Adverts Irk Butuku Audience


No one likes it when they are watching their favorite TV show, then suddenly an advert pops up. Perhaps the only time you welcome an ad is when you are pressed with a call of nature, and there is a commercial break, or when you want to go and attend to something on the stove. Otherwise, an advert irritates TV viewers; advertisers just don’t know this. Inversely, viewers forget that commercials make it possible to watch those movies.

Apparently, adverts have seized more air time on the crowd-pulling soap, Butuku, on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV than the viewer can give carte blanche, and they are airing their grievances on Facebook. Recently I timed the whole show, and here is what I found: The movie runs from 21:00 hours to about 21:35 hours if it is not rescheduled due to a speech by a government official or a minister commissioning a car park. Of the 35 minutes allocated to the soap, 8 are reserved for adverts divided into three breaks. In essence, the movie is aired for 27 minutes on Sunday and another 27 on Monday. If you multiply 27 by 2, you get 54. That means, per week, ZNBC viewers watch their favorite locally produced movie for 54 minutes. It’s reminiscent of those days when you had to wait one week for Mind Your Language, then it showed for 30 minutes. Again you postpone laughter for another week.

There is an official way of presenting complaints to ZNBC. However, sometimes it doesn’t work that way, so the viewers have taken it to social media. On the Butuku Facebook page, somebody asked the members to ‘mention the advert they hate most when Butuku is on break.’ Responses started raining with all sorts of spite, and no ad was left unscathed. It was one of the most responded to posts on the entire page.

This simply shows how too much advertising can irritate. Advertisers may think they are hitting the right button, but on the contrary, they are pushing their product off the market. If you hate the advert, there is little likelihood you will like the product.

Let’s now talk about the movie itself. Since my last review, it has not progressed significantly, evidently due to the bottlenecks mentioned earlier. Janice’s affair with Javan has failed to flourish, and Javan is backtracking, only a little too late; Miriam can’t put up with his fists any longer.

At work, perhaps after discovering that she is fighting a wrong enemy or has an ulterior motive, Brenda proposes a truce with her adversary, Janice, but seemingly to no avail. David is still struggling to bring his NGO in order, and Uncle Chilufya is making steady progress at Javan’s house after surviving a beating. 

Generally, there is advancement, and the viewers are still glued to their seats every Sunday and Monday at 21:00 hours.

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