To Thwart TiVo, a Nod to Television's Golden Age
By STUART ELLIOTT The New York Times May 21, 2008
TELEVISION may be the ultimate "green" medium, recycling ideas that go in one era and out the other. NBC, for instance, plans to bring back "Knight Rider" in the fall, and CW is scheduling a new version of "Beverly Hills 90210."
Such revivals are not limited to the programs. The networks are also reusing a popular advertising ploy of the past: the live commercial.
When TV began as a national medium, many spots were delivered live because many programs - dramas, soap operas, talk shows - were live. Some products, among them Timex watches and Polaroid instant cameras, made their reputations through spots that offered audiences live demonstrations.
The shift to recorded series relegated live commercials to "remember when?" reels. Now, as marketers strive to counter the growing ability of viewers to skip or avoid spots, live sales pitches are being reconsidered for their potential stopping and staying power.