Saturday Smorgasbord: Book Commercials

By: Christopher Bartlett

I ran across something I hadn’t seen before when it comes to books, and at first, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. I was watching TV/streaming when a commercial for a book came on. It’s the first time I have seen a commercial for a book in any shape or form when it comes to TV. Well, outside of a book being mentioned in a newscast.

I’ve heard ads for books on podcasts and on YouTube, but never in a commercial on a network streaming service. At first, I was in shock, and then I was left thinking it was kind of cool. I mean, after all, people keep saying that novels are a dying form of entertainment. Despite studies showing increasing sales.

Yet, now we have commercials for books beginning to appear on streaming services for major networks. And, just by themselves. I’m talking just the book with no movie being mentioned alongside it. It is a major step forward for books and one that is long overdue. One would have expected that when radio and tv came along that books would be one of the first luxury items advertised. Yet, surprisingly they weren’t. Even though many of us can have one or the other running in the background as we are reading.

But radio and TV seem to demand your full attention, which might be part of the reason they aren’t doing as well as when I was younger. The other part being they didn’t take advantage of the stories that people wanted to see on the screen already. Radio did better with producing shows from books and comic books than TV.

The fact that TV is starting to run commercials for books shows that they are beginning to acknowledge readers as part of their audience. Now, if we could just get them to finish a series properly instead of having a knee jerk reaction based on a couple of bad weeks’ ratings or something not being an instant hit, we would be doing even better.

Though, who knows? That may be coming around the corner after hits with Star Trek and other shows that didn’t instantly take off at first. Only time will tell. But it is making me nostalgic for a few shows based on books.

What shows that were based on books were your favorite?

*Tips his hat walking out the door towards the media room.*

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