Sunday, October 14, 2007

A New Marketing Generation

I love having digital cable – over 500 channels of nothing.

Kidding aside, I actually do enjoy the benefits of having a digital cable package. I get all the movie channels, onDemand channels which allow me to stop, start, pause and rewind movies and shows with ease, and superior picture and sound.

I get so many channels, and choices it can take a while to figure out what I want to watch.

Sometimes I just surf the channels and onDemand items to see what peaks my interest. As I was surfing through some of the onDemand stuff, I came across an interesting section – station promos.

This section had commercials promoting all the additional channels I could get – everything from DejaVU oldies, to ByteTV for men, to Discovery Civilization and Fox News.

It was interesting browsing some of these – because I do get some of these but never watch ‘em simply because I don’t know anything about them.

But there was a more business-evil reason to provide these station promos – marketing.

It used to be, the way the cable companies suckered you into paying for more channels was they’d give you a free preview of the additional channels for a limited time. The theory being, you’d get hooked on some shows on these channels, and when the free preview period ended, you’d want to continue watching the shows enough to pay for the channels.

They still dole out the free previews – right now I get Teletoon Retro on free preview. Teletoon Retro shows all the cartoons I grew up with – The Bugs Bunny and Tweetie Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo and one of my favourites from my youth – Fat Albert. Hey hey hey!

But now, the cable companies have learned a new way to market to a new generation – an onDemand generation.

With all the onDemand channels, it is easy to just put up some commercials onDemand, and sit back and watch the money roll into the cable company’s pockets.

I was watching some of these promo channels and thought it might be nice to get these channels too. I almost picked up the phone and placed my order.

But then it occurred to me that I still get over 500 channels, and although my mother tells me I’m a bright boy, I can’t possibly watch all those channels at once.

I sometimes don’t even know what channels I do receive, simply because I get so many. I’ll click onto a channel, wondering what it is and discover for myself a new world of entertainment.

I guess that’s also why I like digital cable – sometimes the journey is just as exciting as the shows on the air.

Though one thing has been bugging me – this whole notion that the cartoons I grew up on are “retro.” You know you’re old when they call something you grew up with “retro.”

Now I feel old.

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