How Advertisers Can Foil the Fast-Forward Button: Ads You Have to Watch

Web video may pose a real threat to the TV business, one day. But the DVR is threatening it now. More than a third of all U.S. homes now have TiVo-like digital video recorders, and the majority of DVR users fast-forward through ads when they watch TV. [via mediamemo]

Advertisers and programmers are doing their best to fight back. They’re tinkering with ad formats–notice all those movie ads that feature the film’s title and release date running across the top of the ad, designed to combat fast-forwarders? And they’re integrating the ads directly into the shows themselves–it’s impossible to watch Bravo’s “Top Chef” without understanding that it’s sponsored by Glad and Diet Dr. Pepper, because everyone on the show keeps referring to Glad and Diet Dr. Pepper.

But here’s another, more straightforward approach: Create ads with visuals so arresting, you have to stop fast-forwarding and watch them.

That’s what happened to me with all three of these ads, all of which happen to be produced by the same agency, Omnicom’s (OMC) 180la, for the same client–Sprint’s (S) Boost Mobile brand.

Now, the ads aren’t actually going to do anything for me–our household is locked into a different Sprint plan, along with one from AT&T (T), for a long time. But now I’m sharing them with you, so that’s worth something, right?

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