Boston agency Hill Holliday just released an entertaining and eye-opening video that it debuted at its recent TVnext conference, the fifth annual installment of an event that ponders the evolution of television. (I attended and took the stage late in the day to serve as a judge for the hackathon portion of the conference.) At the TVnext venue, Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, Hill Holliday Chief Strategy Officer Lesley Bielby explained the premise behind the "social experiment" shown in this video: Four households were given 25 tokens, each good for watching 35 minutes of television, restricting them to a little over 14.5 hours of TV consumption for the entire week; the limit was enforced with a token-timing device hooked up to their televisions. "It's interesting," said Ms. Bielby, "when people were given this challenge, most of them said, 'You know what, I think this'll be fine. I don't watch that much TV... Piece of cake.' ... But look and see what happened."
(After an introduction by Ms. Biebly, the video starts at 1:30 -- and then at the 5:30 mark it wraps up and switches back to footage of her on stage offering a summation.)
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.