Wednesday, April 19, 2006

You WILL Watch Commercials

The Philips company's labs are working on a device that would prevent viewers from fast-forwarding through commercials.

Philips suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from changing channels until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognised by digital video recorders, which would then disable the fast forward control while the ads are playing.

Anticipating consumers might resent being forced to sit through commercials, the company suggested viewers might be able to pay a fee to disable the feature.

Not to be outdone, the fast food industry has gotten behind technology that would force-feed consumers items off "Dollar Menus". Consumers who didn't want to eat fish nuggets or quesadilla bombs would pay a fee to disable the force-feeding unit.

I see terrific growth potential for this type of corporate strategy. Companies force consumers to use technologies they don't want unless they pay a fee.

How 'bout camera phones that automatically share your pictures on a website unless you pay a fee? Internet companies that charge you money NOT to send you death threats? Cable companies that make you watch Steven Segal films unless you pay an extra $5.99 a month?

How long before our not-at-all-beholden-to-corporate-interests Representatives in the House and Congress propose bills making it a crime to not consume?


Clinton Freeman said...

You mean it isn't already a crime to refuse conspicuous consumption?
I'm free!! I can remove that explosive device Walmart put in my neck.

Philips sells recorders that would allow us to skip commercial, offers to disable this feature for corporations, then charges consumers not to disable the feature they already paid for.
That's like the voting machines that register a vote for Republicans no matter which button you push.
Who the hell gave Philips executives a copy of the Sneeches? If I find out . . .

Eddie said...

Oddly enough, a few weeks back at work we were talking about toilets eventually having a dilating valve (similar to a camera shutter) inside the bowl. Unless you fed the thing coins like a vending machine that turd would stare at you and vice versa. Who would blink first? Now Laura, having a dog in the house, would tend to give in pretty easily. Us guys? We'd let that thing sit there until we'd piled up a few. And college-aged guys (you freakin' broke-ass light weights) probably wouldn't have a problem with mixing in a few Saturday nights worth of hurl. I'd understand. It's a money priority. I was the same way when I was in college. "Hmmm, let's see. Do I eat, pay tuition, or buy a 99-cent sixpack?" You know how that went. Now, can anyone name a beer that you could get for that much in the early 80's?

VagabondLoafer said...

I think companies would rather spend a fortune implementing schemes, gimmicks and offering useless services that strive to extract that last dime from the consumer’s purse and a relative pittance on research and development that would bring new and genuinely useful products and services to market.

And Eddie, National Bohemian a.k.a. Natty Boh rulez!

Butternut said...

Oly? Meister Brau? Milwaukee's Best? I dunno, I failed Frat 101.

I dunno where a company like Phillips gets these kind of ideas. Let's see, based in Eindhoven, which was occupied Nazi territory in WW Deuce... hmm... Using my tabloid fact generation machine I must conclude:


Slightly off topic:

I just paid $3.20 per gallon for gas tonight. Yup, $3.19 99/100 which on my planet is $3.20 since they can't break a PENNY and I don't have a 100 gallon tank.

My theory was that the crazy rioting and "throwing the bums out" talk would start when it hit $4.00. Should be by the end of the year at this rate.

Laura Swisher said...

They're paying $4.50 a gallon in Brooklyn. Bush might hate NY more than CA.

Clinton Freeman said...

Brooklyn hates Bush right back.