I’m sure that everyone, at some point in their TV watching life, asks “why are the ads so much louder than the TV show I’m watching”?

The answer is pretty simple – broadcasters have a limit to the volume at which they can broadcast and they save this loudest of loudness for the loudest parts of the show. An explosion sound effect wouldn’t have as much impact if all the actors talking were just as loud, right? Using audio dynamics to create impact is part of the art of television.

Taking this into consideration, advertisers compress the audio in their ads so that every split second of audio is as close to that maximum as possible. The music only gets quieter to make room for a loud, booming voice.

It’s classic “make the logo bigger” behavior, and almost every ad is trying to out-shout the others which (in my opinion) is dumb because they’re all subject to an upper limit, thus all shouting just as loud as each other.

So, advertisers, why not surprise us with some quiet ads right out of a show? I’d pay more attention to an ad that stopped me half way through the act of reaching for the remote and turning down the volume than one that just kept on shouting at me.

Just spare us a whispering child voiceover, please.

Advertisements