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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-19-06, 12:14 AM   #1
twochins
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TV and the auto industry

i watch a little tv, i only get free tv though just the 5 or so channels that come through...it is really amazing how many commercials related to the automotive industry there are on tv. i only watch at night after 7pm or so, maybe that has something to do with it

i got to thinking if this were true, can commercial tv stations survive without the automotive industry pumping large sums of money with advertisements. tv needs cars and car companies need tv? i guess, the only other major genre might be medicine commercials by the pharmaceutical industry. does anybody have website that loox into this kind of stuff?
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Old 12-19-06, 12:54 AM   #2
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I watch prime-time TV a fair bit. One of the major car-makers is trying to tell us that we'll love one of their new cars as though they were a member of our family, and another is trying to get us to buy our sweetie a luxury car for christmas. Saab tells us their cars are good because the cars are designed by people that design jets. As far as I know, though, Saab the jet-maker and Saab the auto-maker are now separate companies, with the automaker owned by General Motors and selling cars that are only different from their GM (or Subaru) counterpart in cosmetic details.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:59 AM   #3
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I love the "automotive utopia" that is always shown in car commercials. You know the one, where your car is the ONLY one on the road. I've got this idea where if I had lots of money (millions) I would donate a huge amount to a group like Addbusters to do a spoof car commercial where the fancy new car just sits in a traffic jam for the 30 second spot without moving. Back it up with some driving rock or techno to make it doubly ridiculous. Show it during primetime for a few weeks, perhaps on Monday Night Football.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by twochins
i got to thinking if this were true, can commercial tv stations survive without the automotive industry pumping large sums of money with advertisements. tv needs cars and car companies need tv?
Well, I work for a company that provides proprietary advertising systems for TV stations. We lift up the program and stuff in advertising around the periphery.

Automobiles, especially the local dealers are considered the cash-cows of TV especially for local stations.

Last edited by Artkansas; 12-19-06 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by KrisA
I would donate a huge amount to a group like Addbusters to do a spoof car commercial where the fancy new car just sits in a traffic jam for the 30 second spot without moving.
You missed it. Last Spring, Chevrolet had a "User Generated", make your own Tahoe commercial building website and contest. Many of the entries were very anti-SUV. I even made a couple myself. Heres a New York Times article about it.

Here's some samples of what was done. Chevy Tahoe on YouTube. Mine is at Tahoe Apprentice You Tube. Enjoy!

Last edited by Artkansas; 12-19-06 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:51 AM   #6
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Television's influence goes beyond the car commercials. I suspect that many of the dumb remarks from car culture apologists are caused by the uncritical thinking that TV encourages. Last month I went with my mother to her geriatric doctor and the doctor was asking me about her mental activities. How much she reads the newspaper etc. The doctor said it wasn't enough to browse the newspaper but she should discuss what she has read. I asked the doctor if TV watching had any effect. The doctor got quite animated when she replied "TV is the worst thing for maintaining mental alertness, it actually inhibits it." The doctor noted that it is a good sign that since my mother has been taking her memory medicine she has been reading more and watching less TV. Sometimes I feel that when I talk to someone about car free and get that blank stare I'm talking against years of TV watching.

I've attached an excerpt from a very old book, called something like "Four Reasons to Abolish Television". It was written in the '70s so has some of that era's silliness to it. I read the book a few years ago. Even though I had been TV free for many years prior to reading the book, the author describes some facets I hadn't noticed. In particular "technical events". Although some items in the attached list seem contradictory in isolation, when you get to the list after reading the book you understand that items come from different contexts. The list appears beyond the halfway point in the book but I thought some people in this forum would find some food for thought. If you live a lifestyle that isn't validated by TV it is hard to engage a TV person.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:12 PM   #7
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TV lifetstyle...True for the dominant culture in general. Like suggesting to many Americans that the hyper-rich ruling elite may just not be acting in our best interests & can't be trusted....Washington is now what the medieval Vatican was....war is good, & every war is a holy crusade.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:35 PM   #8
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Auto companies and auto dealers are by far the biggest advertisers in the world. that's what we're up against!

and not just on TV. Magazines, radio, newspapers, billboards. . . . Even bikeforums carries ads for cars!
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Old 12-19-06, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artkansas
You missed it. Last Spring, Chevrolet had a "User Generated", make your own Tahoe commercial building website and contest. Many of the entries were very anti-SUV. I even made a couple myself. Heres a New York Times article about it.

Here's some samples of what was done. Chevy Tahoe on YouTube. Mine is at Tahoe Apprentice You Tube. Enjoy!
hey, i missed that, thanks for that ny times article!..oh, nice ad

i can't recall ever seeing a bicycle commercial on TV, like ever..

Last edited by twochins; 12-19-06 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 12-19-06, 08:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gwd
Television's influence goes beyond the car commercials. I suspect that many of the dumb remarks from car culture apologists are caused by the uncritical thinking that TV encourages. Last month I went with my mother to her geriatric doctor and the doctor was asking me about her mental activities. How much she reads the newspaper etc. The doctor said it wasn't enough to browse the newspaper but she should discuss what she has read. I asked the doctor if TV watching had any effect. The doctor got quite animated when she replied "TV is the worst thing for maintaining mental alertness, it actually inhibits it." The doctor noted that it is a good sign that since my mother has been taking her memory medicine she has been reading more and watching less TV. Sometimes I feel that when I talk to someone about car free and get that blank stare I'm talking against years of TV watching.

