Do you like to watch television? Based upon national statistics that indicate that most kids watch more than four hours of television every day, we'd say that most of you probably have a favorite television show or two…or three…or ten!
Do you prefer cartoons? Or would you rather be watching sports? Some of you might prefer watching television shows about food, fashion, or home renovation. With hundreds of channels of cable television to choose from, it's not difficult to find something to capture your imagination.
No matter what you choose to watch, you're likely to experience the same annoyance that everyone else watching television experiences. Just when your program is getting good, it gets interrupted. In fact, it keeps happening every five to ten minutes. What's to blame for those annoying interruptions? Commercials, of course!
Whether they're pitching a new toy, a fast food restaurant, a refreshing deodorant, or a powerful laundry detergent, commercials (also known as advertisements) regularly interrupt your television viewing with marketing messages. What's the deal? Why would television stations insist upon constantly interrupting your favorite programs?
Even though they interrupt your favorite program, commercials are necessary so that you can watch those programs. Without the money businesses pay television stations to show commercials, those television stations wouldn't be able to pay for the programming you enjoy. It costs millions upon millions of dollars to develop television programming, and those costs are funded by selling air time to businesses to advertise their products and services.
For over 60 years now, television has been the largest mass medium used for advertising. It's more effective than radio, newspapers, magazines, and even the Internet. Why? Television commercials appeal to both the ears (sound) and the eyes (sight and motion). Plus, television reaches over 94% of the population in the United States.
No other medium can compete with the pervasiveness and effectiveness of targeted television advertising. Businesses know that a television commercial can do more for their products and services than any other type of advertisement. That's why they spend a lot of money developing interesting commercials, and they pay even more money to get their commercials shown during the highest-rated television programs, such as the Super Bowl.
So why don't television stations show old commercials? The answer is based upon simple business principles. Television stations show the commercials that businesses pay them to broadcast. Businesses tend to focus on their latest and greatest products and services.
Paying a television station to show old commercials simply wouldn't make sense. If you were an automotive manufacturer, would you pay a television station to broadcast a commercial advertising the car you made last year? Likewise, if you were a movie studio, would you pay a television station to broadcast a commercial for a movie that isn't in theaters any longer?
Of course, some businesses have products that don't really change much, if at all, from year to year. For example, many soda manufacturers have sold the same drinks for decades. They continue to advertise in order to maintain and grow their market share. While some businesses may occasionally run old commercials that were popular years ago, most tend to continue to create new commercials in order to keep things fresh and attract new customers with advertisements they haven't seen before.