Undermining Political Advertising

I often say that the old advertising paradigm of Interrupt – Repeat is over. While some online advertisers are fighting that for all their worth with pop-over ads and other user annoyances, the facts are that people can opt out of advertising—and they are at increasing rates.

But it’s not just online viewers who are taking control of their experiences, it’s also TV viewers who can now decide not only when they watch but what they watch and most are deciding not to watch commercials. It’s a problem B2C brands have been aware of and combating for a while now, but what does this mean for the grand tradition of political advertising?

Doug Mataconis over at Outside the Beltway thinks we’ll see a concentration of political advertising around programming that is more time-sensitive and less likely to be recorded and watched later, meaning the audience is captive and attentive.

As Mataconis sees it, “there are some forms of television programming that typically aren’t watched on a delayed basis, specifically news and sports.”

I think that’s true but just as we’ve seen technology continue to thwart advertising online with ad blockers and various other tools TV is bound to come up with similar functionality, especially as “smart TVs” enter the market and the user habits of TV watching and web surfing converge. They say that the ultimate vote is cast with the wallet and users will demand and eventually receive what they want, which is apparently to see less and less advertising.

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