While we sift through the mountain of nominations for this year’s Worst Ad In America Awards, one thing has become very clear — y’all hate TV commercials and are doing whatever you can to avoid them.
But then we got to debating the various ways in which TV-watching consumers choose to skip over or ignore ad breaks and came up with the following classifications:
1. THE CASUAL SKIMMER: You’re the person who isn’t terribly bothered by commercials, so even when you watch the occasional DVR’d program, you’re not rushing to hit any buttons. Unless it’s one of Fox’s seemingly infinite number of Gordon Ramsay shows where every commercial break is treated like a shocking cliffhanger, and you simply need to know which inept cook is going to be kicked out of the kitchen.
2. THE MUTE MASTER: You either watch a lot of live TV or just don’t feel like going through the hassle of fast-forwarding, but your thumb knows exactly where that “mute” button is on your remote. Mute Masters are most frequently found watching live sporting events, where commercial breaks are predictable — and the same ads are in rotation every few minutes.
2a. THE PEE-BREAKER: This is a subtle variation on the Mute Master, in which, rather than mute your TV, you find other things to do during your 2-7 minutes of commercial time. From a quick trip to the toilet to checking Facebook to making a quick check around the house to make sure your children haven’t blown anything up; whatever you do, it won’t involve idly waiting for the ads to end.
3. THE BULL IN THE CHINA SHOP: You can’t get through the ad break fast enough and you don’t care if you overshoot the beginning of the next segment. This usually involves the use of the highest fast-forward speed available on your DVR, or the repeated pressing of the “30 sec ahead” button. For many reality competition-type shows, it does no harm to your experience as the first minute of each new segment is usually just a recap of the last minute of the previous segment.
4. THE MATRIX: You fast-forward through the ads at a rapid rate but you’re also paying attention, scanning the ads and deciphering the telltale signs that the commercial break is ending. You also absorb some of the information as you scan, so you know when that new movie your boyfriend wants to see is coming out and you didn’t even have to slow down.
5. THE ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY: You record everything, even live events that everyone else watches as they occur, because you refuse to give over any of your time to promotional consideration. You even fast-forward through advertorial segments on shows like Biggest Loser when they discuss how low-fat but absolutely yummy some brand of turkey meatball is.
6. THE HOPPER: You sit around in a crowded house with other regional stereotypes, yelling at each other and wondering why you can no longer watch Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead.
So which type are you? Or maybe we missed some categories. Feel free to share away in the comments.