Thursday, May 08, 2008

The commercial break in a commercial break...

I can't find a clip of it anywhere, but the Canadian hardware chain Rona has started doing something strange and bizarrely meta-televisual (though in only the most superficial sense) with its TV spots.

They split the commercials into two 15 second bits, though this isn't all that strange in and of itself. But in the first bit they ask a home-repair question, saying that the answer will follow after 'the break'. 'The break', of course, is another commercial, after which the second bit provides an answer to the question. It's a clever gimmick, though like all gimmicks one that I would surely despise if I saw it used more often than this.

Where these commercials actually become unintentionally interesting, though? In one instance, I noticed that the first half of one of these pairings aired as the last commercial before the actual TV show resumed - and so the second bit didn't air until after the program went to break. The commercial's 'after the break' line amusingly appears to invert, if ever so temporarily and weakly, the relationship between the program and its ads.

(Not that these line separating them was ever that clear to begin with, but its usually the programming itself that tries to seem more like a glorified advertisement than the commercial working the same angle from the other end.)

No comments: