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Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Convenient" TV Mail

If you remember Minority Report, you recall Cruise having advertising and promotion delivered to him at every turn.  Retinal recognition, fingerprints, facial characteristics...they all triggered an ad of some sort.

I'm not the first person to talk about ad saturation, I know.  But I do want to mention an interesting one.  DirecTV.  Seems they've implemented TVMail.  They deliver emails to a DVR.  In fact, they're waiting for you when you power up your box.

Well, that'd be mildly acceptable if one were asked and if there were anything but promotions in it.  Yet a subscriber has to clean it out regularly - from every machine under his/her control.

Do we need another brand contact?  Do we need the constant hammering about upgrades and PPV's?

I corresponded with DirecTV, first receiving canned responses but eventually a real human email which told me, "As such, Mr. ______, those customers not wishing to participate in, view or read messages and programming within these features may simply disregard them entirely. If you would like, please write back including the specific reason you choose to delete these items on each of your receivers so that, with the additional understanding, we may be able to offer more appropriate assistance."

This tells me two things.  First, they don't realize the intrusion of the flag and, second, they don't get it when it comes to customers (they need additional "understanding"?).

And yet, they keep on truckin'.

Moral:  If you're in it just for promotion, you're gonna honk off your customers.  If you really HAVE to do it, put something in it for them.  Something to make them want the communication.  Otherwise, cut it out.