You go, girl!

I haven’t sued or anything, but I’m out there fighting the good fight as well. I make lots of loud, humorous comments at the expense of the commercials. I also shout out expletives when apporpriate (EG “sweet shit-sucking Lucifer! What the fuck is this Pepsi crap for?” or “Christ, I didn’t give the guy at the ticket booth a hand job to watch extended versions of television commercial!” or “Holy shit! Was that an ad for the concept of friendship?”).

Oh god… You mean that commercial with the bad-ass Hell’s Angel biker who is turned into a Richard Simmons of kindness by two elderly black women who give him a quarter? arrrgh.

I went to the movies twice when I was visiting England and there they had something like TWENTY MINUTES of ads before the movie. Maybe more… But the difference was that there no one showed up for the advertised start times of the movies. In both instances (at two different theaters), I was the only one in the theater sitting there watching the friggin’ ads. No one else showed up until right before the movie started. They must have a standardized amount of time full of ads, so everyone knows when to show up.

My question is, given this situation: why do advertisers pay for ads that no one shows up to see? If things here in the US keep going in the current trend, we’ll catch up to those UK ad fests. When I went to Lord of the Rings Part II at a Regal Cinemas outlet, there were nine or ten ads before the first movie preview began (which I’m not counting as ads because they are often actually interesting).

I would pay extra for a showing without commercials.

  • Alan

After hundreds (thousands?) of complaints, Regal pulled the incredibly annoying Western/Jack Palance/irritating girl Pepsi ad in the Portland area. On a couple of occasions I witnessed people hurling their Pepsis at the screen.

Heh… in that class-action lawsuit, the plaintiff states that her ticket indicated a starting time of 4:45, but that she had to endure advertisements which caused the real starting time to be 4:49. Holy loss of four minutes. You’d think she would have attended a couple more movies to find one that started fifteen or twenty minutes “late”, just to make the point a little better.

I recently went to a movie in Orange County (California), and noticed that the theaters down there also play literally 20 minutes of commercials before movies. However, as with the situation in England, the movie (actually, the previews and theater’s own announcements) starts at the listed time. If you want to watch the commercials, you have to show up 20 minutes in advance.

I am sure people pay for it because they know people see the ads. I typically show up for a movie 5-10 minutes early to make sure I get a decent seat. Usually you can spend the time talking to your friends, but at the movie in OC you kind of had to yell to your friends. Unlike with previews, everyone in the theater talks loudly to each other during the ads, though, so it still seems like kind of a waste.

It’s funny. I’ve always wondered whether advertisers are overpaying. I remember reading about how advertisers would hardly pay anything for banner ads on webpages, because they could see that there was so little “click-through.” And I always thought to myself, Man, do they not realize that hardly anybody watches the ads on TV, either? But I always figured they’re smart, and there’s lots of money on the line, so they probably know that and it’s worth it to them anyway.

Then I read an item on the Straight Dope the other day ( claiming that a new, more accurate Neilsen measuring device was being used in Boston, which showed that often (8% of the time) when the TV is on nobody is watching it at all, leading to much lower advertising rates in Boston and, presumably, everywhere else in the near future. How idiotic. You’d think that just from common experience, advertisers would have been assuming TVs that are on are often unwatched.

What I don’t get is why the advertisers kill themselves to make interesting ads for the Superbowl, but then leave us with warmed-over crap the rest of the year. If they applied that level of creativity (okay a lot of the Superbowl ads are still shit) year round I might actually pay attention.

You’d think that just from common experience, advertisers would have been assuming TVs that are on are often unwatched

What-- no click through? Blasphemy! Cancel all TV advertising!!

Just when you thought movie theater ads were bad enough, here’s the latest one planned for theaters, as described over at

Anti-Piracy Film to Debut in Theaters

MPAA chief Jack Valenti has unveiled a public service film that the industry hopes to show in movie theaters to discourage online piracy. Speaking to the annual ShoWest industry Valenti said that the MPAA plans to produce international versions of the film that will feature stars from the countries where it is shown. “If it works, we hope it can make a modest impress on the consciousness of people who don’t want to steal,” he said. “Even though in the digital world, it is so easy to do so. We have a massive task ahead of us.”

I kind of hope the bootlegs of the first movie this runs before leave it in for irony’s sake.

Movies here usually have about 20 minutes of commercials, and they start when the movie is supposed to start. It’s mildly irritating, but as long as the commercials and previews don’t totally suck, I’m fine with it.