Television commercials are annoying; good for bathroom breaks

Stanley Oliver
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Stan's Stance

Stanley Oliver

"What?" Wouldn't that get on your nerves! I am sure many of you would agree with me; that commercials on TV used be funnier. Like the recent McDonald's breakfast commercial where the people continuously repeat the phrase, "What?"

What are they talking about? Not funny people and you're actually annoying. I get so pissed off, I turn the channel. I can remember growing up and going around singing the jingle, "Band-Aids are stuck on me." Now that was a commercial.

So what is a TV commercial?

A commercial advertisement on television which has been abbreviated with the acronym TV ad is usually a 30-second span during your regular programming produced and paid for by an organization, company, owners of a product and yes, even government, which conveys a specific message typically to market a product or service or promote a certain policy.

This type of messaging has been used successfully since the inception and dawn of television. The effects of television advertising upon the general viewing public and the measurement of its benefits have been the subject of philosophical discussion by professional marketers for many years.

Television advertisements are primarily utilized for promotion and can help boost sales of a certain product or service. TV networks charge definite rates for commercials, thus companies and sellers of a product like to have their commercials shown during peak air times, such as during major sporting events.

These companies pay a premium for such air time. During the annual Super Bowl football game in the United States, an average cost of a single 30-second TV spot during the game (seen by over 100 million people) has reached a whopping US$4 million.

The first official, paid TV commercial was broadcast in the United States on July 1, 1941 over a New York station before a baseball game (costing somewhere in between $4 to $9) promoting the sale of a new clock, "Bulova Watch Time."

Oh, how things have changed.

Despite the popularity of some advertisements, many viewers such as myself, thus my stance, consider TV commercials to be an annoyance for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is the sound volume of the commercial itself. The sound volume tends to be higher than the regular programming. There are actually some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom that have passed Bills that regulate the sound volume for TV ads.

The increasing number of advertisements during our regular programing - that is to say overplaying the same commercial - is a second annoyance. Who wants to watch the same commercial 10 times during an hour program? No me.

A third reason is, there seems to be more commercials and they are longer. I can only assume (but you know what assumptions mean) that as television networks struggle financially, the need for paid commercials are crucial to the business.

Finally, and I find this the most annoying, is that all this advertisements - often more than not - cut into certain parts of a program just when something good is going to happen, such as the climax of a plot or a major turning point in the show which is supposed to be the best part of the show.

Thus, a final thought and standpoint regarding TV commercials: the core reason why the general public probably find advertisements annoying is that the actual ad offers very little of any interest to the viewers at that moment, or the presentation/message is unclear.

Most of us find commercials bothersome and a waste of time. There is one good point that cannot be overlooked: commercials allows us time to go on a bathroom break. But I still don't want to see all those advertisements about toilet paper. Hey maybe that is why Netflix is becoming so popular.

- Stan Oliver writes from Happy Valley-Goose Bay and can be reached at

Organizations: McDonald's

Geographic location: United States, New York, United Kingdom Happy Valley Goose Bay

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