Friday, January 4, 2008

A Reason to Watch Commercials

My DVR currently has 27 programs set to record "regularly". They aren't all shows that I watch; WordWorld and Super Why are for the kids. The main thing the DVR has done is get me hooked on more shows than I ever watched before. During the regular season, I record new shows to see how I like them. Chuck and Journeyman are my most recent additions – while others like K-Ville became victims of my delete key. I save other new shows like Bionic Woman for the rerun season. If I decide I like it, it will get added to the queue. Each year - Lather, rinse, repeat. Yeah, that strategy is how we got up to 27 so easily. Thankfully, shows like The Shield and The Amazing Race have short run periods. And Lost seems to have been, well, lost, for quite a while. Some shows like "Fore Inventors Only" and "Everyday Edisons" are up there just in case they have another season. Oh wait, Cold Case only records so that I don't miss The Amazing Race when it runs late because of football.

I enjoy being able to record a show and watch it at my leisure, regardless of whether I plan to fast forward through the commercials. In the beginning, it was simply so I could watch shows in their entirety – something that previously only occurred when the kid(s) went to bed AND stayed asleep. My first reaction when we got the DVR was "thank goodness for the pause button" because I could run upstairs to check on the kids if I heard a peep. Now that I'm addicted to the friggin' gadget, I'm not quite sure how I watched TV before.

I have the DVR and fast forward at my disposal and what do I do? I go to the computer to voluntarily watch commercials. Boy, that sounds pathetic. In actuality, it just proves I'm cheap. The reason I watch commercials on my computer is to get free stuff – in this case, free magazines. If you're curious what I'm referring to, check out AdPerk. Their current list of free magazine offers is Ode, Good Housekeeping and Popular Science but their "Coming Soon" list boasts heavy hitters like Smart Money, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.

How it works – you select your magazine of choice, pick from a list of potential commercials, "watch" them then punch in a validation code when it ends. They range in length and have various values associated with each commercial. You can pick products that interest you or just shoot for the highest valued commercials. After you have watched a designated total, the subscription is yours. Their list of commercials was pretty small when I did my last two subscriptions (several months ago) so I ended up watching some for things I had no interest in. I'm not sure if the selection has improved at all but I did find some interesting products in the mix. I figured it was worth watching a few commercials to get a free magazine subscription and I was saving the time by fast forwarding through some on the DVR.

And yes, the magazines do come – my first Good Housekeeping just showed up the other day (the inspiration for this post) and I noticed that DH's Popular Science has another year added on to it. If you're looking for an easy way to add to your magazine library, give AdPerk a try.

If you know of other programs like this, post them in a comment so I can check them out!