Research log 1 - August Navarro - Advertising Pods

Beginning research for any research project can often be a somewhat daunting task. I have so many questions I need to develop before I can begin actual case studies with children, so I decided to follow the research plan I developed and closely watch an episode of iCarly, taking special consideration of the commercial pods that were featured. I also decided to poke around the iCarly website and see how advertisements are presented to children in an online format.
I picked out the iCarly episode entitled iTwins. I began to notice a pattern when comparing the commercial pods to other previous iCarly episodes I had watched. The first commercial pod (taking place about halfway through the show) always begins with a promo for iCarly, or another Nickelodeon show. After watching the first pod, I was immediately surprised at the sheer number of ad’s they packed into a single pod. There we’re 8 ad’s in one brief commercial break, targeted towards both boys and girls (and a few towards parents.) At this point, I am starting to realize that I can learn a lot about how the network and the advertisers view their “target audience.” It may not necessarily reflect the actualized viewers of the show, but it shows the networks perception of their viewers. At the end of the show, there is another commercial pod with 11 advertisements. That makes almost 20 ad’s for a 22 minute tv show (we’re talking almost one commercial for every minute of actual program!)
I realize that I now need to also do research on several different types of television programming (Childrens, Adults, News, Sports, etc.) to see how many commercials are placed in pods aimed at adult viewers. Do these numbers match? Is this an industry standard, or are they simply putting more ad’s in kids shows. It will also be important to note the styles and dialogue used in different commercials aimed at different demographics.
Next, I decided to head over to the iCarly website and see if their “on demand” videos have ad’s in it. After clicking on the video tab, I was met with a surprising page:

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“Hey! You’re on your way to a page with ads.”

I found this extremely interesting for several reasons. First off, it is a simple statement, without explanation or advice to go either way. It doesn’t read “Hey! You’re on your way to a page with ads…Go ask your parents if that’s alright!” It simply states that advertisements are coming their way, and if they want to watch the show, they have no other option. The image on the page shows the stars of the show jumping and laughing and smiling. Also, the action word "Click" is highlighted in blue, encouraging the child to click it.
I am realizing that as i do my initial research, my hypothesis and ideas will dynamically change and allow me to explore areas about this topic i had not previously thought of. I will follow this up with further viewings of the show, as well as some online research into if there are any policies that Nickelodeon has on advertising to children, especially in regards to the website.