ADVERTISING ON DEMAND
The real master of television is advertising; this subtle instrument used to finance every TV programme allows the networks to have the income needed for their survival. One might debate at length on this subject, but rather than the past it is appropriate to think of the future.
In the future it is difficult to imagine a voluntary choice to watch an advertisement, whereas at present the TV user must passively the advertising on each programme. As a matter of fact, the more interesting a programme , the more advertisements it contains. What will happen when the TV user will become a TV protagonist? If I am in a position to choose, will I still choose to watch programmes full of advertisements? And again, how should advertisements be introduced inside the new telecomputer?
These are only some of the questions, but they are enough to explain the reason why the large interests that at present rotate in the televi sion world and thus in the advertising world are clearly in opposition to the new way of considering the telecomputer This is certainly the real problem to solve before passing from traditional to interactive television.
Who will finance the new TV programmes and how? How will advertising spots be in the future? Will advertising continue to be as we know it today?
There will certainly be a transition stage, but the information acience moves at a giddy speed, and what took years before now occurs in a matter of seconds.
Let us have some fun conjecturing on the advertising of the near future.
Excluding the total absence of advertising (pleasant idea but not quite conceivable), let us see some of the alternatives.
Certainly most of the advertisements could be inserted in the introductory pages of the main suppliers of information, next to their symbol. Another possibility could be supplied by the various selection menus that could accommodate advertisements Of course, also films and transmissions of a various nature could contain TV spots, as now occurs in traditional TV.
The real innovation could be a new type of publicity, no longer limited to simple slogans and short spots, but actual documentaries both on the producer and on the characteristics peculiar to each product, with evidence and explanations on the manner of use or employment. Many firms are inserting their catalogues in the Internet network, with written information and detailed images. The various producers could reach the final user directly, skipping several rings in the distribution chain; in fact, the presentation of the products listed in their catalogues could be greatly detailed, with wordings A images and films, and the price lists related to various levels.
Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that the teleprotagonist will be in a position to place an order directly from his home for any kind of goods, simply by using the tuner of his telecomputer. Therefore, hard times await small merchants and tradesmen who will see their role more and more reduced. Hard times also for old-style publicity agents who will have to change their kind of job completely so as to attract the interest of the new users who are no longer passive but protagonists also in the choice of advertisements. Hence a greater awareness in the area of publicity, but with frontiers yet to be discovered and invented, with ample space for moving around and thus new opportunities.