Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Why Take 30 Seconds When Three Will Suffice?

Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Why Take 30 Seconds When Three Will Suffice?

Article excerpt

The best innovations happen entirely by accident. When you invite people for Sunday lunch and it just happens to clash with the glamour tie of the FA Cup - tiny Yeading against Newcastle United - what is to be done? You could try to bluster your way through by turning the event into an FA Cup-themed lunch. But after careful consideration, the conclusion is inevitable - it is time to reach for the personal video recorder (PVR).

Then comes the dilemma. Is it worth devoting nearly two hours of your life to watching a match when it is over, even if you don't know the score, when the odds are that the multi-millionaires of Newcastle will have beaten the pounds 30-a-game underdogs?

And then comes the moment of insight that could revolutionise sports viewing, courtesy of the PVR: play it back at twice the normal speed.

Sluggish defenders are instantly turned into world-class athletes and shots really do travel like rockets. You can still follow the patterns of play, only it's much more exciting and action-packed than boring, traditional, real-time play.

Everything is there without the need for clunky, edited highlights. The heartfelt plea of my wife - if only they could get it all over in 45 minutes, it would be a lot more interesting - has finally been answered.

Thanks to the wonders of the PVR, you can of course dip back into normal time when things get interesting or there is a really well-worked goal.

And during the half-time punditry, time can be collapsed by running the playback at 12 times or even 30 times normal speed.

As it turned out, plucky Yeading battled in vain, losing 2-0 - a thoroughly enjoyable encounter, not least because it was over in half the normal time.

Rigorous experiments will now be needed to test the concept of viewing sports at four times normal speed.

Just think of the satisfaction of getting through a scoreless draw in just over 20 minutes. Other sports could definitely benefit from the treatment, with snooker and darts heading the list.

New ways of watching sport are one thing, but what about the ads? There was a flurry of excitement when it emerged after Christmas that BSkyB had patented a PVR device that cuts out commercials entirely. …

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