Remember those OxiClean ads with spokesman Billy Mays yelling incessantly at the camera, miraculously selling us cleaning products? Now remember how loud those ads were? There’s no doubt that Mays was a terrific salesman, but those ads – like many others – used loud volume to get our attention for better or for worse. I’m pretty sure I might be suffering from premature hearing loss as a result. Yikes!
Congress thinks it’s a good idea to no longer startle unsuspecting television viewers, so they’re telling advertisers to CALM down. The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM Act, for the acronym challenged) mandates the Federal Communications Commission to "prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program they accompany," according to AdAge. The bill was approved by Congress on Thursday, December 2, 2010 and will make its next stop with President Obama.
The implications for the consumer here are clear – no longer will they have to worry about losing their hearing far ahead of schedule due to obnoxious advertisers. However, the implications for advertisers are far more exciting. The CALM act will require advertisers to become more creative and find new ways to gain their audience’s attention. More creative ads will lead to a more engaging viewer experience, and perhaps better ROI for the advertisers. If this is the case, everybody wins from the CALM Act.