Polluting The Mental Environment

TV advertising isn’t dead, but it seems like the ad industry is deliberately helping to kill it off. That’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.
After spending an hour watching Fox News’ special on global warming last Sunday, I kept a running list of all the ads I saw–all 32 of them. And all I saw was a waste of ad money.

Why was I watching a TV show on global warming and no one tried to sell me a hybrid car or a bicycle? I was in the mood to listen. Whether a product represented a major lifestyle change or a little eco-friendly gesture, any advertiser seeking to appeal to an environmentally conscious audience had their chance—and blew it.
Now, I’m not a media planner. So I couldn’t tell you if there’s a way to always ensure that appropriate messages match the appropriate TV programming. But as TV ratings come under increasing scrutiny, the key to television advertising’s future effectiveness may not come through numbers, but through the relevance and appropriateness of when and where people see that advertising. Of course, you can’t convert that idea into an equation and slap it into an Excel document to justify your 15% commission.

Any media people out there want to jump in on this one?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I don’t know what it’s like for television, but newspapers and local radio have people who sell their advertising space/time. One of the ways they do this is to say, “We’re running a feature on XYZ, which would be a perfect tie-in for your product.” Maybe TV does it differently, just selling the same block of time every week to one sponsor. It seems as though a little flexibility would be an improvement.