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If Ten Year Olds Aren’t Watching TV Commercials, Prospective Clients Aren’t Either

by Carolyn Elefant on July 22, 2010 · 7 comments

in Marketing & Making Money, Marketing Lessons

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Tonight, before heading out to the pool for a swim, my ten year old daugher, Mira set the Tivo to record one of her television shows.  The show was scheduled to run at 9 pm, with a second showing at 9:30.  Since I was sure that we’d be back at least 9:30, I asked Mira why she’d bothered to record the show.  To which she replied – “I always record the shows because I hate watching TV commercials. They’re so boring.”

My daughter’s comment surprised me.  I knew that both of my daughters Tivo’d shows if a conflict precluded live viewing or so that they could replay their favorite scenes.  But I had no idea that my younger daughter was using Tivo to bypass television commercials.   If a ten year old is doing that, how many other folks are doing the same?

With so many companies spending mega-bucks on television advertising, I always assumed that the majority of the population still sat dutifully through commercials.   And indeed, that may still be true today – but not much longer.  After all, if today’s kids are growing up like my daughter — proactively taping shows not so much for convenience, but to avoid commercials, then who knows how effective television ads may be in the future.

So many newer lawyers just starting out envy those firms that have the big bucks to place those tacky lawyer ads on television.  No need.  Because if my daughter’s viewing habits are typical of others of her generation, tomorrow’s clients won’t be learning about lawyers on television commercials, because they won’t be watching them.

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  • legalofficeguru

    I always used TiVo this way, and I'm definitely older than 10. I can watch a 30-min. sitcom in 18-20 mins. — what's not to love about that?

  • http://constructionlawva.com constructionlaw

    I certainly do this. Just Monday, my wife and I waited for a few minutes before starting one of our favorite shows on TIVO because we didn't want to see the commercials. This post makes sense

  • Maggiefox29

    Yep. I am 40 and I haven't seen a TV commercial in years. My husband and I never start watching a show until at least 20 minutes after it starts so we can bypass the commercials. I assumed everyone did this. Also, even when channel surfing to find something to watch, I usually surf among pre-recorded shows, not shows that are currently running.

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  • http://www.smallbusinessmarketingsucks.com/ John Tabita

    I know it’s become vogue to make such claims. Yet, according to Goggle, television is the biggest driver of online search. So how can that be if “no one’s watching TV commercials”?

    I rarely watch a show that’s not pre-recorded. But even so, fast-forwarding isn’t perfect, and I usually catch the tail-end of the last commercial, which is how I ended up buying the brand of printer I did. It so happened that I was in the market for a new one, so when I saw the “tail-end” of that commercial, what did you suppose I did? Yep, I headed directly to my computer to google it.

    Also, many on-demand shows on cable have fast-forwarding disabled. And nearly all the show I watch on my iPad force you to commercials.

    It’s dangerous to base your marketing strategy on anecdotal evidence or your own behavior because, as I just demonstrated, there’s always someone with a different story or experience.

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