January 17, 2006

The result of TiVo's 30-second skip button

Two weeks after I began my TiVo service, a Dutch bank called ING Direct paid Metro $562,350 to make all morning rush-hour train rides free for one day. The bank -- which says it terminates accounts from customers who "clog the phone lines" too much by calling for help and information -- placed ads all over Metro stations that day.

Clearly, the ads worked. Jason was so enchanted by the free ride that he literally gave ING all his money. (That is, he put it in one of ING's FDIC-insured accounts.)

Anyway, I associate the free ride with my TiVo service since ING's tactic is a good example of what companies must do to reach consumers in the TiVo age. In some ways, the intrusiveness of advertisements is annoying. But it's still better than the alternative -- watching live television.

In Chicago, the turnstiles at the CTA are wrapped in advertising. Some parking spots are now painted with advertisements. New gas station pumps force customers to watch video commercials on a 10-inch screen while they're pumping gas. And to ensure that office discussions focus on their products, advertisers have taken out ads on water coolers.

6 comments:

hbinc said...

You're not really FORCED to watch the video screen at the gas pump. You can always look elsewhere.

I agree, however, with both your points: the intrusiveness of advertisements IS annoying. But it's still better than watching live television saturated with ads.

dl004d said...

Well, how about this: you're forced to listen to them. I mean, you don't have to watch, but you'd have to go pretty far out of your way to avoid listening.

Anonymous said...

I agree with H. Binc, but ...

I get irritated at the ads that are hardest to ignore -- that is, the most effective. Ads on turnstyles aren't so bad, though I can't imagine how they make any money. I get really irritated by ads on things that I already bought, like a cup of coffee. I can't define this at all. -- josh

dl004d said...

I think the turnstyles ads are effective. Anyone can tune out a billboard on the street, but it's hard to get through a steel turnstyle without looking at it.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand any ad that just says the name of the company. And you can't fit a whole lot onto a turnstyle.

PEPSI!!!

Yeah, and?

dl004d said...

Yes, it only works with companies you've already heard of. Most people have at least vaguely heard of Geico as an insurance company. Coke would work. Or Verizon. But not Lisa's Southside Shop.