First, there was TiVo. Then, there was the DVR. Now, advertisers are battling a super hero of epic proportions whose sole mission is to preserve, protect and defend the viewing rights of Americans everywhere. And, we're not talking about the Hulk, Green Lantern or even Batman.
The diabolically clever Hopper's ad eraser feature is called the Auto Hop. Some reviewers have already called it, “a dream come true for consumers.” Amen, brother, amen.
But, just as the Man of Steel had his Lex Luthor, Auto Hop has its arch nemesis in the person of every broadcaster and Mad Man in the world. Indeed, as Leslie Mooves, the chief executive of the CBS Corporation, bemoaned: 'How does Charlie Egan expect me to produce CSI without commercials?' (Note: This blogger assumes Mr. Egan is the executive producer of the long-running crime series).
And, Tad Harbert, the chairman of NBC Broadcasting, called Auto Hop “an insult to the TV industry.” Ha! This from a business that abuses us with such drivel as ‘The Jersey Shore’ and ‘16 and Pregnant.’ Puh-lese.
But Harbert wasn't done attacking The Dish Network's technology. He also wined, “Just because technology gives you the ability to do something does that mean you always should? Not always.” Huh? Now, that makes a lot of sense. Why should we use the phone, the automobile or the plane simply because they exist? Silly us.
Advertising is in full panic mode and I, for one, couldn't be happier.
Pundits have misread General Motors recent decision to dump Facebook advertising as indicating the big car company is a Luddite when it comes to social media. Au contraire, mon frere. GM's marketing executives have finally realized that advertising is losing credibility faster than the New York Mets when they go on one of their lengthy losing streaks. As a result, they reallocated their advertising dollars to other channels that will, in fact, resonate with car buyers.
The Auto Hop is a beautiful invention and, I hope, one day it earns a permanent display in the Smithsonian. Any product that permanently erases commercials is OK by me. Now, if only Dish Hopper engineers could invent a similar technology to make Congress disappear, they'd supplant Superman himself as the ultimate super hero.