Thursday, January 09, 2003

"Ha Ha, Made You Look" Advertising

When TV networks started putting a nearly transparent network logo in the lower righthand corner during programs, I was actually in favor of it. When I'm channel surfing, I like to know what channel I've surfed onto. And if I'm catching the end of a previous show before the show I intend to watch, it's nice to know I'm in the right place.

But then, as anyone who's watched TV in the last two years knows, the logos started growing, traded their transparency for vivid colors, acquired moving graphics, and began adding advertisements for other shows. I figure it won't be long before they develop intelligence and apply for membership in the UN.

The latest travesty: I was watching Law & Order on TNT, and the whole bottom fifth of the screen suddenly turned blue. The words "STORM WARNING!" scrolled across the screen from right to left, and I stopped what I was doing to find out if we were in for another windstorm like the one we had last week, which caused numerous homes to lose power for more than 48 hours. "Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night," it continued, "the TNT broadcast of THE PERFECT STORM, starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg!" What's next - using the Emergency Broadcast System to alert us about changes in the primetime line-up?

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