Multilingual Business Communication

April 5, 2009

Bad commercials make good TV programs.

Filed under: Kirsten De Weerdt, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:45 am

Nowadays, you are hardly able to get around commercials. When watching your favourite TV show, you already know that it is going to be interrupted several times because of commercial breaks. Don’t we all prefer to watch television programs without commercials? However, who would have guessed that these commercials actually improve our television viewing experience?

In a recent study, researchers in consumer behavior showed that commercial interruptions make TV programs more enjoyable to watch. It does sound rather strange, but the researchers have a plausible explanation and confirmed their theories with several experiments. Apparently, when consumers are watching TV, their enjoyment decreases over time because they get used to it. Commercials can disrupt this adaption process and restore the intensity of consumers’ enjoyment. The experiments showed that even though people preferred to avoid commercial interruptions, these interruptions actually made programs more enjoyable.

(Kirsten De Weerdt)



  1. I’m certainly not surprised with the outcome of this study. Commercial breaks aren’t always that annoying. Sometimes they are even quite welcome, since they give you the opportunity to pass by the refrigerator and get yourself a snack. Furthermore a small interruption can make it all the more exiting to anticipate the continuation of the program you’re watching.
    Of course they shouldn’t overdo it. Recently a lot of protest has arisen on blogs, about the M&M candy commercials, shamelessly interrupting the last, quite often most emotional, moments of a movie. These practices are nothing but disrespectful towards the art of movie making.

    Valérie Debrauwere

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 5, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

  2. In a way I can figure out the outcome of this study. Some commercials are nice to watch and they allow you to ‘have a break’, talk to your ‘sofa-mate’ or have a drink. However, we shouldn’t exaggerate in saying we prefer TV with commercials; if you record a movie, don’t you immediately skip ads as soon as they are running? Commercials ruin the climax! And it’s all logical since commercials exist to make companies earn money and not to make viewers happy…

    Sophie Naveau

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 5, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: