I've heard multiple references to the over-analytical nature of everythingians, so maybe I'm preaching to the converted.
Maybe, but I continue to be astonished that ads work at all given that they tend to be repeated during programs, and just in general, far beyond what I could imagine is most people's tolerance level for annoyance. Once is interesting, the second time is amusing (if the commercial is) and has repetition value, but the 19th iteration is simply insufferable. By the time I've reached saturation (about 3 for even the most amusing commercials) every repetition makes me more actively annoyed at the product, and by #19 I'm prancing around the apartment ranting that I'd rather have needles in my eyes than buy a Ford Taurus, or whatever.
This is particularly annoying for sporting events, where there is a "sponsorship" model, instead of the usual (in the U.S. anyway) "packaged demographics" model, where advertisers buy a level of viewership and type of demographic, but are not necessarily guaranteed airing during particular programs. Sports, especially feature events like the Grand Slam tennis matches or the (American) football "bowls" (Super, Rose, etc) tend to choose a few premiere sponsors whose commericals you see over and over and over. That's fine as a revenue model, I suppose, but couldn't they at least air a variety of commercials?
IANAP (I-am-not-a-psychologist), but I am particularly suspect of the kinds of studies that I imagine are done to justify this kind of repetition-until-you-are-ready-to-go-postal advertising. In my conspiratorial mind I imagine that it goes something like this: some hapless subjects are put into a room, shown commercials for Ford trucks until their eyeballs begin to bleed, and then they are given a series of tests perhaps a day or week later and asked to name a kind of truck off the top of their heads. It's obviously more sophisticated than that, but I can't get around the fact that ultimately it just has to reduce to that. Maybe after I've had time to cool down I really do have Ford cars imprinted upon my subconscious, and it makes me more likely to buy one on the margin, but I'm quite sure it's not making me a fan in the short run.
Then again, perhaps I'm over-analytical.