David Shaw, the Los Angeles Times' media critic, recently wrote about his annoyance with the ubiquity of advertising -- no matter how much you try to tune it out, it's still there. "Can't we just have TiVos implanted in our brains?" he asked, and then related a story of a New York friend who stands up in the theater and turns his back in protest when the ads run before motion pictures.
I feel the friend's pain. Before one "major" movie event last year, I was subjected to nearly 30 minutes -- we counted -- of ads and coming attractions. That's a huge amount of time to add if, for instance, one already happened to be settling in for a big movie epic, a la one of the Lord of the Rings films.
You can see a lot of basic supply and demand at work here. Supply: advertisements. Demand: a means to avoid them. Supply: A means to avoid advertisements. Demand: A means to get around the means to avoid them. It's a textbook illustration of why supply is said to meet demand, rather than create it or be created by it: The friction of the meeting causes the heat.
That's why the more options that come about to skirt ads -- things like on-demand content, TiVo, and satellite radio -- the more creative advertisers will become as they work to reach us. (Think mobile-phone spam, and even ads on foreheads and pinup-model cleavage, the latter of which is currently a steal on eBay at $8,500.) Creative or desperate? Your call. But you can bet that the further we try to move away from the advertisers, the more in-your-face they'll become. Step back at your own peril.
Both TiVo and eBay are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.