I’ve seen the DVR and the damage done

Okay, so I’m an adman. This means two things: 1. I effectively employ persuasive tactics to enlighten certain audience members — or assist them to change their perspective. And 2. My personal views on advertisements are colored by my savvy of marketing know-how — and, therefore, ads are not effective on me.

Au contraire.

For lately, I’ve fallen victim of my DVR. Yes, the DVR. The one piece of technology most people use to blow by commercials is beginning to get wise. I’ve noticed lately, for instance, that certain OnDemand shows have now rendered the fast forward button useless. They’ve banned it from usage during the show.

Even the networks themselves have found effective tricks to put speed bumps on the road of fast forwarding. Tricks like dipping back into the show, during a commercial break, for only a moment — maybe 10 seconds — before returning to more commercials.

And then there’s the Zen master of the DVR fight: Mad Men on AMC. The fact that it’s an adman show should clue you in to how savvy this little beast can be. First of all, during the transition from show to commercial, they tie trivial facts about brands to the spots running — making the break both enlightening and entertaining.

There’s also a series of spots running during the show that mimics the look of the show so well, it trips many a remote — it still gets me.

So, in what may seem a minefield of anti-commercial DVRing, brands are learning how to breakthrough; to practice the lost art of captivation. Appropriate product placement, fresh thinking and being intimately in touch with audience habit empowers advertisers to get their message into hearts and minds.

I love being tripped up by ads. I love catching myself being a consumer. It always teaches me something new and very true. And the first lesson is mostly the same: There are no rules messages must follow. If you’re brand is getting edged out DVR-style, zig zag and approach your audience in a different way. Okay, now you can fast forward.