Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Go Figure

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  • Sacha,

    They want to sell hip products to hip people, because that's cool and because they work in advertising, which is cool.

    Ah - too true. But do the audience surveyers seriously reckon they're cool as well? Bloody geeks. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I reckon it's pretty easy to figure out that at least 29,000 of that 30,000 will be teenage boys.

    Well, perhaps, but finding video-with-nudity on the 'net is not exactly hard. I find it difficult to believe that many viewers are there just for that.

    I wonder how many views other stories have gotten.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    about an older guy spending his kids inheritence

    Starting to come through in Lotto adverts too. Perhaps the cool agency kids are beginning to see that boomers don't aspire to wearing hair shirts and eating gruel so they can leave a pile of bonus bonds and some brick and tile when they kick the bucket.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Interesting stuff, Damion. The fundamental problem with PMs and rating is, as AGB Nielsen explain, is that they only report on 'presence in a room where a TV set is on". That is not the same as 'watching television'. Indeed, if the mute button is on, half the family is asleep or gone out to the kitchen for toast and tea, it is about as meaningful as recording "presence in a room where there is a potted geranium"

    I have worked in audience research in both the UK and NZ and became an early dis-believer, largely because of the inherent flaws in the processes, and in the mis-uses ratings figures were put to (making qualitative judgements based on dubious qualitative data). There are other problems: inadequate representation of all groups in the NZ population; drawing conclusions from statistically insignificant raw data; the lumping together of disparate interests in undifferentiated age groupings--but I won't go on. I am just grateful for TVNZ 6 and 7..

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2308 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    because they work in advertising, which is cool.

    It ain't cool; it is clammy!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2308 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    'AINT COOL- IT CLAMMY!"*

    Sounds like a really truendeep summation of advertising actually-

    *slightly altered words from GEOFF LEALAND

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • anth,

    I often pay more attention to ads as I fast forward them than I do to the actual programme. My wife will usually be there too, and as I'm making sure to return to normal playing speed at the end of the ads she can ignore them completely.

    I expect it'd be very different if we used Commercial Flagging though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    That’s how blogs should work – we’re not journos

    ? How come Close Up let you on board... tut tut, standards are slipping

    According to the study, viewers pupils were dilated 99 percent during fast-forwarding ads

    Wow those people deserve blipverts then (hope they don't start exploding like on Max Headroom though)... Ad breaks are 4 minutes people. In prime time anyway, maybe 3 elsewhere. Just add the time and restart your digi device then...

    Since Nov 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    Our house was Nielsen Peoplemeter'ed for 12 months around 2003-2004. Back then they seemed to have trouble putting a channel detection probe into our Sky Satellite box. They could tell that we were watching SKY, but according to the tech-installer-dude, couldn't readily tell what channel. Because of poor VHF reception we tended to watch all our programmes through the satellite receiver.
    I was never quite sure what value Nielsens got from us and we were booted off the scheme after 12 months.
    Their "rewards" scheme was pretty naff as I recall. It just didn't seem worth the bother to log ourselves in and out every time we entered or left the room. I'd say that my innate laziness probably meant that our household was correctly registered against our viewing habits about 60% of the time...
    Draw your own conclusions.

    P.S. On my Panasonic HDD recorder at Fast Forward speed no. 3, I can hit the return from ads to programming almost exactly every time by mentally counting "1 banana 2 banana 3 banana 4 banana 5 banana 6 banana 7 banana - PLAY". I don't have to watch them whiz by at all...

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 190 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Ratings are a lot like God. Not that they decide who lives and who dies,

    Although they have consigned a few people to wander in the wilderness. I think a cream pie in the face is a much better punishment for bad programming blunders based on demographics.

    Other than that must say you are doing a fine job. Carry on.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1213 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Evan. Great to hear from one of the chosen people. Such stories are rare but every one I hear confirms just how flawed the whole business is.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2308 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    I, too, watch a lot of TV on DVD. It's often better to get into a show like Mad Men a few seasons late so you have a few box sets ready to go through. I don't know how people wait week to week for a measly hour of content.

    I have a HDD recorder and watch most "live" TV this way: start recording, wait 10 minutes (start dinner, go online, talk to a real live person), then start watching. That way I can fast forward through all the ads. Hour-long shows end up taking 40 minutes to watch. I believe this way I am accomplishing more in my day. I should write a self-help book.

    Since Jul 2008 • 124 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I have worked in audience research in both the UK and NZ and became an early dis-believer, largely because of the inherent flaws in the processes

    @Geoff - yes, everything you say, and more. But like I said, like God, we believe when we want to. And whatever the degree of accuracy per programme per day, on a long enough timeline it equates into something reasonably meaningful - otherwise l'm sure the billion dollar (or whatever it is) ad industry would have come up with something better - installing spycams in unsuspecting people's lounges.

    And if you think TV is bad, don't get me started on the method used in radio surveys, which is right up there with a Close Up poll in terms of its scientific value. And yes, that's a line I love to hear politicians/spokespeople/Garth McVicar trotting out in interviews "Well, as your own poll just showed Mark..."

    @James W - I have MySky, which as long as I'm on the channel I intend to watch, automatically records the last hour. So likewise, I sit down 15 minutes after a show has started. My DVD recorder, which I don't use much, has a button that automatically skips 1 minute at a time, so there's definitely no branding whizzing past my eyes there.

    I reckon I end up watching more ads when I view stuff on-line. TVNZ could really do with increasing their on-line ad stock though, because it gets really annoying having to watch the exact same ad every time I watch a news story or piece of a programme.

