I’ve Boycotted Most Canadian TV Channels for Replacing Good American Ads

Here in Canada, for a lot of American sport events, the American commercials are replaced with terrible Canadian ones. This is true even on cable on the American channel itself, not just the simultaneous broadcast on the local network. In Nova Scotia, where I am located, the commercials are even sub Canadian standards. They’re so awful I will often skip watching a show or an event, or go out to a place where I can watch it without those commercials. Or I’ll get what I’m looking for from another source, like news from CBC NewsWorld or MSNBC instead of CNN that’s now proliferated with ghetto budget local business ads when I’m there to be thinking globally.

Do these Canadian ad buyers think they’re getting their money’s worth for those prime spots?

I know there are some rules about rights across the borders, and Canadian content rules and such, but that’s for the channels to worry about. The ad buyers don’t have to buy in to this, and without them, the channels don’t have commercials to run. The channels probably offer ad time with events like the Super Bowl as a bonus to a package rather than selling ad time during the event like it’s done in the US. Still, I would decline it if I were a Canadian ad buyer cause I don’t think people think of those spots fondly.

This comes to a point with the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is as well known for its ads as the game itself. Just observe the chatter the day after the Super Bowl. To watch the Super Bowl with local commercials is like to watch the Super Bowl with one real team and one team of local substitute players. I resent having to watch the Super Bowl with crappy Canadian commercials so much I watch the event on broadcasts with American commercials now, I have blocked the Canadian channels overriding American signals. That means CTV for this Super Bowl, and Global and ASN from previous other offences.

Now, those channels don’t even have a chance that I might surf by and catch something I like when channel surfing. I get local news from the CBC solely now, and you know what? I’m doing just fine without those other channels. I’m not even losing Canadian content, cause it’s not like they show much Canadian content anyway. Why bother with Canadian commercials on prime events, or even just for the Super Bowl, if resentment like this, with some people turning it into action, is what you get?

For events less prime than the Super Bowl, where I might put up with Canadian ads on overridden American shows, I take note of some of the advertising companies and occasionally put them on my “no buy” list. It’s not that I end up watching the commercials to do this. Usually, they annoy me enough from what I’m doing to distract me, and then it’s an easy choice. Eastlink was the first on my list.

I wonder if some of these companies ever imagined their advertising strategies to lead to this?

Oh, and here’s a great example why I go the extra distance for the Super Bowl with the real ads. 🙂

See Dave Carroll’s New Success With The Cable Song Video

Dave-Carroll1Just a few months ago in July 2009, Nova Scotian musician took his music success to a new level with a YouTube viral sensation, United Breaks Guitars. It changed his life, as he said during a little concert in Halifax for the Tunes at Noon series in August. However, he was going to follow through all his previous commitments before taking on new ventures in October, like a true professional.

Well, it’s October and I just saw a song commercial featuring Dave Carroll protesting the proposed hike in cable fees in Canada, in the Local TV Matters campaign (FAQ). The full version is below, though I can’t find lyrics online at time of posting. It seems someone recognized Dave’s talent to write a good song to tell a story, as demonstrated in United Breaks Guitars. The story of how this all came about is below, courtesy of Dave Carroll on MySpace.

In July, after UBG (United Breaks Guitars) had hit, I was introduced by a CTV representative to the issue of supporting local television in Canada.

In a nutshell Cable TV does not pay for local programming like the local news and broadcasters don’t earn enough from advertising to continue to operate at a loss.

Sons of Maxwell built their career with the help of local television and for a lot of other reasons I believe in the project, so I agreed to write and produce a song in support of a great cause. It aired tonight (Wed Oct 7) for the first time following the 6pm local news across Canada and may do so again for the rest of the week.

It was a pleasant surprise for me to see Dave and his new success in more traditional media.

Congratulations to Dave and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of your success in the future!

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