Back To The Future — With Lots More Clutter?

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March 24, 2011 – 11:53 am

Cablevision Quick Views

Cablevision subscribers' ability to see up to nine channels simultaneously in a "mosaic" of  Quick Views boxes reminds Thomas Pardee of a scene in Back To the Future II when Michael J. Fox's character is stupified by a huge flatscreen TV. But rather than salivate at the prospect of taking in as much video all at once, Pardee ponders the advertising possibilities.

Imagine positioning nine commercials at once in a grid. The image is certainly arresting. But the really exciting thing is having advertising go head-to-head with content. After all, in this multimedia universe in which we all live, consumers appear to be more and more tolerant of branded content plays.

Naturally, there's also a downside. One of the perennial problems of advertising is the issue of clutter. It's often hard to think that the problem couldn't get any worse. But at a time when consumers' media consumption is overloaded by PCs, tablets and smartphones, not to mention TV, having, it's harder and harder for ad messages to break through.

Obviously, better targeted advertising is considered the answer to clutter. So when contemplating the future, maybe instead of creating stupefied "Marty McFlies" assaulted by giant screens, maybe the look on that future viewer will be one of engagement and connection. Right now, though, that still sounds a little bit like science fiction.

By James Bailey


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March 24, 2011 – 11:53 am

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