October 17, 2019

Regarding Daytime TV

I had a few minutes the other day between errands and I flipped on the old TV. I immediately realized that the percentage of ads per hour during the day were the same as later in the evening but the type of ads were drastically different than the evening advertisements. It seems the pharmaceutical and automotive advertisements were clearly in the majority in the evening while the daytime ads were heavily leaning toward class action suits by out of state law firms, donations to prevent cruelty to animals, life alert badges that promise the elderly immediate response after a slip or fall, and the always faithful ads by Colonial Penn whose costs will never go up regardless of your age or medical condition.

I watched as several ads that specialized in providing for your “final expenses” with a very affordable policy with a low monthly payment; next came an ad by Dr. Ho to relieve your back pain with his wonder making “de-stressing belt.” Not to be forgotten, Bayer Aspirin advertised its benefits as an “essential” ingredient to your health maintenance program after checking with your doctor, of course. How about the grandparents whole life insurance plan provided by Gerber called the “Grow Up Plan” for just pennies a day starting with $10,000 dollars of coverage.

The very best advertisement was the “iGrow” hair growing helmet that was guaranteed to renew your hair growing function in 120 days. Two bottles of “iGrow” hair formula accompanied the helmet if you ordered with your credit card that same day. Exactly how the “iGrow” helmet worked was a little hazy but it did emit a red light that was supposed to stimulate hair growth. If not completely satisfied, a full refund was offered after six months although I wouldn’t hold my breath that the number listed on your screen would be operational in 180 days.

Programming leaves a little bit to be desired. Some of the “In the Heat of the Night” episodes had to be filmed 40 years ago. I also loved replays of the famous Yankee games from the mid-1980s where I had a hard time remembering all the old Yankee players. One show that appeared during the day that I watched was a replay of an old contest by the New England Patriots in 2004 or, as I flipped channels, I could watch Star Ship Troopers from 1997 – a real hit back then. Fortunately, I was not a subscriber to the Sony Movie Channel so I could not watch “Bandidos” from 1967.

Television keeps making advances every year with more high definition programs and television sets that now exceed 70 inches but why is cable not advancing the same with programming? I suspect it is for a number of reasons. One reason is the audience during the day is not the high income youthful market that the advertisers want to reach, and two, why spend the money to fill the day with more up to date programs and movies when it is just as easy to fill the available time during the day with cheap old movies and re-runs of re-runs that keep costs down but also allows for the cable company to advertise 200+ channels even though most of them were not worth watching at any time. Sad but true.

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Written by
Donald Wittmer

DONALD WITTMER is a retired business executive who held key roles in the automotive and banking sectors. For a time, he also served as a Fiscal Agency Manager for the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree from Cincinnati's Xavier University, an M.A. in business management from Central Michigan University, and earned certification in bank operations from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A husband, father, and grandfather, he teaches part-time at the Kent Place School for Girls in Summit, New Jersey.

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Written by Donald Wittmer
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