I’m not the only one who’s noticed how nice it is to have a DVR during election season. Pennsylvania and neighboring New Jersey are battleground states for several Congressional seats, and I’ve never been happier to be able to skip through a series of ad campaigns. Personally, I know where my votes are going, and no amount of TV advertising is going to change my mind.
This isn’t my first November with a DVR, but it is for a lot of people. And while I know analysts aren’t predicting it yet, I believe DVR penetration will start to have an effect on the way politicians spend their ad dollars in the coming years. Despite the general bemoaning of political ads, they have historically been very effective. Intellectually I’ve known this, but it was disheartening to hear from a certain professor recently just how much his students credit ads for their education on specific political races.
Now that DVRs are impacting TV watching patterns, political groups are going to have to diversify their ad techniques just like any commercial enterprise. It would be nice to believe that, with a lack of commercials, voters might actually start to research and read about candidates. However, most people don’t have the time and/or inclination to become politically well informed. With the declining influence of television ads, no doubt something equally hideous will start to take over. Mobile push polls? More PR-sponsored YouTube videos? I guess I’ll enjoy this year’s ad-less November while I can.