The other night, when I was watching some drivel on the box, the ads came on and a minor irritation occured when I automatically reached down for the remote control to hit the “Mute” button and found it wasnae where I usually leave it.
It occurred to me that for months now I’ve been instinctively muting the TV as soon as any channel I’m watching goes into a commercial break. You see, the thing is that, not only are adverts an intrusive annoyance at the best of times but, as Any Fule Kno’ the most irritating thing is that the adverts are that much LOUDER than the programmes they interrupt.
Now, by law, advertisers are not allowed to boost the volume of their adverts above the level of the surrounding programmes, but you, me and the gatepost all know that they do it. It’s actually quite a basic studio technique to “compress” the audio signal, so that whilst the peak volume remains the same, overall levels are boosted and everything sounds LOUDER. Now, I dinnae know about the rest of you but, strangely enough, when some ignorant fucker shouts in my face, my instinctive reaction is not to hang on their every word, but to completely ignore them. Hence my -by now- automatic flicking of the telly onto “Mute” as soon as the ads appear.
So what have the advertisers achieved by their “oh so clever” bending of the rules in order to make their ads SHOUT! at me?
Well, instead of -as previously- just leaving the ads droning on in the background, ignoring most of them but occasionally pricking up my ears at one that sounds remotely of interest to me, my new “automatic muting” habit means that now I don’t hear ANY of them at all -ever!
Well played lads. Great way to get your message across!