I saw my first pop-up commercial yesterday. I was watching the local San Francisco Giants game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on our new Comcast Sports Net Bay Area (what a mouthful!). I thought I had gotten use to the pop up adds to remind me what I was watching or the ones that told me of some other show I didn't want to see. But then it happened. I was completely relaxed and enjoying the game when out of nowhere, a pop-up ad, accompanied by sound affects, jumped up in front of me advertising the movie "88 Minutes" opening in the next few days. It lasted about 5 or 6 seconds and then it disappeared. I felt like I had been ambushed. It jolted me completely out of the game.
It reminded me of the advertisements movie houses did in the 1950's where they showed an advertisement so fast the customers didn't know it. These ads told customers to buy pop corn or drinks. Luckily, those were outlawed. At least I saw this one. But the feeling felt the same to me. I felt so helpless. I know it may sound like I'm making a big deal out of something so small. But all I could think about is this was the first wave of commercials in programs to see if I would object. Next time, the spots will go for 10 seconds, then 15 and finally a full 30 second commercial in the program.
I use to enjoy relaxing watching a program on TV. Now, I can't help thinking I have to be ready to ignore the eventual pop-up add that may happen at any moment. I like to call this Ambush Advertising.
At least I still have the power to not watch the program. I doubt I will give up TV. But knowing I will have to endure this process to see a program I enjoy, I'll think twice before I watch it.