While I was in France a couple of weeks ago, we happened to see on television one of those “funny ads from other countries” programs, what looked like an American show with a French host stitched in. You’ve seen these same shows in the United States. They are usually fairly entertaining, and at least in France, they blurred the product names and logos so it was really about the humor and pathos in the advertising rather than pitching more product. And of course, everyone claims to watch the Super Bowl only for the ads at half-time. So it occurs to me that someone at ReplayTV is missing the boat by dropping the advertisement-skipping feature of the company’s personal video recorder. You know what they should be doing? Remember AdCritic when it was free? ReplayTV has a chance to do the same thing: make people want to see the ads. I recommend ReplayTV try this: 1. Separate the advertisements out from the programming. Eliminate duplicates. 2. Allow ReplayTV users to view the ads, and rate them. 3. Upload those ratings (with the ReplayTV users’ permission) to a central server, and compile them. 4. Then upload a “best of” or “top 20” permanent listing in each users’ ReplayTV. 5. Users can watch that list at will by choosing from ads sorted by rating. They will watch them, and just like one of the ain’t-ads-great television shows, ReplayTV can slip a few real sponsors into the mix.
Posted July 21, 2003