The Arrival Of Blipverts?
The, late, great television show Max Headroom envisioned a bleak, vaguely familiar future. Its people were a bit obsessed with television. The corporations were bloated and relatively unconstrained by law or notions of scruples.
A fine example of corporate misbehavior in the world of Max Headroom can be found in the first episode, which introduced blipverts, commercials which displayed a series of images at a very fast speed, so they took much less time to air. Advertisers only intended to subliminally implant their messages with viewers, which some might find unethical enough. The speed and intensity of the flashing images caused some viewers to explode, which is pretty unequivocally unacceptable.
Now Clear Channel is considering selling one-second radio ads, dubbed "Blinks". The company is in talks with media buyers and marketers about the potential market for very brief ads.
The consensus seems to be that brands already known to the public could use such ads to reinforce their brand identity with a quick sound aired as the entire ad. They give the example of a Mini Cooper's horn honking.
Whether the advertising would work or not is unclear. Less open to speculation is whether or not this brings Clear Channel a lot of attention. It does, and that's unfortunate. They deny it's all a publicity stunt. Given other instances of blipvert-like advertising (all minus the exploding-people part), it's easy to believe them. Which is... fortunate?
Art Of Noise (Featuring Max Headroom) - Paranoimia (available on Best Of Art Of Noise)
Paul Weller - Blink And You'll Miss It (available on Catch-Flame: Live at the Alexandra Palace)
Wire - The Commercial (available on Pink Flag)