TV Advertisers Take Note: The PVR Has Made You Invisible

tvI'm still a newcomer to the PVR (or is it a DVR?), having only taken the plunge in March 2009.

As you all predicted, it has radically changed the way I watch television. In fact, I don't watch anything in real-time anymore, unless it's a live sporting event. Appointment viewing for all other programming has completely disappeared.

There are two primary reasons for this switch: convenience and ad avoidance. I decide when I'm going to watch The Simpsons or Lost or 30 Rock. We press play when we're ready, and we fast forward all commercials. If it's something we want to watch close to real-time, like the Academy Awards, we start it about an hour after it starts so we can ignore everything television advertisers throw at us.

Some shows we'll watch On Demand with Rogers on channel 309. We're currently going through Jason Schwartzman's Bored to Death that way, but we can pause, fast forward, etc. There are other programs we deem "time sensitive", like Saturday Night Live and 60 Minutes. We try to get to those within 48 hours of airing, whereas I've still got Family Guy episodes from November to watch.

If it's not sports, I don't see the ads. Because I don't see as many TV ads as I used to, I find I'm less tolerant of them. The Pepsi Cheer Nation ads, for example, have me infuriated, and I'm in full Pepsi-attack mode. We'll see if the Star prints the article I submitted.

The PVR must be the worst invention as far as broadcasters are concerned. Their revenue comes from advertisement sales, and the PVR has made ads invisible.

It's just too bad my only defence against that insulting and sickening Pepsi campaign is the mute button.

Share this entry

Comments (9 - click here to join in!)


I just change channels or go to the laptop. That way, I can 'punish' the worst offenders (Tim Horton's, come on down) by not spending $ on their products.

Now..if someone comes out with a PMR -Pierre McGuire Remover....

January 3, 2010 @ 7:01 PM


Some shows are inserting 30 second clips for the shows randomly in commercials to combat this.

January 3, 2010 @ 7:36 PM


Broadcasters have known this for a while, but are just coming around to the idea of embedded advertising and product placement. I too use the pvr for everything, but Mike, you and I will be responsible for actors making random comments about how great it was to drive in to work in their 'new Ford Taurus' etc...

January 3, 2010 @ 10:36 PM


There has to be some sort of conspiracy out there. I still have a functioning Hitachi VCR from the early 90s. When I bought it, I was told it was "the" machine, with a focus on the "go to" and "skip" functions. The latter was particularly useful, as pressing "skip" would forward the tape - you guessed it - 30 seconds. With today's digital devices, how difficult could it actually be to code a 30, 60, 120, 180 second fast forward? Truthfully - not, but we do not presently have that feature, do we. So much for (digital) progress. Or is it score one for the old school.

January 3, 2010 @ 10:55 PM


The feature existed in earlier DVRs and such... but then the TV companies, and cable providers (who need to partner with the DVR makers... hence the Rogers or Bell only DVRs) requested that such features be removed in favour of the "not perfect" fast forward.

I know someone with a VCR that automatically skips commercials... and yet the DVRs don't do it.

January 4, 2010 @ 12:13 AM


Isn't Ted Danson great in Bored to Death

January 4, 2010 @ 2:17 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, Ted Danson is reaching is zenith while nobody notices!

Bored to Death is fantastic.

January 4, 2010 @ 2:19 PM

El Torpedo

Advertisers are just going to get more creative (and ultimately more obnoxious) with their tactics. TD Bank is a major sposor of a show on CBC (can't remember which one at the moment, so one of the characters actually works in a TD Branch on the show. It will only get worse.

January 4, 2010 @ 9:08 PM

Leave a comment

Only 9 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!

« Pearl Jam - Just Breathe Mandy Muffin is a Lost Cause but Mz Kitty Demure Gets It »