    And yes, I'm definitely up for watching TV on DVD/download, in big commercial free four hour blocks. Get through 5 seasons of the Wire in 2 months rather than 5 years... I remember when I first saw the Office, it was so good I ended up watching both seasons in one day!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    otherwise l'm sure the billion dollar (or whatever it is) ad industry would have come up with something better

    So is this ad industry rational or not? Earlier you were suggesting that they weren't interested in advertising to older people for irrational reasons, now you seem to be suggesting that they are keeping the current ratings system because it makes sense.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2950 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    I'm staying with clever friends who watch UK and US television on their lovely flat-screen tv via the web. They have IP addresses for those countries, so don't have to wait for months for the shows to come here. And the ads are few and far between or non-existent. I don't know how legit it is...

    Surely the advertisers would want to know how many people are still watching television channels in the traditional way, compared to the number of people using technology to watch tv via the web or dvds - generally with less advertising.

    That would be a more interesting survey to me - rather than how many NZ houses (out of a limited sample) have the tv turned on during a certain programme.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    otherwise l'm sure the billion dollar (or whatever it is) ad industry

    Only have 2008 figures handy,: advertising revenue across all media in NZ in 2008 was $NZ2.317 billion (television was $647m, or 27.9%).

    I agree with you about the radio ratings--they are even more shonky. Six monthly surveys, which set advertising rates for the ensuing six months!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2308 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    So is this ad industry rational or not?

    Oh, so you're looking for consistency in my argument. I'll go and make my second coffee of the morning and get back to you ;)

    I don't think just because you're irrational in one regard you can't be rational in others. Otherwise they'd be trying to drive giant donuts to work and sticking chopsticks in their ears while talking in Klingon. And to advertising people, where cool is king, it could seem perfectly rational to ignore a demographic that's not.

    And as I say, I think for what advertisers use it for, it works. It's the other (mis)uses I have issues with, the minute-by-minutes and so forth.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1129 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    P.S. On my Panasonic HDD recorder at Fast Forward speed no. 3, I can hit the return from ads to programming almost exactly every time by mentally counting "1 banana 2 banana 3 banana 4 banana 5 banana 6 banana 7 banana - PLAY".

    And then you get up and reach for a banana, right? That thing with the counting was the best product placement that Chiquita ever did.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    If advertisers are so cynical and anti people over 54, why does anyone bother advertising during programmes like Coronation Street? They could just show it uninterrupted.
    (Disclaimer: I'm a recent Coro St re-convert, having not watched it since Minnie Caldwell and Ena Sharples left the snug)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    advertising people, where cool is king

    I still reckon you're thinking of the creatives rather than say the media buyers. Still you do spend more time than me researching their native habitats..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That thing with the counting was the best product placement that Chiquita ever did.

    And let's not get started on the lamb marketing genius who figured bedtime offered untapped opportunities.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I'm a recent Coro St re-convert, having not watched it since Minnie Caldwell and Ena Sharples left the snug

    Agreed, although the bit about Minnie and Ena doesn't apply in my case. But Coro is, er, rocking at the moment. In Tony Gordon, we have that great thing: a villain you feel sorry for (I think Jane Clifton in the Dom Post said that).

    Had Freeview the past few months. Have enjoyed seeing Media 7 and The Good Word life size rather than on a computer screen, but last night's Good Word might have had one of the great Kiwi anti-intellectual clangers. In a report from a suburban book group, some guy complains that the worst book they ever had to read was "about the architecture of European train stations with sentences that went on for two or three pages".

    Er, that would be Austerlitz by WG Sebald. Confirms all my suspicions about book clubs, really.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    advertising people, where cool is king

    Really? Then how come the ads themselves are mostly so, so naff.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I can confirm the high level of concentration during fast forwarding. But I'm pretty much exclusively looking at the spot on the screen where the logo comes up that marks that the show has begun again, whilst mentally counting. Banners are probably doing their subliminal work, I certainly can't consciously recall them. Which means when we watch TV at other people's houses I'm the odd one out laughing at the ads, which to me are all new and fresh.

    I'm not at all bummed about this - I was never bitter on the ads for being there, just for how long they took. I think the 10-odd seconds (usually there's an overshoot and a rewind) 5 times per hour is a small price to pay for a show.

    DVD serials are awesome, I've just about finished Outrageous Fortune. It takes a hell of a long time to get through 5 seasons, I can tell you, wouldn't have done it without Fatso. It's made me totally agree with the above comment that one measly hour per week is pure torture.

    I don't tend to watch downloaded movies. It just doesn't seem to have any tangible advantages for all the effort involved, over just hiring the DVDs. Except for clips which you can't get any other way. YouTube is an excellent teaching tool - someone has made an instructional video on just about every subject.

    As for advertising, I must be old. It just doesn't seem to affect me, even when I see it. I make most of my spending choices on straightforward rationales. For big purchases, I research them beforehand. For small repeated ones, I buy them all and then stick to the one I like.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8500 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    I watch a moderate amount of broadcast TV. But we don't have any way of recording it (I'm too cheap to shell out for a PVR), so if we miss the episode of something that we actually care about I end up employing the services of Friends Overseas. Indeed, we got a DVD player with a USB connector specifically for this purpose. But for anything more than the occasional episode, we very definitely acquire the DVDs and work our way through. That's how we ended up watching all of the West Wing and Battlestar Galactica.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

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