I am not sure if anyone else has noticed, but my mother and me have noticed lately how LOUD commercials really are compared to the shows that were previously just on. The increase in volume for commercials is so loud and disruptive it really makes me want to just press the mute button, which apparently the government has been recommending. After listening to this podcast, I have realized that the loudness from the television can be due to the change in technology. For example, the switch to digital was said to possibly increase the loudness. I think that it is a great idea, that the federal government is impeding to regulate the loudness of advertisements because I personally think that the loudness of television ads can be very harmful to some peoples hears. I do understand how many citizens of America could feel threatened that this is another aspect of life that is being regulated by the government, but as the two at the end of the interview said, really there are many things regulated already by the government. This will just be another thing to add to the list.
To be honest, and perhaps I have a hearing deficit, but I have not noticed the increased volume in commercials. Maybe I have impaired hearing because of the loudness of commercials. Regardless, I will definitely be paying more attention to the volume disparity when a commercial occurs. I am not surprised that commercials are louder than the show at hand because advertisements will always go at great lengths to grab our attention. The louder the advertisement, the greater chance we have of noticing the product it’s selling. I am glad that Congress is enforcing regulations about the drastic volume increase because viewers should have turn down the mute button for the sake of preserving their hearing. Advertisements are already in our life enough and should not be the reason why we go deaf with them.
I meant to say viewers should “not” have to turn on the mute button.
Very interesting piece of legislation here. I have often been bothered by the loudness of television commercials compared to the programming. It might be in the best interest of advertisers to have an extremely low volume commercial, thus catching people’s attention, encouraging them to lean in and listen. I found it interesting that the response from the FCC when the complaints were coming in was to “use the mute button,” as the reporter said ” the FCC was in a de-regulatory phase and did not want to be in charge of the regulation of volume.” Now they are making technology to average out acceptable sound volumes. Anyways, I am glad that this legislation has a lot of support.
To any and all recreational television consumers it seems as if it has become undeniably clear that a rather drastic and overt shift in audio occurs whenever the Geico Gecko attempts to sell you insurance, or the Kiefer Kia Princess parades around a car. Commercials are loud. And according to Elizabeth Williamson, they have been this way for a long, long time. So with this being understood, I could not help but begin to imagine the reasons why. What could possibly be the benefit of developing a jarring and uncomfortably loud advertisement? Besides the immediate and somewhat obvious response that the advertisers are attempting to demand the attention of those viewing, what else could there be? As discussed in this podcast, there seems to exist a clear and universal hatred for these loud commercials. A hatred that runs so deep it calls for legal and legislative action to take place that is unifying Congress, Democrats and Republicans in ways unheard of, and being compared to the saving of 50 million children of a potentially fatal ailment. So I wonder, if there is such a public and dominant despise of these loud commercials, than why has it been a continuous practice of the ad industry for over 50 years. Throughout the countless years of extensive money and effort devoted to market and consumer research, successful advertisers and television companies have been confronted with the idea that “people hate loud advertisements,” and yet nothing has changed. When confronted with these television commercials, I strongly feel as if there is something else in play. Something measurable, something effective, something that is beneficial to those who are choosing to utilize the accelerated volume. With today’s technology, many of us utilize our computers and the Internet for T.V. show viewing, and I would be certainly surprised of the ads observed within this medium exhibit the exact same audio increase. Although this legislation may temporarily bring peace to the apparent millions who are outraged at their increased volume, I would be hard-pressed to say that it’s going away.
I think we’ve all been bothered by the difference in volume from program to advertisement. I think it’s interesting that advertising agencies think that loudness will cause their viewers to pay more attention, when actually it often leads to the viewer turning down or even muting the commercial. I would think that with all the complaints coming in to the FCC from viewers, word would eventually get back to the advertisers that their strategy was not working. Personally I don’t watch a lot of TV, so this legislature won’t have a great effect on me.
