I've been staying in a hotel recently and tried to watch cable TV a few times: I can't do it. I've gotten so used to watching pure TV on DVD that I can't bear the toxic commercials packaged with cable. TV commercials have become for me what chicken hormones are to health nuts: toxic, unwanted and so last century. Don't get me wrong, there is the occasional brilliant 30-second spot, but most of them are caste in the same old stale framework: a bunch of models with overwhitened teeths spewing mediocre taglines for products and not conveying any of their rich nuances or differentiating features.
However (and here's the silver lining for marketers), I do want detailed commercials at the time and place of my choosing. So for instance, if I were car shopping, I would want to see 2 minute commercials from each of the major car companies for the general line I was considering. I'm also a fan of embedded ads: I still want cereal everytime someone mentions Seinfeld, and I'm willing to bet Ally McBeal sold some mini-skirts. Advertising is necessary as it keeps consumers synchronized with their choices, but it can no longer bookend and cheapen great television programs (think Miami Vice, Dallas and Alf). It must come to us when we choose or with brilliant subtlety.