Spanish Culture and News

On Spanish TV Ad Breaks and Steven Segal

After a couple of months without a television, we have ended up with a tiny 15″ set that we lent to a relative last summer, and have now had returned. This means the occasional return to Spanish tele in the evening – medical dramas for Marina (House, Grey’s Anatomy) that I can’t watch, and bad films for me, that she can’t watch.

The last two nights have been a real treat, with two trashy, poorly dubbed Steven Segal films – he obviously goes down well over here. Anyway, there I was enjoying the second one last night, “Belly of the Beast” (which gets a stellar 4.3 out of 10 on IMDB), reveling in the awesome final fight scene between big Steve and his psycho Thai nemesis, and at the very climax of the film, just as said nemesis had Steve down on the ground, ready to deliver the killer blow we knew would somehow be avoided, in fact in the very middle of the baddies final ‘now you die’ sentence… an ad break.

A twenty minute ad break in the middle of the films biggest moment. Again, right in the middle of the films biggest sentence! We had ads for every big internet provider, several cars, Andalusia, 6 trailers for other shows from the same channel, and god knows what other crap. Finally, when I was about to drop the little tele from our 6-floor balcony, the film was allowed to conclude.

So, classy stuff from TV1, Spain’s state TV flagship. What I’d really like to know though, is does this carpet-bombing approach to advertising actually work any more? What are the recall figures for ads presented in 20 minute batches? Is anyone actually taking this ad format in anymore? The fact that I was left with a an overwhelming desire to go to Andalusia might sadly provide an answer – I’m shocked and ashamed to say that one of those 20 ads did actually get through to me as I waited furiously to see big Steven Segal escape that killer blow and save the girl. Life was better without TV.

(Image courtesy wikipedia).