Saturday, May 03, 2008

Arthur Godfrey Sounds Off 1960

Arthur Godfrey explains his view of the networks, sponsors and the public's taste with regards to the problems in television.

"Big business in America is interested only in big audiences, because that is where they get their big business."
TV is going where the people or audience are interested in, and if that means westerns and other pointless time wasting shows so be it he says. Godfrey also explains that sponsors care about ratings more then content and will attract advertisement with the same interests to continue high ratings. In other words if it's junk they like then it is junk they get.
Godfrey describes TV viewers as Americans who get their "jollies" and "drool" in front of the tube all day. He also believes that "television should be left alone, and culture cannot be legislated". In truth Godfrey says that quality is not what brings in ratings but "drool" and that it is possible to bring educational worth while programs onto the television if big money sponsored such things. It is also important that the average Joe as he calls it needs to improve ones self to want better entertainment.
While Arthur Godfrey didn't believe that pay TV wouldn't help the quality of shows but instead just be regular TV without any commercials. Well in 2008 we have pay TV and yes Arthur Godfrey they also have commercials and people still drool in front of the set, only difference is that now we (as in the majority audience) are addicted to reality shows. American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Bachelor, Survivor etc. Sorry Arthur no more westerns but Pepto-Bismal ads still flourish.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ad Bombardment

You are feeling sort of soothed and good-natured and at peace with the world. All of a sudden a gruff voice or a whining voice or a nasal voice or some other kind of voice says 'GoodMorning! Have you used Hare's Soap?'
Joseph H. Jackson illustrates his fears with this line in his article "Should Radio Be Used for Advertising." This type of advertisement has become more intergrated in our society than he could have imagined. Our TV's give us 5 minutes of advertisement for every 10 minutes of actual programming, and how many of us have dealt with the pop-up and banner ads that plague the internet. How many of us hear that we've just won two nano iPods while using the world wide web. Advertisement has become so widespread that we barely even notice it anymore. Years ago there were nearly advertisments on the bases in the stadiums to complement the advertisements on the walls. I don't see any way to stop it, but our society has learned to ignore it for the most part.

Why Gloria Swanson Is Always Broke.

Gloria Swanson was quite the extraordinary woman in the movie business. Even though she was joyfully honored with playing lead roles, she realized that it had it's flaws. She always played a woman of the wealthy class and it was seen with the lifestyle that she portrayed. What disappointed her was that her real life was the opposite. Swanson wasn't poor but she couldn't afford the clothes that she was wearing on the big screen.

"The gowns I wear in the pictures are much more elaborate and beautiful than I could ever afford. Before I wore them I never desired them. But as soon as I see myself in one of them, and wear it around the stage for a while, I begin to ger discontented. I want to own gowns like that. And zing! my salary has vanished before I am aware of it!"

The reason that she was portraying this elite lifestyle was that women audiences would be affected. The media wanted women to see these glamourous ladies in films where they would want to be like them. Even if most women didn't care about expensive things, now they did. They were willing to spend a lot of money even if they spent less on food or home furnishings. Scarlett O'Hara in the film Gone With The Wind, was beautiful, elegent, and she had the life. Women audiences were fascinated and they wanted that life. The media had an enormous impact on the way that people lived their lives or the way they changed their lives.

Pop Rundown

Like Jordan to sneakers, like retired sport stars to viagra, and other marketing ploys Hollywood would be the first in a long line of attempts to alleviate dead presidents from the constraints of there wallets. Charles Eckerts article "The Carole Lombard In Macy's Window" is a play by play step by step layout of how Hollywood creates a standard that is able to unify some americans and created tradiotion and expanded the foundation that had been set by nickelodeons, the penny press, and other printed text. This is vital because the middle class and upper class find themselves liking the same apparel, and the same cosmetics. Eckerts puts in to perpestcive the influence of this new mas medium.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Radio Advertising

It took a while for advertising to dominate radio. Initially sponsors felt they did not want to over saturate the listener with messages of various products so in an effort of minimizing radios intrusion into the home they came up with the idea of having companies sponsor different segments throughout the day. That would change very soon, as the two enormous powers were setting radio on their sights.

“Can you picture to yourself the horror of sitting down to listen to a good song or two, or perhaps a newsy chat on the events of the day, and being forced to listen to broadcasting programme that is nine tenths advertising matter?” Radio Broadcaster p. 75 Jackson, 1922

These two powers, political and commercial have their way of taking over most mediums of mass media and just as they did years ago, they are doing it again. Back in 2001, when satellite radio made its debut their strongest selling point was “commercial free radio”. Subscribers pay a monthly fee and purchase special receivers for this new medium and a great advantage is that you can listen to your favorite station coast to coast.

In 2005, the Clear Channel Communications Company, a large investor of XM radio, started including commercial advertising on the four channels they control. A few other music channels are getting initially four minutes of advertising per hour and all news, talk, and sports channels have advertising all the time. Not a large amount you might say, the point is that it is there and only bound to increase over time. Before, subscribers paid for commercial free radio, now they pay for less commercial radio and the political and commercial forces are stronger then ever.