Monday, November 12, 2007

Borders Bookstores Add Television Commercials Just for You

So now the Borders bookstores want you to enjoy the experience of listening to a few television commercials while you wade past the coffee shop, make your way around the toy section, and tear yourself away from the CDs and DVDs that take up so much of the remaining floor space. (Does anyone really buy CDs and DVDs at the inflated Borders and Barnes & Noble prices?) The good news is that Borders still sells books. The bad news is that you may be so distracted that you fail to much care.

Of course, Borders is spinning this as a service to its customers by claiming that it is making it easier for customers to keep up with legitimate news stories and the latest in entertainment news. As if I need more unwanted exposure to the likes of E! Entertainment Television.
The advertisers that have bought time on Borders TV are all “household names,” Mr. Diab said. Ford, for instance will showcase its hybrid vehicles.

Mr. Jones said Borders customers tend to be “highly educated, more affluent” and spend an average of an hour in the store, making them catnip to many advertisers. “It’s becoming more and more difficult to reach people,” Mr. Jones said. “Newspapers are not as effective as they used to be. Television is not as easily reachable as it used to be. This becomes an attractive option.”
The dumbing down of America continues at a rapid pace. But anyone believing that this is a plus to the Borders environment is probably a victim of that trend already. This is nothing more than a deal between Borders and advertisers to subject bookstore customers, somewhat of a captive audience, to a steady stream of advertising. Borders is likely to make a nice profit from the venture and that should help its shaky bottom line. Can Barnes & Noble be far behind?

18 comments:

  1. That is stupid, horrible, annoying, and ridiculous. We've had people complain that the music overhead is distracting, but they're putting in commercials? Somebody needs to be fired.

    I've always considered B&N to be more upscale and classy than Borders (even before I became biased), so I really hope they don't follow suit on this trash.

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  2. They must really be in trouble if it's more lucrative to advertise other companies' merchandise instead of than their own.

    And I'm stilly trying to get used to TVs in grocery stores...

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  3. So how do commercials qualify exactly as news? And isn't it bad enough that we have to pay to watch commercials at the movie theater, now they have invaded the bookstore. Is there nowhere we are safe from them?

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  4. What more!?! Ads at Wal-mart, ads at the movies , and now ads at the bookstore! All because we have started to mute them while watching TV and listen to ad free satelite radio.

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  5. Why does there have to be constant stimulation everywhere? It drives me nuts to be at an airport where there are those stupid TVs. I don't even like the piped-in music. What is wrong with SILENCE????

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  6. Yuck! The going rumor among those who worked at said "book" store was that the company really took a loss with the old version of the Borders Rewards (frequent shopper) program, and it seems that ever since they've been cooking up all sorts of harebrained schemes to uh...make up for lost funds. Silly Borders. *sad head shake*

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  7. Annie, I agree with those who say that the music bothers them. Now, on the rare occasion that I actually like the music, I can tolerate it. But if I actively dislike the music or the singer, or find the volume too much to handle, I leave the store. That's happened more than once and I've purchased the book in a different location, as a result.

    TV ads are going to keep me from Borders if I have another choice of store...no doubt about that.

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  8. It does seem strange, Sylvia...and they do seem to be in a good bit of financial trouble although I haven't heard much lately about a potential merger of Borders and Barnes & Noble. I'm hoping that doesn't happen because I suspect it would result in the worst characteristics of both chains being emphasized rather than their best ones.

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  9. I totally agree, Stefanie. Nothing irritates me more than being forced to watch a commercial where I'm spending money to be entertained...and that includes bookstores.

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  10. Maggie, advertisers must be desperate. But they are going to feel the backlash if they keep shoving ads down our throats. Why do they think that people go to so much of an effort now to avoid ads...they are obnoxious invasions of privacy.

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  11. Factotum, I would love to experience silence again sometime in an airport, a bookstore or a grocery store. Enough is enough, and I've reached the point where I will vote with my feet when I can.

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  12. Megan, I think it's a sign of their desperation, for sure. The bottom line is still the wrong color for the chain...but the "spin" they put on this idea is irritating. How stupid do they think their customers really are?

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  13. Sigh. Distressing, but sadly not surprising. I wonder though - if we have to be subjected to adds in the bookstore, why not make them about... oh, I don't know - books? Wouldn't that be smarter? Why not advertise in the store merchandise they're actually selling? I hardly think anyone is going to run out of the store to buy a hybrid car just because they saw it on Borders tv.

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  14. I don't know how it's much worse than sticking ads in library books.

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  15. There's a huge difference, John:

    1. The ads placed in library books are silent...I don't have to listen to them if I don't want to listen.

    2. I can dispose of the ad in a matter of seconds.

    3. I don't have to listen to the ad while I'm searching for a book whether I want to listen to it or not.

    It's a lot worse, IMO. In fact, there's no contest.

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  16. Good point, J.S. I would actually be interested in ads for books or about authors. But, of course, that would not ad as quickly to the bottom line of Borders, so it's not going to happen.

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  17. At least Borders is supposed to be a place of business, unlike libraries. Personally, I'm sick of advertising intruding anywhere.

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  18. Don't get me wrong, John, I'm in total agreement when it comes to intrusive advertising.

    That's why I'm criticizing Borders this way. They are a business, and IMO, they are making a very, very poor business decision that is bound to alienate some of their customers. The ill will that this generates will cost them more, in the long run, than the ad money they will initially pocket, I think.

    The library ads just don't seem nearly as intrusive to me.

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