of the moment.
I do drink beer and wine but wine is generally only from local vintners and beer from micro-brew pubs and Imported sources (okay and Yuengling so I'm not a complete elitist snob). None of these sources are likely to be big Madison Avenue accounts.
So exactly what would advertisers "target" me with? I assure you that unless they can hit my soft spot I will make an effort to personally blacklist any advertiser that becomes too obnoxious.
Oh yeah and I stopped watching all TV except for Dr. Who and Warehouse 13 (and an occasional movie with my daughter who has her own Netflix account) two years ago. I listen to Radio and read the Wall Street Journal.
So go ahead Madison Avenue what you got targeted for me? And how you gonna deliver your "targeted" tripe.

The fact is that current advertising techniques are not much more targeted then they've ever been. Only big corporate conglomerates can afford major advertising budgets and so we see the same frigging commercials for the same "Usual suspects" as we ever have. The only beers will be Coors and Bud, The only wines will be mass market, the ads will be mostly about cars or Frito lay snack foods, or public service messages or fast food chains. Bleep them all. Targeted, ha! Targeted my posterior orifice.,nike free 3.0 black blue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40491127)
Als de Gunners kapitein, een kleine wet heeft meer dan twee weken uit de buurt van het stadion, en net een prachtig weer om een dergelijke prestaties hebben, hoe kunnen de fans juichten. De eerste vertegenwoordiger van een kleine wet Arsenal begint, of in het 28 oktober 2003 de League Cup derde ronde wedstrijd tegen Ross, billige free sko,wholesale nike free shoes in uk usa canada, Graham Wing. Na zeven jaar, hij heeft ingeluid in de eerste 250 keer voor de Gunners eerste gelegenheid, is na vijf opeenvolgende tegenstanders versloeg Chelsea zelf. Gezicht heeft een "haat" van Chelsea, een kleine wet niet alleen de song en Walcott de doelstellingen helpt, waren ze nog 51 minuten, billig free sko, scoorde een doelpunt. Naast de doelstellingen en helpt, een kleine wet te spelen 88 minuten een game-high 74 passen, billig max sko, het slagingspercentage van bijna 80%. 88 minuten, een kleine wet vervangen door Tomas Rosicky, Emirates Stadium, de fans stonden en applaudisseerde. Warcraft dutje Blues verloren en minder dan onoverwinnelijk jeugd, zullen 32-jarige Drogba niet oud geworden soort van gevoel? nike sko lilla,Had 13 keer tegen Arsenal, scoorde hij 13 doelpunten, de wedstrijd stuurde een vrije trap slechts assisteert laatste 10 wedstrijden, scoorde slechts twee doelpunten. Chinese fans zullen nog steeds liefkozend genoemd Drogba een "Warcraft", maar nadat de deur wordt genereus om hem afstappen. Lampard slaapwandelen, Drogba niet het doel te vinden, Terry werd een vergiet, is Chelsea is gevallen van de top van de vierde het huidige seizoen de laatste zes Premier League zonder een te winnen.

can i ask for no ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40491287)

Because if I can't ask for no ads, it still isn't targeting me with ads I want to see. If it fails at that, the only success option is to be a successful invasion of privacy.

Targeted TV Ads :== Privacy Nightmare (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40492035)

I would go with the latter ....

Something folks might get behind (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40493321)

Okay hows about this all the producers create a BT service and

1 you fill out a survey to indicate your interests (im a single hetro geek that has no DL and does not travel so there is a huge whack of ads I DO NOT WANT TO SEE)
2 they then give you a feed with a small number of ad files (say a 8 to 1 ratio of show to ads)
3 you then "pay" for the service either by buying "download credits" or by serving upload data (your BT ratio)

note i am saying DOWNLOAD in an unDRMd format and it is up to you to actually watch the ads (you do have to download them for the Upload Credit but...)

and yes this could be abused on both sides but...

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