The Benefits of Closed Captioning Commercials

Written by the Association of National Advertisers collaborating with Janice Schacter Lintz

The ANA Production Management Committee recommends that all television commercials be
closed captioned. Commercials that are closed captioned maximize the impact of an advertising
message and communicate to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing that their business is
valued. Plus, the cost to close caption a commercial is minimal.
Closed captions are the visual (text) representation of the soundtrack of a video, film, television
program, or commercial. In addition to dialog, closed captions include sound effects, speaker
identification information, music notations, lyrics, and other key aural information. Closed
captions are embedded in the television signal and visible, usually at the bottom of the screen,
only when activated by the viewer. Closed captions are activated through the equipment remote
control or onscreen menu.
Live television programs, such as a live broadcast or special event or news program, may be
captioned in real time. Prerecorded programs are captioned after production and before they
are aired.