Back in the 1960s I can remember my father referring to our Black and White TV as the “goggle box”.
Those were the days when getting a fourth channel was revolutionary and we’d wait impatiently for each afternoon’s BBC Testcard and associated muzak to suddenly become a world of children’s TV, before the news ended our fun at 5:40 pm.
Although I feel some nostalgia for that period and the ‘innocence’ of controlled choice, looking back now it seems all very predictable and well, downright boring.
Our goggle box was practically a member of the family, holding court like a stuffy old relative who’d bore one and all with jokes and tall tales told once too often.
Now you’d think that the arrival of ‘interactive’ cable TV with its proliferation of channel choice might change how goggle box and gogglers got along together.
Not a bit of it!
Sure, you can choose from more of the same but once chosen, the goggling (abusive?!) relationship proceeds as planned. Because behind this flimsy curtain of choice hide magicians of interrupt advertising who can simply not be denied their pounds and dollars of viewing flesh.
Until, of course, the curtain’s unexpectedly pulled away and people see the smoke and mirrors for what they are.
I think today’s Internet is the digital equivalent of Dorothy’s dog, Toto, snapping at the heels of advertising folly and leading the engaging way ahead. You only have to observe young people to know that getting attention is a two-way process, not a command-and-control (TV) executive order.
And as marketers of technology solutions to more and more people who will have grown up immersed in the world of engagement entertainment online, we would be well advised to pay attention. Not the other way round!
I doubt that TV is dead as an entertainment (and advertising) medium but its influence is certainly changing and waning. How long before the nursing home of the airwaves beckons?
I found the clip above in a post by Tom Chandler at his wonderful copywriter underground blog.
The post’s title?
Yeah, years of goggling will do that!
– Mark ‘Jackanory’ McClure