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Take a look at this screen shot of a recent ESPN sports show. It looks like these broadcasters (who are barely detectable in this photo) have been dropped into a spinning kaleidoscope. Because this is a still picture, it doesn’t show how many of the screens surrounding the commentators have movement in them, with lights and objects zip-zipping around. Another good example of that great statement by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park: Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should.


I don’t know if research shows that this type of sensory overload is appealing to younger viewers, but I know for a fact that it is not what Baby Boomers want. It’s annoying, distracting, and something we didn’t have to contend with when watching Lassie save Timmy from the well in black and white, or even during standard TV shows a couple of years ago.


Television networks, while broadcasting their regular shows, have recently begun to run animated graphic previews of upcoming programss at the bottom (and often extending to the middle) of the screen. My particular favorite (not) is when the NASCAR vehicles zoom across the bottom of the TV screen when I am watching a show, and I have to sit there while the driver gets out of the car and gives me a nod before he disappears. This I can do without.


I read a recent article that as an industry, advertising pretty much ignores consumers who are 50 and older, instead choosing to market their wares to the supposedly hotter demographics of 18 to 40 year olds. Boomers are left to do their own research on products before they buy, which we are getting quite good at, by necessity, I think.


Even though Boomers have more disposable income to spend than the younger folks, we are not viewed as attractive enough consumers to waste ad dollars on. There are almost 100 million consumers in the United States who are 50+, and these consumers -- us -- control more than $8 trillion in assets, more than 70% of the disposable dollars in the country.


Seems to me that ought to buy us a little less graphic clutter on our television screens.


By Teresa K. Flatley



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