LOOKING FOR READERS? Turn on the telly

I have an outrageous idea. We’ll sell our books on TV!

Is that possible, you ask. Stick around. You’ll find this info amusing.


First question: Assuming we’re talking reality here (just go with it), on what shows do we advertise? Where would we find our fans?

To track’em down, you will have to actually watch TV, and its dumb commercials. That’s asking a lot, I know. But this is where we start. All advertisers buy time on specific programs because networks and ad agencies have done gobs of research. And then they advise their cherished clients about what “market” watching what shows line up with what products.

What, what, what…

Too many ‘what’s.’ Authors, cut to the chase! Look at commercials already attached to programs and again ask, “Is my market watching this schtick?” If so, this part of TV Land is where my beloved readers live.

Humm… What about Irv Podolsky fans? My bookworms are older folks, people who scan three paragraphs and fall asleep, and stare at the evening news. How do I know that? ‘Cause I already checked out a few commercials on those shows and that gave away the research. People buying electric wheel chairs will definitely, absolutely read about sex over sixty. (That’s sixty partners, but over a period of time.)

Still, I needed a narrower focus. Specifically what news network, what news program? Politically, morally, monetarily, sexually – where would my tribe feel most cozy? You won’t believe what I unearthed.


Introducing…the Left, Right and Center Baselines:


  • On the Left:    MSNBC, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” – 7 PM
  • On the Right: FOX NEWS, “Hannity” 6 PM
  • In the Center: ABC, “Nightly News” – 6 PM, Los Angeles and “World News with Diane Sawyer” – 6:30 PM

So how many freakin’ commercials do you think networks squeeze into these one-hour news blocks?

Fifteen? Twenty? Guess again.

  • FOX NEWS – Hannity had 35 commercials with three sponsors buying two spots, each.
  • MSNBC – Lawrence O’Donnell had 27 commercials (not including advertising for the network’s own shows) with two sponsors buying two spots, each.
  • ABC – Local and World News had 28 commercials (not including advertising for the network’s own shows).

CONCLUSION: Fox News grabs more of the action (ratings) than the other two news shows. Do I plant my book spots there? What are Fox’s commercials about? And who would be bored enough to watch them while getting massaged by Sean Hannity?

More specifically, exactly what kinds of readers are excited about Fox News?

ANSWER: PEOPLE WHO MIGHT WANT… (and these commercials are real, in order of broadcast)

Miracle Whip (I watched two spots), dating on Match.com (also two spots), SUV’s from Nissan, banking at Wells Fargo, Ocuvite vitamins for old people eyes, Enbrel for old people rheumatism, McCladrey Financial Services for older people investing, a Lexus GS, 5 hour Energy Supplement, Trade Architect by TD Ameritrade, Merit Financial for conservative investors (again, two spots), gold and silver coins, V8 Juice, Kohler showers, Mitsubishi cars, Siemens gas turbines, Scott Trade, Hurrycane all terrain walking canes with retractable stable-set design and a mystery gift, Cialis for ED*, Capitol One Venture credit card, anyone who never wants gas to stop flowing (the Oil Industry Lobby), Joseph A. Bank clothes for men (always on sale), the Dodge Journey SUV with 0% financing, the Intel/HP Folio notebook computer, emergency phone service for people with cystic C coma (What?), Phillips Capsules for constipation, GEICO Insurance, Angie’s List, Viagra for ED*, All State Car Insurance, contingency legal support for failed hip replacements (Kaiser & Gornick attorneys), Brother computer printers, Buy Gold Coins – Swiss American

Jeezz! What do we have here?

Point one: three sponsors invested double air time for singles who Miracle Whipped their tuna and have enough “bank” to risk it in the stock market. Are those my people my readers? Sure but…

There were also:

  • 10 health/pharmaceutical ads
  • 10 financial ads
  • 4 car ads
  • 2 computer ads
  • 7 misc.

Wow! Now we know that the Hannity crowd are middle aged and older than dirt, get sick a lot, are constipated but want sex, need canes and still want sex, chug V8 Juice, and are stupid enough to buy commemorative coins for investment.

Now…if you and I can write the great American novel with all that in mind, sell it in CVC Pharmacies…then BINGO, we’ve got our best seller – for Viagra dudes who shop at Joseph A. Bank and drive a Lexus.

Okay…a niche market. But still…


Those were my people on the RIGHT. Let’s check out the LEFT. Who watches liberal media, Lawrence O’Donnell and would want to read 1371 pages of Irv’s prose?

ANSWER: PEOPLE WHO ALSO WANT… (and this is real too)

…to move to Portland with Mayflower trucking, switch to AT&T Mobil Network (two spots), eat Progresso soup to lose weight, use ADT Security Systems, join AARP, buy a VW Passat, or a Subaru Impreza, and take Cialis for ED or BPH*, and promote Siemens gas turbines, support UNICEF, use Credit Karma (two spots)*, or Charles Schwab, and buy 1.62% Androgel for low testosterone*, or an Infinity JX with a talking computer, or a Prius, with a Royal Caribbean Cruise, and Boost Nutritional Drink, and an Intel/HP Folio notebook computer, and Salonpas OTC* relief patches for…I guess everything, Wells Fargo Retirement Planning, the Lincoln MKZ, V8 Juice, GE public relations associated with Budweiser fans, Stouffer’s frozen Farmer’s Harvest steam meals, and Hotwire vacation booking to Austin, Texas.

Let’s see…  The two sponsors who bought double ads directed their message at smart phone users who check their credit scores twice-a-day. (That’s ME!)

