Sight and Sound, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-02


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, — . — 1 SIGHT AND SOUND By Leo Mishkin. NEW YORK, May 1.— The Television Bureau of Advertising, an organization devoted to the dollars and cents side of the , — . broadcasting broadcasting business, business. broadcasting broadcasting business, business. has just concluded a study of what effects advertising has on people, not only through the TV commercials that arouse such high feeling on occasion, but also the comparable results achieved inj other forms of adver-: Using expression such as newspapers, maga- j zines, zines, and and sightless sightless — 1 zines, zines, and and sightless sightless radio. It is easily understandable that the Television Bureau of Advertising is now j more convinced than ever as a result ofi this analysis that TV advertising stands! supreme as a method of reaching the public and making its influence felt, but in its report of the study itself, TvB, as it is styled, has come up with some highly provocative observations on the general behavior patterns of the public as a whole. Why do people look at advertising in the first placefor instance? Why do they read newspapers- and magazines? What do they expect to get, consciously or unconsciously, when they turn on the radio? What are they looking for when they switch on a TV set? It seems all sorts of factors, and different sets of factors, enter into each ofi these. A . A A Under the heading, for instance, of "Personal Values People Take from Media," the word media being taken to mean all forms of communication, TvB has discovered that what people want when they read the papers, when they glance through a magazine, or when they turn on the radio or TV set, is either information or emotional in- e volvement. Information is readily explained, but under the heading of emotional involvement come such subdivisions as a vicarious experience undergone by others, the satisfaction of personal curiosity, a degree of esthetic pleasure, human contact with those on the air and on the screen, what TvB calls "self rating appeal," sometimes just plain humor and sometimes just. plain friendship. These yearnings are fulfilled in invarying degrees by the various methods of communication, but according to TvB, "while everyone Jurns to the media for information arid emotional involvement, most people tend to stress emotional involvement MORE £han information." AAA Newspapers and radio, as might be expected, are the sources to which most people turn for general information. Maga-zines~provide specific information although newspapers also cover pretty much the same thing and both the printed media and radio and TV furnish the requirements for emotional involvement in the form of comics, puzzles, pretty pictures, fictional stories and human contact with others. "From Television, however," reports TvB, "people take every one of the seven types of emotional involvement values, to a significant degree. Not only does Television prove to be the most emotional involving of the media in terms of many different ways it can involve them, but also in the jdegree to which it involves people." In other words, television can cover just-about everything that all other forms of com-1 munication already cover but only in part. AAA "It is televisions realism," says TvB, "its ability to bring things to life, which makes it possible to involve so many people in so many different ways and with such depth." And to prove this, some of the individual responses are cited. "Television brings them to life before you," said one person. "I feel I was there having the same experience. . . . Looking at something thaf is alive makes me feel as though I am taking part in it. .... I am actually an eye-witness at | a certain place, at a certain time . . . and I feel as if I were actually there; I feel the mood of the actor ..." I can see it all as it happens and see is believing . . ." These were some of the other responses of individuals in the survey. In the light of these remarks," it seems pretty ridiculous for television to. throw so much weight into film programs, thus depriving itself of the very ! values that its audience seeks. . AAA In counting noses of how many people want how much from each of the media, the TvB study also came up with something that must also give the TV producers pause. Practically everybody wants information from all forms of communication. Practically everybody wants a vicarious experience. Four out of five, people turn to the different media to have their curiosity , satisfied. Four out of five are looking for] humor. But on the matter of "self rating appeal" — such items as quiz programs, crossword puzzles, and even, s7ielp me, figuring out the whodunit — only one out of five persons interviewed is interested in testing his own knowledge; and ability against that of others. To me, this is perhaps the most devastating item to be found in the whole survey. Only one out of five people look for the satisfaction of their personal ego in quiz shows, only one out of t five people are interested in figuring out i the ending of mystery stories. Maybe the 1 Television Bureau of Advertising, on this single item alone, has done the television broadcasting business a service far beyond what it reckoned for when it started out its survey in the first place. |

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