In a society where we are bombarded with advertising on a constant basis, whether it be through video, audio or other visual media, ads are all around us. In fact it has gotten to the point for some people that ads are easy to ignore. Rarely do I really take a look at the ads placed on billboards, or the side of buses. I generally tune out the ads on a radio station. But, one place where the commercials are impossible to escape from and where people tend to get very frustrated by the ads placement, is before movies in the theatre.
I find this amusing. People are willing to sit for fifteen minutes at a time and watch movie trailers, themselves advertisements for upcoming films, and be entertained, or even look forward to them. But, the minute they start putting real commercials for Coke, or Telus before a movie, people get up in arms. Some places, demanding their money back, in others letting the theatre companies know what they think.
Now, I’m not entirely sure why people get so mad at these commercials. It cannot be because of the added length of the theatre experience. If you are willing to sit there for upwards of two hours to watch a movie and the trailers, then what is a couple more minutes really going to do?
It also can’t be because of the ads themselves. None of them are overly offensive, in fact most them are quite good in terms of relative commercials we would see on television. They are usually well made and creative, similar to Superbowl commercials. Which is ironic because they literally have the audience trapped and could make them whatever they wanted and people would still have to watch.
No, I think that’s the reason people get angry. They HAVE to watch them. At home during commercials you can always change the channel, get up and do something else, or if you have a PVR, just fast-forward through them. However, in the theatre realistically you are trapped there. You can’t really come late to miss them, then you could miss something important, or miss out on quality seats, things that even the biggest hater of commercials would not be willing to do.
So, I say just calm down and relax. You knew they were going to be there before you got in the car to drive to the theatre in the first place. Box-office numbers have not been hurt by any sort of refusal to watch these ads. I say lets just have a good time in the theatre, and let our ad-crazed society wash over us.