Turner Broadcasting, whose cable channels include TNT, TBS, CNN and Cartoon Network, is looking to move away from 15 and 30-second ad spots, in favor of longer commercials. Think two or three minutes.
Why move away from TV’s bread and butter?
“TV advertising works extremely well for advertisers, it sells products,” said Dan Riess is Executive Vice President of content partnerships at Turner. “But we think for consumers, we have some work to do.”
In other words, product-pitch after product-pitch after product-pitch is annoying.
“I think television viewers have become very jaded and very used to being able to avoid commercials,” said Tim Hanlon, a consultant with FTI Consulting. Turner’s approach is to give viewers something they want to stick around for.
Hanlon said, in many respects Turner’s approach “it’s kind of everything old is new again.”
The early days of television were filled with sponsorships; longer, more integrated ads that felt like part of the show.
The challenge for Tuner, and advertisers like Subaru and Intel who’re trying out the model, is to create ads that aren’t just longer, but more compelling. So we don’t head to the fridge, or the bathroom, the second they come on.