There were also:

  • 7 health/pharmaceutical ads
  • 3 financial ads
  • 5 car ads
  • 2 computer ads
  • 7 misc.

CONCLUSION: With enough meds, liberals stay healthy enough to buy more cars than conservatives. This makes sense, because conservatives CONSERVE what they own and keep their old Buicks.

Liberals are obviously patriotic because they hire Pilgrimish Mayflower Movers. Progressives also take more vacations, and while they’re away, think about needy third-world children and GE taking over the planet.

Oh yes… Seems erectile dysfunction thrives in both red and blue states along with Siemen turbines and V8 Juice. But Viagra conceded the liberal market to Cialis. (Ask your Doctor if Cialis is right for you.)

I’m not sure about this group. People who take Androgel for low testosterone might overdose while reading sex novels. (Mine is photo illustrated.)


Let’s look at the MIDDLE and Network TV, specifically those wild and zany Angelinos and the fans of Diane Sawyer. Diane Sawyer?


Ashley Home Store furniture with 0% interest for 66 months*, a Honda Accord, Chase Quick Pay*, Carl’s Jr. Burgers, ticket to “Mamma Mia”, Kohl’s, Time Warner Cable (two spots), Greenlight Financial Services, Mathis Brothers Furniture, a VW Passat, diamonds from Tustin Jewelry Exchange, a Chevrolet Cruze LS, Spam for your kid’s mac and cheese, AT&T Internet Services, a Hyundai Elantra, Charles Schwab’s services, Advair for COPD*, Lunesta sleeping aid, Osteo Bi-Flex*, Prudential Financial Services, Symbicort for COPD, a Dodge Journey SUV, Dr. Scholl’s foot products, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, a meal at Red Robin Restaurants, a Prius, Novolog insulin FlexPen*, and lots of Alka-Seltzer.

CONCLUSION: Time Warner Cable, advertising twice, wants to own your eyes.

Beyond that, I watched:

  • 7 health and pharmaceutical adds (canned Spam not included)
  • 4 financial ads
  • 6 car ads
  • 2 computer ads
  • 4 food ads
  • 6 misc., including diamonds, furniture and tickets to a musical (all you need to get married, or lose in a divorce)


So now that we’re all informed, what do we know?

We know that down-the-middle-network news viewers munch Spam, smoke and wear Dr. Scholl’s shoe pads. They take sleeping pills and buy mid-priced cars, hopefully not at the same time. They also have, take or treat Osteon Bi-Flex, which I have yet to define in my own head. But best of all, they eat at Red Robin Restaurants and you can’t get more Americana than that!


Hey ya’ll, I’ve decided!

The Wishy-Washy Center is my platform; the heartland of Chevrolets, Kohl’s department stores and Campbell’s Chicken Soup. These are my people, and they’ll LOVE me. They’re waiting for my thoughts in their living rooms, eyeballs fixed on 54” flat screens!

I feel so confident now. I know my market: those moral news-watching public who buy Carl’s, Jr. burgers, Dodge SUV’s and Mathis Brothers Furniture. They are truly American Pie and will love, love, love my epic! It’s sensitive, personal, for the whole family –“The Incredible Shrinking Transgender Dominatrix.”

Now…go find your own programs!


This article was originally published on CuriosityQuills.com.

——–   ——–   ——–

 *ED – A guy thing, commonly called LD (“limp dick”) and a huge issue for all dudes, especially single guys over fourteen.

*BPH – Benign prostatic hyperplasia, commonly called an “enlarged prostate” and leads to…I’m glad I still don’t know.

*Credit Karma – If you need free credit scores, RIGHT NOW, it’s too late.

*Androgen – This ad warns women and children not to use it. I kid you not.

*OTC – Over-the-counter, and hence, something close to what you can afford.

*no interest for 66 months – You have 5 1/2 years to show any interest in buying this furniture.

*Quick Pay – That’s YOU, not the bank.

*COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – if you’re a heavy smoker or work in a coal mine, you know what this is.

*Osteo Bi-Flex – Something about old bones and joint pain.

*The insulin FlexPen was marketed to the Black TV audience by a Black actor. Insulin treats hypertension. Hypertension is brought on by obesity. African American women have the highest rates of being overweight compared to other groups in the U.S.  



  1. Jerry's Cousin says:

    This is your funniest article yet. But it’s so true! I’ve seen all these commercials over the years. I have counted the number of commercials while doing something else, while sitting in front of the TV (I counted an average of 14-15). However, I must admit that I usually don’t stick around to watch the commercials. That’s when I run upstairs to get something, throw a load of wash in, go to the kitchen for a glass of iced tea and do a dozen other things.
    My favorite commercials are the drugs that tell you all the horrible side effects, than tell you to ask your doctor if this drug is for you. I’ve already decided I want no parts of it. The other commercial that I find funny is the one for a product, sold only on TV. You may be interested, but you must purchase 2 and only pay S&H on the second item. Problem is that the S&H is almost as costly as the product. My suggestion is wait a few months and a nearby discount store will have it and then you can by just the one you want.
    Do you remember when we were told that if you have cable and pay for TV, there would be no commercials? With cable, there are more commercials than ever before and cable keeps going up.
    Irv, you made me laugh today. Thank you!

    1. Irving H. Podolsky says:

      You are so RIGHT, JC! I too love the commercials that describe all the horrible things a drug will do to you as you watch images of people blissfully in love with life. Someday I will blog a transcription of the voice-over warning us of impeding death if the take the pill!

      Sure, S&H is always part of the cost of the product. You figured it out. Most people have, but they buy it anyway.


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