We fast-forward through the commercials. We change the channel during the commercials. We seek out shows that are "commercial-free" so we don't have to watch them. We watch our shows on streaming services or DVD so we can avoid the commercials.
Everyone hates commercials, right?
Well, no. Not everyone hates commercials. There are actually some people who like to watch the commercials. In fact, there are some people who would rather watch the commercials than the show!!!
Don't believe me? Well, I happen to know for a fact that these people exist, because my oldest kids are two of them.
We don't let our kids watch a lot of television. There's just so much crap on these days, and most of it is inappropriate for children. Most of what we do let them watch is on PBS, so our kids don't have a whole lot of experience with commercial breaks.
Well, recently I've been watching a fair bit of basketball. I watched a good deal of the NCAA college basketball tournament, and now I'm starting in on the NBA playoffs. And, the kids like to watch with me. They'll ask a little bit about the teams. They'll ask what the city is and what the team's nickname is. Usually they'll look at the score, see who's ahead, then declare that they want that team to win. (No one likes to cheer for a loser.) (Please, no Vikings or Jazz jokes. I've suffered enough.)
But really what they want to do is watch the commercials. I figured this out the other day when there was a time-out near the end of a close game. The Girl (my eight year-old daughter) started yelling at the screen, "It's a time out! Why aren't they going to commercial? They have to go to a commercial! It's a time out!"
The Girl has even figured out that the little on-screen scoreboard has a series of dashes on it to signify how many time-outs each team has. Her reactions range from, "Yay! Each team has three time-outs left. So that means there'll be at least six more commercials!" to, "They don't have any time-outs left. I wish they would let them have more time-outs. What if they need to rest?" I think she is the only person in the history of sports viewership (other than a few poor souls who really need a potty break) who has ever wanted more game stoppages as the clock winds down.
Because of their love of the commercials, my kids have spent the last few weeks walking around the house singing "The Pina Colada Song." They learned it from Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, and Spike Lee singing it in a Capital One commercial. The Girl also has an unusual crush on commercial spokesman/commentator/former player Kenny Smith. "I like Kenny. If I were closer in age to him, I wouldn't mind maybe going on a date with Kenny."
They are also both fascinated with a series of commercials for State Farm in which a bunch of basketball players (Kevin Garnett, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Kevin Love, and Damian Lillard) dress up as a family called "The Hoopers." I don't think they realize that it's not a show, but just a series of commercials. (The Girl actually said, "Dad, where can I go to find out more about "The Hoopers?")
|My kids would rather watch this than the actual game.|
One time I made the mistake of waiting until a commercial break to send them off to put on their pajamas. They were not happy. The next night I played it smarter and actually waited until a commercial break had ended before sending them for pajamas. Once the game came back on, they left without a single complaint.
My kids are funny.
The NBA playoffs will be going for several more weeks. I look forward to watching a lot of games. And I look forward to watching a lot of commercials with my kids.