There has been much hand-wringing over the effect of time-shifting on television commercials. This becomes particularly acute with systems like BeyondTV that automatically strip out commercials. The frightening prospects of automatic commercial deletions has led to questions over whether it amounts to theft. TiVo made an effort to combat the economic effects by layering their own commercials over fast-forwarding.
My hope has always been that it would result in television commercials people actually want to see. After all, I suspect a number of people record the superbowl to skip the gameplay and get to the commercials. I can imagine hanging through commercials if they followed the model of BMW films, for example.
But it seems the KFC has taken another, perhaps more gimmicky, approach, reminiscent of the “vanity cards” that showed up at the end of Dharma & Greg. They have embedded a “secret code” in their commercials that will result in a coupon for a free sandwich. OK, it turns out that if you go to their “Buffalo Snacker” website, they have a copy of the commercial that can be streamed and paused, but clearly this is meant to capture the PVR audience in some way.
Interesting approach. It amounts to a kind of micropayment for viewing commercials. If this could be instituted in some way, it would allow for people to aim to record commercials. But for it to really work, there needs to be a commercial listing service, so that PVRs can go out and snatch interesting commercials.
Now if someone were really enterprising, and had the right connections, they would buy time on one of the cable channels that is fairly widely distributed, and during the infomercial hours (say, 3am), air an hour of commercials that have similar “special offers.” It would be the video version of a the “Value-Pack” coupons you get in the mail.
(via PVR Wire)