Sunday, January 22, 2012

PTI: Marketing Genius

It's Sunday night, and I have been sitting and watching a fair amount of TV today. I watched the Patriots-Ravens game. I feel awful for the Raven's kicker, but I was rooting for the Patriots. Hopefully they get a chance to redeem themselves against the Giants. I got caught in the middle of the typical Dateline murder mystery. I also watched various other segments of programs that caught my eye as I was channel surfing. I have seen bits and pieces of various commercials, but none of the ones that are actually on the program that were "intended" for me. I am no marketing genius, but I do know that companies choose to have their commercials air during special shows to have the commercials reach their respective audience demographic. My constant channel surfing throws a proverbial wrench in this marketing plan. When I should be watching the commercials of my show, I am trying to find other things that will keep my attention until my show returns. There is one show, however, that has been able to beat my tendencies and keep my attention throughout the commercial break. This show would be Pardon the Interruption (PTI) on ESPN. The camaraderie that Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon share is fantastic. The camaraderie that these two share with their sidekick, Tony Reali (aka. "Stat Boy") is also like no other show on television. Their ramblings about the hottest sports stories are intense, passionate, and funny. The show is very intriguing, and I find myself waiting everyday for 5:30PM EST to arrive so that I can see what will be said. Following a recent change to the way they film the show, I am also finding myself on the edge of my seat during commercial breaks. Half-way through the commercial break, there is an in-show break-in. In other words, they cut from the commercials to go back into the studio. Tony and Mike must know that they are being filmed, but this time offers the viewer a live look into the show during the "break." The viewer gets a glimpse of what happens during the break, and there are often hilarious conversations that ensue. This calculated change is marketing genius. It keeps viewers on the channel and with their attention on the TV. Not only are they waiting to see what Tony and Mike are doing during the break, but they are actually seeing the commercials that play in this break, as well. This is good for the viewers. They get to see Tony and Mike take part in more friendly banter. This is great for the organizations running the commercials. They get an attentive and engaged audience paying attention to their commercials. It's a win-win. The following clip shows what I am referring to: PTI Commercial Break-in. The break-in occurs at the 1:20 mark. You can see the break away from the Sony commercial. This clip happened to focus on Kornheiser's misunderstanding of the soccer offsides rule. He was actually kind of right, but his explanation didn't have enough ammunition to back himself up. I felt Mr. Anthony Reali's frustration on this day, but let's be honest....segments like this make the show the entertainment juggernaut that it is.

Optimus Primetime

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