My wife and I were late to the “Mr. Robot” train, the USA Network program that’s the buzz hit of Summer.
So, we went to our XFINITY On Demand section (we pay Comcast a small fortune for this forest of entertainment). We found Mr. Robot: episode one, and hit PLAY.
A title informed us the program would contain commercials that couldn’t be fast forwarded or skipped. We were a captured audience.
The show began. It was captivating, fresh, unlike anything else on TV–– yes, yes, yes–– AND STOP! Commercial break.
A spot for a medicine that treats an ailment neither of us has. Apparently, the people taking this drug lead active, healthy lives and are ecstatic. Good for them.
Let’s get back to “Mr. Robot”… WAIT!
Another commercial, for a luxury car. Beautiful, shiny sheet metal driven by impossibly attractive people on wet streets at night. An announcer recited some gibberish (probably verbatim from the creative brief). The gorgeous couple smiled and exited the car as a crowd of pathetic fools looked on, miserable with envy. Super: logo, inane tagline.
Back to “Mr. Robot”!!! NOPE.
We had to watch another drug ad. We didn’t have that ailment either, but the people who take the miracle drug live very happy lives (maybe I’ll ask my doctor about the drug whose name looks like a bad Scrabble tray–– nah).
Mr. Robot finally returned, for a bit. THEN, there was another commercial break, and guess what? The exact same commercials played again.
So it went. Scraps of fresh and engaging “Mr. Robot” doled out, followed by the same boring commercials we’d seen. Over and over again.
By the end of this ordeal, I went to the iTunes Store and bought the other “Mr. Robot” episodes without commercial interruption. I vow NEVER to buy the luxury car or those medicines who sponsored our forced On Demand showing.
Those stupid advertisers paid money to get me to hate their products.
Be smart, marketers, media buyers. Just because you have a captured audience, you don’t have the right to torture them by showing the same spots repeatedly.
Maybe I’ll be like Mr. Robot and hack those companies who forced me to watch their crappy spots…