As I’ve aged (like a fine wine, of course), I have found that I have started picking up some of the stereotypical behavior of old folks, such as running slower and napping more. I have also found that I find more things annoying. I used to infer that was because there are, in fact, more annoying things. However, I am willing to consider that I am suffering from the same syndrome that causes folks to yell “get off my lawn, you damn kids.”
One thing that has triggered my inner grump is advertising. Almost no one likes it, but I have found certain things especially annoying. One is something almost everyone finds aggravating: when commercials jack up the volume. I’ve noticed this most when watching stuff online, such as the Daily Show or the Colbert Report. I’ll barely be able to hear Jon Stewart’s witty liberalisms when suddenly I will be deafened by the roar of someone pitching Rogaine or some new smart phone. Another is that such inserted ads often seem to screw up the show’s playback. For example, an ad for a car might take over and run another Flash app, then miserably fail to hand control back to the episode I am trying to watch. This, as one might imagine, hardly inspires me to buy the product that has just annoyed me.
One type of ad is one that I find more odd than annoying. It is the ad within the ad. For example, I noticed that some previews (which are just ads) for games will require me to watch the preview for another game before I can watch that preview. In some cases, Game A’s preview will have an ad for game B, while B’s preview will have an ad for game B. Maybe the ad business is so bad that even advertisers have to sell ad space in their ads. I suspect this might lead to some sort of infinite regress of advertising in which for each ad n you must watch another ad, n+1, before you can see n.
My overall view is that I recognize that advertising is how I am able to get all kinds of stuff, like TV shows, for “free”: in return for being exposed to the ads, I get something I want. The advertisers sell stuff and the folks who sell advertising time/space get money. So, everyone sort of wins. Of course, the whole point of advertising is to make the consumer want to buy products. However, these sorts of advertising approaches/problems make me less likely to buy since they make me feel annoyance. So, advertisers, be less annoying.