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Question About USA Presentation

16:9 or 4:3 (March 2021)

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ST
steddenm
Hi

I've been watching a lot of the episodes of The Price is Right on CBS on YouTube recently (example: https://youtu.be/BUWd0XQS3FE) and have noticed that the show is broadcast on 16:9 HD yet commercial breaks are mostly in 4:3.

Is there any reason for this or just the local syndication not having 16:9 versions of the ads?
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
I believe there are copious adverts in the US that have been running for many years with little change. Those would have been 4:3. Over here adverts have been required to be 16:9 since (I think) 2000? May not be such a requirement in the US. Plus of course doing modern commercials in 4:3 makes them stand out more, from looking at the video you linked to anyway.
ST
steddenm
Some of the adverts are quite scary. Drugs for COPD in which the V/O states that they can cause death, and a strange advert for knee replacement surgery joints!
JA
james-2001
I've noticed there are a fair few adverts in the UK with a faux-4:3 pillarbox effect these days. I guess it's no different to the faux letterboxing we've had on adverts and music videos for decades.
EY
the eye
Heck there are a ton of ads in that video, so many health ones too.
LL
London Lite Founding member
They're rare, but I have seen 4:3 ads on some of the local US stations to this day. Or they've been stretched to fit in a 16:9 frame.

American ads in daytime are really bad, they're for ambulance chasing lawyers, pharmaceuticals, Medicare plans and the like which are the bread and butter of ad revenue for those local stations.
JA
james-2001
I think there's only 2 or 3 countries in the world that allow advertising prescription medication, of course the US is one. The adverts are always bizarre, especially the way they read out the side effects. This medication could kill you, no biggie.
IS
Inspector Sands
I think there's only 2 or 3 countries in the world that allow advertising prescription medication, of course the US is one. The adverts are always bizarre, especially the way they read out the side effects. This medication could kill you, no biggie.

I think it's just the US and New Zealand.

Yes, the adverts spend half their time telling you why you should take it..... and the other half telling you why you shouldn't! The big network evening news bulletins are the worst in my experience, not only are the breaks are full of drugs adverts but the bulletins themselves are full of medical stories too.
IS
Inspector Sands
I believe there are copious adverts in the US that have been running for many years with little change. Those would have been 4:3. Over here adverts have been required to be 16:9 since (I think) 2000? May not be such a requirement in the US. Plus of course doing modern commercials in 4:3 makes them stand out more, from looking at the video you linked to anyway.

The other difference is that in the US there was never really such a thing as 16:9 SD, so if an advert was made in SD then it will be 4:3, if it was made in HD it'll be 16:9.

Here all adverts, and virtually everything else was made in 16:9 even before any HD channels started
JA
james-2001
America's one of the few western countries that still allows tobacco advertising too, not on TV admittedly, but certainly on billboards and in shops. The US really is a dumping ground for advertising many things you wouldn't get away with anywhere else.

Ambulance chasing lawyers seem to make up the majority of billboards over there too I've noticed when I've been there.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
I think there's only 2 or 3 countries in the world that allow advertising prescription medication, of course the US is one. The adverts are always bizarre, especially the way they read out the side effects. This medication could kill you, no biggie.


Amazing to think you can get away with that, though it is America, the home of being charged a three figure sum to be told put some ointment on it and see if it clears up.

It's apparently only America and New Zealand that allow prescription advertising. The EU thought about it as well 20 years ago and that was as far as it went, as they were shot down. Some politician said "we don't want consumers sitting on their couches bombarded with a hard sell from big drug companies in the advertising break between Crossroads and Coronation Street.".
JA
james-2001
I don't entirely see the point in advertising prescription drugs anyway, when you need something your doctor will prescribe it for you, all these adverts seem to really be doing is encouraging people to get their doctors to prescribe them stuff they don't really need. And pay through the nose for it.

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