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Better Than Cialis? Researchers Say TV Ads Heighten Pleasure

cial1.jpgSince IO9 was being discussed yesterday, I thought I’d try my hand at a IO9 style headline. Thank goodness TV ‘researchers’ came to the rescue!

The so called ‘researcher’ have released a study which shows TV commercials make TV viewing more pleasurable. According to these ‘researchers’, TV viewers rated their overall experience of watching a TV show higher when commercials were included. Uh huh.

How is this explained away? Like this:

The seemingly counterintuitive findings will be familiar to those who have read Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, which explains how the pleasure of any positive experience declines through repetition and over time. Watching TV (or eating a fine meal or listening to a favorite song) tends to be more enjoyable at the outset. The longer you do something, the less satisfaction it provides.

A break from the experience — in the case of watching TV, sitting through a few commercials — can be an interruption that helps refresh the novelty of the program

Uh, right. If the test subjects were forced to watch Heroes commercial free, that would explain these findings immediately. As would liberally showing the GoDaddy congressional ‘enhancement’ hearings commerical.

Seriously, does anyone believe this? For me, I like not having to watch commercials. When I record a show, it annoys me when I have to fast forward through the ads to get back to the show. That’s one of the cool things about TV shows on DVDs, no commercials. Maybe the test subjects were all network advertising execs and ad agency employees, or just insane.

What do you think, do commercials make your viewing sessions more pleasurable? And, more importantly, is it more pleasurable when you’re in the bathtub?

About JP Frantz (2322 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

9 Comments on Better Than Cialis? Researchers Say TV Ads Heighten Pleasure

  1. I only have two words to describe this report, and the first one is “Bull.”

  2. Seriously, this reminds me of my mother telling me “You like spinach”.

  3. A break from the experience … can be an interruption that helps refresh the novelty of the program

    Thus, not ads per se, but the interruption itself makes watching more enjoyable. That sounds more like the ticket, whether you’re just after a “comfort break” or a pause in the action so you can ruminate on the last scene’s cliffhanger. The amount of disconnect between the finding (as above) and the inference, both in the heading (“Ads heighten pleasure of TV watching, study finds”) and in the rest of the article, though, is astounding.

    From the findings, flensed of any controversy (and, thus, wider attention), it would appear that a couple of minutes of white noise would do the trick just as nicely. Not that anyone in the article draws that conclusion of course. World, thou hast become so myopic.


  4. In the old days, when commercials on TV did not account for 50% of the time the program was supposedly showing, I actually liked them. They came at just the right interval for bathroom/snack breaks.

    I remember watching a show that I liked that was broadcast without commercial interruption. I wanted to get a snack, but didn’t want to miss anything (and I didn’t have Tivo). I found myself wishing for commercial breaks.

    Now, with the DVR, I find that the breaks get extended as each family member gets up to do more and more break related activities. It would be nice to have the old enforcement of the end of break time provided by more reasonably scheduled commercial breaks.

    And, of course, once in a while the commercials were more entertaining than the show.

  5. While ads annoy me, I can believe the interruption part. When I watch TV series/movies with a friend of mine, we tend to pause it a lot to discuss it (or stuff that comes to our mind because of it). Which makes my girlfriend hate watching anything with the two of us. 🙂

  6. Speaking of “enhanced,” I figure y’all in Texas would know all about the woman that was just in the news today…

  7. Back in “my day” (barefoot, in the snow, uphill both ways) your favorite prime time program lasted almost the full 60 minutes – commercials came on at 15 minute intervals and lasted only a couple of minutes.  Nowadays, thank heaven for the DVR so I don’t have to watch live TV.   I can see the television from my bathroom, and I’ve thought ahead and gone to the kitchen before sitting down to watch – – I don’t need the interruptions to “enhance my viewing pleasure.”


    It’s really telling when you watch an older program on DVD, without commercials, and you see just how long the episodes were. Compare that to a new program today, and you’re lucky an hour long show lasts 45 minutes.

    And just WHERE do these couples find all the bathtubs?  And what good is Cialus if they’re in seperate tubs?

  8. The only time I actually see commercials is when I am so eager to watch the show that I actually watch it from the DVR. Otherwise when I view it after I have recorded it (better word would be ARCHIVED it) I have tools that automatically strip out the commercials.

    I actually agree with (Steve Brandt ) though. Commercials used to be fun when they were spaced out amongst the show close to where most would need a break for the bathroom etc. In fact I remember “back in the day” there were usually three, five minute commercial breaks. Now I think the standard is five, three minute breaks? Yeah thats too much.

    Please don’t cite the “but commercials pay for the TV show” argument. My house, my rules. WORD!

  9. Pete Tzinski // February 6, 2009 at 9:35 pm //

    I wind up agreeing too. There were was a period there when my wife and I would watch TV in the bedroom, when we had TV in our bedroom. And unlike our living room box, which has a DVR, the TV in the bedroom had nothing fancy. Which meant that we had to watch the show as it aired. And it had commercials. That we couldn’t fast forward through.

    And actually, we noticably enjoyed it. During commercials, we’d get up and get food, or mute and talk, or read for a few minutes, or rush to the bathroom, and so on. And it was sort of nice.

    BUT…it was hardly nice enough to make us say “Away with you, filthy DVR box!” or anything. So I agree, but it’s a fairly pointless agreement.

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