Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Conning the viewer

Indicate that the return to the show is immanent when its not.
  [vote for,

On commercial stations where i come from, a television shows return from an ad-break is signalled by a 15-30 second preview of the nights future entertainment. As soon as this "info-mercial" begins in my household, the channel flicking stops. If television stations could randomize their previews slots, placing them perhaps third last or penultimately, then viewers would think that the show is about to restart. In fact, they may even watch the succeeding commercial with the belief that "the preview info-mercial has just finished, the show must start soon". I predict that this ploy for stations may only work in the short term as viewers will start to catch on. I don't expect any long term effects on ratings.
phlegm, Oct 18 2003

All-Commercial TV Station... http://www.halfbake...cial_20TV_20Station
... to fool channel surfers. [snarfyguy, Oct 04 2004]


       One thing you get in the US that you don't in the UK, on the radio at least, is the presenter doing the adverts as well as his "piece". Makes it hard to distinguish between the crap and the, well, mostly crap. Maybe they could explore this on TV too.   

lubbit, Oct 18 2003

       Bone. I too have grown to rely on those previews. They make fast forwarding through commercials on recorded TV shows quite easy...
swamilad, Oct 18 2003

       They're called "bumpers," and in some cases are legally required to be on both ends of the commercial break--otherwise, they usually don't exist at all. Very specifically, any show that targets a youth demographic is required to have them, to distinguish between the show and the commercials (which is more and more necessary, given today's Saturday morning lineup). For more adult television, you'll usually only see them if the show has a low share; if it's a high-rated show, they'd rather sell the time (probably 30 seconds over the course of half an hour) to advertisers.   

       Does anyone who actually watches network TV know whether they still have those "hang on, we're coming back, honest" bits? You know, "MacGyver ... will return in a moment."
darksasami, Oct 20 2003

       // "MacGyver ... will return in a moment." //   

       "Awwww, but I was watching Duckman!"
Detly, Oct 20 2003

       //One thing you get in the US that you don't in the UK, on the radio at least, is the presenter doing the adverts as well as his "piece". //   

       What [lubbit] says isn't right. We do have these spoken adverts in the UK. We call them liners, but the difference is that they're usually straight scripts rather than the personal 'pleas' from jocks.
Fishrat, Oct 21 2003

       On ITV they have a small black/white block in the top right corner of the screen just before the adverts, this disappears just before the adverts finish. I have not noticed it on any other channels.

Irrelevant on BBC1 and BBC2...
silverstormer, Oct 21 2003

       +1 from me. This is my kind of idea. Sure it's bad, but it has the ring of the inevitable, or the likely-to-exist-soon to it.   

       See also (link) - another way to trick viewers into watching commercials.
snarfyguy, Oct 21 2003

       As you point out, this idea is one of a class of ideas, the name of which I can't remember but which have the defining property that their popularity necessarily causes the end of their usefulness. For example "Stand up in the cinema so that you can see over the heads of the people in the seats in front of you". For this reason alone it gets a fish from me. If I were, however, a cynical marketing executive I would do it now - before everyone else does!
dobtabulous, Oct 21 2003


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