I just ran across an article about how my “friend” Tivo is shaking up the Neilson Ratings. (link). After owning a Tivo (or two) for over five years it has taken on “appliance” status at our home. (Meaning, if it were to break I would replace it immediately…like the fridge.) Because of Tivo, we no longer “waste” our very limited TV viewing time watching “whatever is on”, we record and watch what we want to see. An added benefit is that we also don’t have to watch commercials anymore…
That’s where the “problem” for advertisers comes in. DVR’s such has Tivo have become so widespread that the advertisers are losing their “captive” audience. Viewers have more “choices” when a commercial comes on than to flip to another commercial on another channel or get up and head for the bathroom or fridge. They can simply “fast forward” through the commercial. In short, fewer and fewer people “have to” watch commercials anymore.
It remains to be seen what advertisers do now that they are admitting that people aren’t really watching their commercials. I expect there will be more products actually placed in the shows and events such as the Nascar race I watched last month that never “stopped” for commercial break…it just played commercials in a small window on screen. Advertisers “admit” they will have to be creative and engaging so more people will choose to watch their advertisements. (I actually thought that was what advertising was all about!?)
Every year, fewer and fewer people “have to” attend our churches. There is no longer a social stigma against people who don’t attend. (There actually might be one against those who do.) Each new generation has fewer children “raised in church”. We are losing our “captive audience”. For years we’ve complained that people are “supposed to” attend church. In the last few years, some have even admitted (like television advertisers) that perhaps our neighbors don’t want to hear our “promotional messages” for God. I think the next step is beginning… It’s time that we become creative and engaging (in both our church services and lifestyles) so more people will choose to hear our message. (I actually thought that was what the “good news” was all about!?)