Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's the CBC doing advertising on the BBC?

I'm not kidding, folks. I think we're all used to going to websites in other countries and seeing links all over the page advertising sites back home. I guess the host figures out where we are based on our IP address and spits out addresses to give the page a more custom look. I'm used to seeing this for such varied places as TPM, the NYT and even social networking sites -- the links we see come up are to the Canadian version, not the American one, when you come in from a Canadian location.

But I wasn't expecting to see CBC Radio 2 have an in-page web ad at the website of the BBC in a shameless attempt to attract Canadian listeners to its new format which dumped classical music and jazz, two perfectly legitimate forms of entertainment, for a music mix so confusing that it's turning off a discerning audio public.

We keep hearing the Centre of the Universe has a cash crunch. Obviously they don't if they can afford to advertise overseas.

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Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, are you stupid? How can you explain exactly what is happening in the first paragraph, then completely fail to understand it in the third paragraph? They're not advertising overseas. They're paying for ads to be shown to Canadians.

Saskboy said...

They may not be, in a way. They might detect that you're Canadian, and only show you the add to entice you back from the BBC. Or it may be attempting to attract overseas listeners. I'm not really opposed to either strategy.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Your point on the efficacy of said ads is valid, but I think it's worth pointing out that these ads aren't actually advertising "overseas". They're advertising right here in Canada, to a Canadian audience. As you say, the ads you see on the BBC site when you're in Canada are the Canadian ads, showing up on your Canadian browser (which is to say your browser located in Canada). There's no reason to assume that the CBC can afford to run ads "overseas", since I don't think they're actually running ads overseas (which, for a radio station one presumably can't get overseas would be doubly dim!).

It's like Canadian TV ads being shown during episodes of CSI. The advertisers aren't advertising to Americans, they're advertising to Canadians watching an American show in Canada. If you were in America you'd never see those commercials. Just like, if you were actually overseas, you'd never see those CBC Radio2 ads on the BBC site. And the advertiser isn't paying the same to advertise on CSI in Canada as they would in the U.S. It's how we get to see cheesy commercials during the Super Bowl every year from companies that could NEVER afford to run a Super Bowl commercial in the States. Those companies didn't blow a whole decade worth of their advertising budgets to air those ads, it's just way cheaper to advertise during the Super Bowl on a Canadian network broadcasting in Canada then it is on an American network broadcasting in the States. (The point being that I doubt the CBC paid any sort of "overseas premium" to run Canadian ads meant to be seen by Canadians, in Canada, who surf to the BBC site).

Anyway, as I said, your points on whether or not these ads will be effective (or are COST effective) are totally valid. However they're Canadian ads "airing" in Canada so, cost-wise, I don't think it's probably much different advertising on the BBC page then on the NYT page, or the Toronto Star page, or any page that sells online ad space.