Paying for the Free Market

Over the last few weeks I have watched a lot of OTA tv. Some things I have recorded but mostly I just surf the channels looking for something interesting.  OTA tv is filled with channels of old sitcoms, old movies, old westerns, news, public broadcasts, cop shows, and shopping. I usually watch the evening network news, some local news, and some of the Sunday morning news shows. Other than that it is a mixture of anything I find entertaining. Sometimes I have the tv on in the background to break the silence and I’m not really paying much attention at all.  I do have online access to just about any show I want, but they all use my data so I try to limit them as much as possible. 

As it became clear how exasperating and how much of our time was exposed to commercials, I figured I might as well make a game of it. As I watched the endless assault of marketing, I realized that the commercial breaks are flooded with several categories of ads.  I was pretty sure some ads were way more prevalent than others so I started tabulating type and quantity just to see which products were pushed the most. 

This study of commercials is far from scientific as I realize the target for OTA tv may be quite different than cable or satellite, and that even during different shows there would be a different audience to exploit. During the day, the audience would be more retired people, and science and news programs would probably be a different target. The psychology of marketing is way above me and I don’t pretend to understand much of it. This was just a fun way to waste a little time. 

Some commercials ran longer than others and I made mental footnotes of length but did not tabulate it in any statistic. There are endless categories of products and I took some liberty in my grouping, however I didn’t stray far from the idea of the product.  

We all know that marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry, and without all the money spent on advertising, things could be a lot cheaper. And marketing isn’t just about commercials. Everything we do online or in a store is being tabulated in databases that track our every whim. Whether we like it or not our privacy is being shared and sold to everyone that wants a piece of our dollar. But I digress. 

Here are the categories in no particular order. See if you can guess who spends the most on advertising? Just comment on the top 5 you think have the highest frequency of ads in my non-scientific game.  I’ll release the results in a few days after everyone that wants to play has seen it. 

1: Cosmetics-

2: Electronics-

3: Insurance-

4: Vehicles-

5:  Detergent-

6:  Travel-

7:  Internet-

8:  Apparel-

9:  Pharmaceutical-

10: Credit Card-

11: Food-

12: Investment-

13: Appliances-

14: Charity-

15: Alcohol-

16: Attorneys-

17: Home Repair-

18: Pets-

19: Real estate-

Most are self-explanatory.  Insurance includes health, auto and home.  I grouped cars, trucks and RVs into vehicles. Food was tough and I tallied even if they advertised a food store. Alcohol can be beer, wine, and whisky. Pets are food or health products. 

5 Responses to “Paying for the Free Market”

  1. Daryl says:

    1. Attorneys (Mesothelioma)
    2. Food
    3. Pharmaceutical
    4 Insurance
    5. Food

  2. Daryl says:

    Oops, Food twice. Make one Vehicles

  3. Dick says:

    I think it completely depends on what programming you are watching. Ads are targeted to the audience the advertisers expect to be watching that particular program. That said, pharmaceuticals are by far the most frequent ads I see on OTA, not that I watch hardly any of it.

  4. Don Lafferty says:

    1 Food
    2 Cosmetics
    3 Pharmaceutical
    4 Attorneys
    5 Vehicles

  5. Donnd says:

    Insurance, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, food. Trying to decide on the last one. Either credit cards or attorneys. I guess I’ll go with attorneys, because the Husband & Wife Law Team sure run a lot of ads.

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