The creative aspect of television programming is now being interrupted by technology. My theory is that tivos and DVRs are making life difficult for advertisers and the like. Nobody with a recorder or digital cable dealie no longer has to put up with the self indulgent or commercial aspects of television – unless they feel like it.
I believe the ability to fast forward television has influenced a few things:
1. The introduction theme to the show is oversimplified and super slowed down because they know you will fast forward. The producers are grasping at icons to make the audience get the gist of the show. Two top examples are Nurse Jackie and Big Love. If you actually stop and listen to the entire theme of either show you will tear your hair out. Both are extremely slow and overly animated – just the way it has to look if it is being fast forwarded. At normal pace, a fast forwarded theme would not convey much of a message.
2. Subversive ads sharing themes. During the Office on NBC, there have been many commercials of similarly average people sitting around office situations. When fast forwarding commercials you see another office setting at a quick glimpse, you stop it. Well done advertisers, you figured out that when I am fast forwarding I am also not really watching…
So if you assume your audience fast forwards through everything but content, you can possibly trick them some of the time.
Now video on the web is getting trickier too. We have fly overs, we have pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, etc. I just wonder if web tv will continue to shape traditional tv. Throw in the iPad and maybe you’ve got a revolution.