The Battle for the Lower Third Of Your TV Screen

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The Battle for the Lower Third Of Your TV Screen

Postby TeMerc » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:46 pm

By Claire Atkinson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/11/2008

Viewers who settled in to watch The Incredibles on NBC after their Thanksgiving Day meal last November no doubt expected to see their fair share of commercials. What they probably didn't expect was a sight somewhat odder than anything to do with the story of an undercover superhero family: a Target shopping cart trawling across the screen during the film.

Such sights are becoming more familiar by the day. The lower third of the viewing screen, once part of the wide-open prairie for programming, is turning into the latest land of opportunity for Madison Avenue. Advertisers more and more are claiming this real estate for themselves in the ongoing fight for viewer attention

Burned by the advent of ad-zapping digital-video-recorder machines, sponsors seeking new ways to get face time during screen time have ironically taken a page from the TV-network-promotion book. Network marketers have been pushing the envelope with more intrusive ad forms in their own battle against DVRs, and advertisers are aping the practice. While some cable networks are actively using ad bugs as a bargaining chip in deal-making, NBC, for one, is not out selling them as an ad unit, although it will occasionally come up with lower-third ideas, such as the one for Target, to help broaden a buy.

nwz Continued @ Broadcasting Cable
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