I've attached an excerpt from a very old book, called something like "Four Reasons to Abolish Television". It was written in the '70s so has some of that era's silliness to it. I read the book a few years ago. Even though I had been TV free for many years prior to reading the book, the author describes some facets I hadn't noticed. In particular "technical events". Although some items in the attached list seem contradictory in isolation, when you get to the list after reading the book you understand that items come from different contexts. The list appears beyond the halfway point in the book but I thought some people in this forum would find some food for thought. If you live a lifestyle that isn't validated by TV it is hard to engage a TV person.
beautiful, i have to get that book...all thoze points are highlighted when you watch the 11 o'clock news on any given night...thanks
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Old 12-19-06, 08:56 PM   #11
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found it: Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander, 1978
it was reviewed 57 times on Amazon
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Old 12-19-06, 09:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Auto companies and auto dealers are by far the biggest advertisers in the world. that's what we're up against!

and not just on TV. Magazines, radio, newspapers, billboards. . . . Even bikeforums carries ads for cars!
yeah, it's funny, they advertise in bicycle mags, every issue in every mag i have
but as the guy said above...how can the bike editors turn away a fat cash cow
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Old 12-19-06, 09:28 PM   #13
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If you don't like what's on television don't watch it. Simple, really. As it is, I rarely watch commercial television anyway, and when I do I generally get up and do something else during a commercial break.

And yes, commercial TV stations would probably survive without car companies pumping large sums of money into them. All they would do is cut their budget and produce crappy content cheaply. People would still watch, and that would keep all the other advertisers interested. We've already seen that sort of thing happen with so-called "Reality TV".
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Old 12-19-06, 09:45 PM   #14
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If you don't like what's on television don't watch it.
+1
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Old 12-19-06, 10:27 PM   #15
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shoot, guys, i did not say...oh, why bother
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Old 12-20-06, 01:18 AM   #16
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Down in the desert they have car commericals with snow.

Ok PHoenix has had snow twice since they started recording.

I don't own a tv so I can not help.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twochins
found it: Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander, 1978
it was reviewed 57 times on Amazon
Yes thats it. I picked it up from a discard bin. My copy had been used in some college course. I wonder how he'd discuss the internet and those huge plasma high definition TVs? The thing that struck me was his disucussion of what he called technical events. Unreal manipulation of the images. Chris L.'s response is the one I come up with when I hear people complain about it. The problem with our snippy response is that it stops discussion with the complainer, and the complainer probably won't unplug the thing anyway. Jerry Mander's book has some good discussion points to keep a conversation going.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twochins
can commercial tv stations survive without the automotive industry pumping large sums of money with advertisements. tv needs cars and car companies need tv?
The same question was asked about the big bucks from tobacco companies that TV used to get. Belief was that if the cigarette money dried up TV would fail.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:19 PM   #19
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The same question was asked about the big bucks from tobacco companies that TV used to get. Belief was that if the cigarette money dried up TV would fail.
TV is very wobbly right now. A lot of the advertising dollars are going to the web instead. That's one important thing about the cessation of analog TV signals and the complete switchover to digital. With digital compression, station owners have room for an additional channel or two in their market. TV advertising is getting cheap.

Also look for a lot of ads to be underneath, beside, around and even in front of the TV program. What happens is that the networks sell out all the ad space for prime time and major sports programs. The local stations have to carry it. The only place they can make up their money on shows like this is to advertise in the periphery.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twochins
. . . .
i can't recall ever seeing a bicycle commercial on TV, like ever..
But have you noticed that about half of the car commercials on TV have a bike somewhere in them? Watch for it.
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Old 12-20-06, 09:18 PM   #21
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The same question was asked about the big bucks from tobacco companies that TV used to get. Belief was that if the cigarette money dried up TV would fail.
Personally I'm more confused by the belief that TV failing would necessarily be a bad thing. Can someone clarify that for me please?
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Old 12-20-06, 10:48 PM   #22
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Personally I'm more confused by the belief that TV failing would necessarily be a bad thing.
I would have no objection to TV failing, but I don't think it's realistic to expect it. TV may continue to lose out on ad revenues, but TV networks can survive on lower budgets.
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Old 12-21-06, 03:54 AM   #23
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London (UK) has started to advertise on television the benefits of cycling as a way of getting around the city. It's a bit idealistic (empty roads, sunny days, etc) but the numbers of cyclists are rapidly increasing thanks mainly to an ever-rising congestion charge on vehicles.
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Old 12-21-06, 08:37 AM   #24
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I download all the TV shows I want to watch.
I agree, there should be commercials for bikes.
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Old 12-21-06, 09:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerewa
I would have no objection to TV failing, but I don't think it's realistic to expect it. TV may continue to lose out on ad revenues, but TV networks can survive on lower budgets.
I agree. It's not that TV will cease to exist, but rather like AM radio, the programming will get cheaper and cheaper. We will see it populated with talk shows, game shows, informercials and reruns of old TV shows and movies...

Wait, that's how it is now.
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