I loved listening to this podcast for the presence of loud and annoying commercials has been an on going joke within my family for years. After hearing that the Federal Government is finally going to regulate to loudness of these advertisements I was thrilled. I personally do not watch that much television, but when I do the loudness of the commercials is always present, annoying and loud enough to hurt my ears. I was surprised to see that this regulation has been 50 years in the making and that it took over a 1000 complains to make something happen. You would think that advertisers would be aware of the annoyance they are causing by using such loud commercials, and that this is not appealing to many consumers. Many times these commercials are so loud it causes the audience to mute the entire commercial. I am happy to see that this legislation will bring some peace into our homes by allowing us to not constantly have our finger on the mute button, and worry about when the next over the top and loud commercial will strike.
I have always noticed how loud commercials are when watching TV and I hate commercials to begin with. I usually end up muting them because I hate the extra noise and can’t stand watching them. As Bob says, it requires a person to be proactive participants in the passive exercise of TV watching. A specific commercial that comes to mind is the OxiClean commericials with Bill Mays sounding like he was yelling at viewers the benefits of Oxiclean. The volume on these commercials is always alarmingly high and once it begins viewers are either forced to pay attention or turn it off immediately. It is surprising that people have been complaining about commercial volumes for 50 plus years and finally something is being done about it. Below is a clip, showing how Bill Mays practices his enthusiastic voice for his commercials. RIP Bill Mays
I remember when I heard about this legislation last year going through Congress. Is it me, or has there been no real discernible shift in commercial loudness? Just the other day I was watching TV with my roommates (i.e we were all on the couch, Roommate A on her laptop, Roommate B on her smartphone, me trying to get some reading done for class, and the TV was on…) and I distinctly remember the TV show being quieter than the commercials. In fact, I asked them to turn down the volume. My dad is getting a little hard of hearing, and he cranks the volume up on the TV at home to hear the quieter dialogue scenes–and then has to mute or drastically lower the volume for the commercials. I really don’t think much has changed. I understand the reasoning behind advertising being louder than TV programming, but it’s also annoying (really: a commercial as loud as the bomb explosion on the show?). In contrast, I don’t think the volume changes at all on the Internet between commercials and TV shows (correct me if I’m wrong). I wonder why? (P.S. That Crazy Eddie commercial made me laugh. My dad showed me one of those when I was little–he’s famous on the East Coast apparently. Nice one, On the Media, nice one.)
I still find it funny that advertisers would think that making a commercial louder would make an audience pay attention. Especially with the general knowledge that many people are annoyed with commercials to begin with. In my case, a loud commercial simply makes me either change the channel, mute it, or more commonly now Tivo it and skip them all together. Using volume as a method of gaining attention had become a crutch for advertisers instead of actually coming up with an innovative and interesting ad to catch the viewers attention. I’m very happy with this legislation.
I can’t say I agree with advertisers trying to make their commercials louder, but I can see why they think it may be beneficial. I have noticed that commercial volume does fluctuate and at times it has bothered me but I can never recall a time where I have muted the commercial just because I found it too loud. I hardly ever watch TV commercials I usually just switch channels when they come on but not because of the volume though. But, when it comes to radio or Pandora I usually just suck it up and listen. And when these commercials have a song, jingle, or slogan, I’d have to believe that the louder it is the better chance someone has of hearing and remembering it.
P.S. I also remember seeing these commercial on the internet awhile back and it’s volume definitely having an affect on me.
I would say it’s ridiculous that government regulation is required for this, but it appears this has been a problem for over 50 years. I would think advertisers would figure out that loud commercials equals an audience that is ultimately tuned out due to the mute button or absolutely annoyed and boycotts in spite. Either this is too much logic for advertisers to understand or data that I am unaware of has proved otherwise.
I am so excited that the government is passing a bill regulating the volume of commercials. I have noticed that some commercials have been so painfully loud i have to scramble for the remote and press mute. It is hard to believe that this has been a problem that has lasted 50 years and only until now does it look like it will be solved. Williamson said the COM Act passed in part with the help of new technology that could measure the appropriate sound of a commercial. It is interesting that it has taken this long to come up with a piece of technology that doesn’t sound all that technical. Either way I am happy the Act is going to pass, one thing that disturbed me though was when the senator who helped pass the bill said she is more recognizable for passing this bill than if she were to save 50 million children from disease. I know it’s a joke and an exaggeration but she’s probably right.
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Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.).