I want you to know what I tell my advertising clients about the traditional 30-second TV commercial, and I want to get your comments. I came to some of these conclusions because this is what I do when a TV commercial comes on, and how I react to TV commercials, and how I watch TV. What do you think?

Here are my five reasons why TV commercials aren't effective for small businesses:

1. Unless you are a well-known company you can't get your message across in 30-seconds. Thirty-second spots are great for McDonalds and Bank of America and American Airlines because TV viewers know where McDonalds is, they know where Bank of America is, and they know how to make a reservation on American Airlines. But can a company like Joe's Hardware get its message across in thirty seconds and that message includes why the consumer should call Joe's Hardware and the address and phone number and website of Joe's Hardware? Heck no. It takes 12-seconds to give a company's name, address and phone number and website and that leaves only 18-seconds to tell the consumer why they should care.

2. Consumers just don't watch commercials like they used to. And when I say "like they used to" I mean like they used to watch in the 1980s and the 1990s. TV viewing habits have changed. The first change came with the hand-held remote which meant that consumers didn't have to get up from the sofa or out of bed to change channels. Then came VCRs and DVRs and consumers don't even have to watch "live TV" anymore and when a commercial comes on they can "skip it" or "scan by it" or fast-forward.

3. And when commercials do come on TV and consumers are watching "live TV" they pretty much know that they have two-minutes (the length of most "commercial breaks") to go to the bathroom, run to the microwave, pick up the cell phone, yell for the kids, or change channels to see what else is on.

4. And when you do have a 30-second commercial on TV, your commercial will be in a "commercial break" that has two or three other commercials in it. This poses another challenge because your commercial is competing for attention with the other commercials in the same commercial break. Here's an example: let's say your commercial is the last commercial in the group of four commercials. The first commercial is about a special airfare deal which gets the attention of the viewers who immediately run to the computer to book the flight -- and takes them away from the TV so they miss your commercial that follows the airline's spot.

5. And do I have to mention that TV commercial time is expensive? And the bigger the audience watching the TV show that your commerical is in, the more expensive the commercial time is. Unfortunately, no one prices TV commercials for the audience watching the commercial -- the TV commercial is always priced for the audience watching the program that the commercial is in.

Now, you might see me in various TV commercials. Yes, I do get hired to do them. But I don't recommend them to my own clients. I think there are better ways to advertise. Infomercials make more sense in my book. But that's another topic.

For now, the question is, do you watch commercials?